The late antiquity in modern historiography has generated two schools of thought: one side is seen as a time of slow transition to the Middle Ages, the other is regarded as a time of crisis and decline. Franz Wieacker spoke of period “epiclassic“ and Andrea Giardina has commented the explosive and sudden interest of researchers in the last thirty years.
This study aims to present an historical perspective on utilitarian architecture in late antique Rome and focuses in particular on the reconstructions of three bridges in the 4th century Rome, namely the pons Aurelius/Valentinianus, pons Cestius/Gratianus, and pons Probi/Theodosius pons. I examine the narrative and epigraphic sources to assess the social aspects and communicative potential of bridges. The study considers the literary allusions to the three ancient bridges in order to achieve an historical evaluation of the bridges as social objects and as a suitable medium for messages of power in the period of Late antiquity.