Last August I visited the «Paes Teles Archive» Foundation in the village of Ervedal (Avis), installed in the house Mário Saa, that displays the collection of Roman materials collected by this researcher. The highlights of the collection are the altar inscription (ara) dedicated to the «Lares Viales» (road deities) found by Saa in a site called «Monte das Esquilas» (Monforte), photo on the right, and two milestones, one dedicated to Emperor Constantine the Great found in «Casal da Pocariça» (Lagoa Grande, Bemposta, Abrantes), on the middle; the other is dedicated to Emperor Tacitus found next to the Chapel of Our Lady of Prazeres (Vale de Açor, Ponte de Sor), in the left picture. This meritorious foundation still preserves its interesting library and even publishes with some regularity a magazine about culture and heritage called “Vialibus” . A unique case in Portugal that is worth visiting. Coordinates: 39.043472, -7.813889
A new book about Roman roads has just been published by researcher André Carneiro. The book entitled «Itinerários Romanos do Alentejo» ( “Roman Itineraries of the Alentejo”) is a rereading fifty years later of the singular work of Mario Saa (1893-1971) entitled «As Grandes Vias da Lusitânia – o Itinerário de Antonino Pio» (“The Great Roads of Lusitania – The Itinerary of Antoninus Pius”) published in six volumes between 1951 and 1967. Despite its imperfections, the work of Mário Saa is still of primordial importance for the study of the Roman roads in Portugal. He has been widely criticized for its fanciful interpretations, errors and inaccuracies. However, the pioneering spirit of the work and the amount of archaeological information contained in it deserve this rereading entirely in the light of current knowledge. André Carneiro thus tries to mark the routes proposed by Saa with the remaining evidence on the ground while integrating the enormous advances of recent years in the knowledge of the Roman road. Although this work is still far from being completed by pointing a direction and a way, André Carneiro’s work will certainly have a strong impact on future work on the study of Roman itineraries in the Alentejo.