This page cannot be viewed in frames

Go to page

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

Roman cement strengthened with wine

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Roman cement consisted of pieces of volcanic tuff and bricks connected  with a lime-lime mortar
Roman cement consisted of pieces of volcanic tuff and bricks connected with lime mortar. | Autor: Roy Kaltschmidt, Berkeley Lab

Lucius Aurelius Avianius Symmachus – Prefect of Rome from 364 CE – supervised the constructions under water. In order to achieve cement strength under water, some amount of wine was added to it.

However, such use of wine met with great criticism from the Roman society, which at that time suffered from a large deficiency of grapes. With time, riots in the city appeared (among others, the Symmachus house was set on fire), which forced the prefect to leave Rome. He returned in 376 CE, when the Senate issued an appropriate decree.

It is also worth mentioning his son – Quintus Aurelius Symmachus – who faced similar situation when food supplies from Africa were temporarily interrupted.

  • Peter Heather, Upadek cesarstwa rzymskiego
  • Michael Whitby (red.), Homo Viator: Classical Essays for John Bramble

IMPERIUM ROMANUM needs your support!

If you like the content that I collect on the website and that I share on social media channels I will be grateful for the support. Even the smallest amounts will allow me to pay for further corrections, improvements on the site and pay the server.



Find out more!

Check your curiosity and learn something new about the ancient world of the Romans. By clicking on the link below, you will be redirected to a random entry.

Random curiosity

Random curiosity

Discover secrets of ancient Rome!

If you want to be up to date with newest articles on website and discoveries from the world of ancient Rome, subscribe to the newsletter, which is sent each Saturday.

Subscribe to newsletter!

Subscribe to newsletter

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: