Consider the internet search history of a writer – we look up some very peculiar things. My recent forays have been in travel during the time of the Roman Empire. In my current-work-in-progress my protagonist travels from Alexandria to Jerusalem in 1BC. How long did it take and how much did it cost to travel during the Roman Empire? There is some very nifty software online, from Stanford University, that helped me work it out.

According to ORBIS – the Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World, it would take 4.7 days for a person in a fast ship and carriage to make the 670 km journey, or as my character might have calculated it, 453 mille passuum (Roman miles) or 302 leuga (Gallic leagues). My character is a woman of means so the cost of 193 dinarii per passenger is not an issue. In comparison, to send wheat via slow boat and oxcart would cost 3 dinarii and take 9.1 days.

What strange things appear in your search history?

One thought on “Sailing to Ierusalem

  1. I have been researching unsolved painting thefts for my heist scene in my latest novel. Apparently, it is quite easy to steal paintings from galleries!

    Liked by 1 person

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