The remains of this bridge leave no doubt that it was purposely destroyed by barbarians; some of the arches near the end of it remain, while the rest have been thrown down, some on one side and some on the other; but happily the arches next to the reservoir, at the end of the bridge and on the edge of the valley, remain, and the reservoir itself is still in part intact, supported on a huge mass of masonry. Four holes are to be seen in that part of the front of the reservoir which is left, being the holes from which the lead pipes descended into the valley. There must have been nine of these pipes in all. These holes are elliptical in shape, being 12 in. high by 9½ in. wide, and the interior of the reservoir is still seen to be covered with cement. The walls of the reservoir were about 2 ft. 7 in. thick, and were strengthened by ties of iron; it had an arched stone roof in which there was an opening for access. From this the nine lead pipes descended the side of the valley supported on a construction of masonry, crossed the river by an aqueduct bridge, and ascended into another reservoir on the other side, entering the reservoir at its upper part just below the spring of the arches of the roof.
From this reservoir the aqueduct passed to the next on the edge of the large and deep valley of Bonnan, being underground twice and having three bridges on its course, the last of which, the sixteenth on the course of the aqueduct, ends in a reservoir on the edge of the valley. Only one of the openings by which the siphons, of which there were probably ten, started from the reservoir is now left. The bridge across the valley below had thirty arches, and was about 880 ft. long by 24 ft. wide.
A number of the arches still remain standing, and, the pillars of the arches were constructed of transverse arches themselves. The work consisted of concrete, formed with Roman cement so hard that it turns the points of pickaxes when employed against it, with layers of tiles at regular intervals. The surface of the concrete is covered with small cubical blocks of stone placed so that their diagonals are horizontal and vertical, and forming what is known as opus reticulatum. After crossing the bridge the pipes were carried up the other side of the valley into a reservoir, of which little remains, and then the aqueduct was continued to the next valley, passing over three bridges in its course. This valley, that of St. Irenée, is much smaller than either of the others, but nevertheless it was deep enough to necessitate the construction of inverted siphons, of which there were eight. Leaving the reservoir on the other side of this valley, the aqueduct was carried on a long bridge (the twentieth on its course) which crossed the plateau on the top of Fourvieres and opened into a large reservoir, the remains of which are still to be seen on the top of that hill.
From this reservoir, which was 77 ft. long and 51 ft. wide, pipes of lead conveyed the water to the imperial palace and to the other buildings near the top of the hill. Some of these lead pipes were found in a vineyard near the top of Fourvieres at the beginning of the eighteenth century, and were described by Colonia in his history of Lyons. They are made of thick sheet lead rolled round so as to form a tube, with the edges of the sheet turned upward, and applied to one another in such a way as to leave a small space, which was probably filled with some kind of cement. These pipes, of which it is said that twenty or thirty, each from 15 ft. to 20 ft. long, were found, were marked with the initial letters TI. CL. CAES. (Tiberius Claudius Caesar), and afford positive evidence that the work was carried out under the emperor Claudius. Lead pipes, constructed in a similar manner, have also been found at Bath, in this country, in connection with the Roman baths. The great difference between this aqueduct and those near Rome arises from the fact that, instead of being carried across a nearly flat country, it was carried across one intersected with deep ravines, and that it was therefore necessary to have recourse to the system of inverted siphons.
There can be no doubt that the inverted siphons were made of lead, although no remains of them have been found; for we know that the Romans used lead largely, and, as we have seen, pieces of the lead distribution pipes have been found. It is possible, and even likely, that strong cords of hemp were wound round the pipes forming the siphons, as is related by Delorme in describing a similar Roman aqueduct siphon near Constantinople; Delorme also describes, in the aqueduct last mentioned, a pipe for the escape of air from the lowest part of the siphon carried up against a tower, which was higher than the aqueduct, and it is certain that there must have been some such contrivance on the siphons of the aqueduct constructed at Lyons.
Flacheron supposes that they consisted of small pipes carried from the lowest part of the siphons up along the side of the valley and above the reservoirs, or, in some instances, of taps fixed at the lowest part of the siphons. The Romans have been blamed for not using inverted siphons in the aqueducts at Rome, and it has been said that this is a sufficient proof that they did not understand the simplest principles of hydraulics, but the remains of the aqueducts at Lyons negative this assumption altogether. The Romans were not so foolish as to construct underground siphons, many miles long, for the supply of Rome; but where it was necessary to construct them for the purpose of crossing deep valleys, they did so. The same emperor Claudius who built the aqueduct at Rome known by his name built the aqueduct of Mont Pila, at Lyons, and it is quite clear, therefore, that his engineers were practically well acquainted with the principles of hydraulics. It is thus seen that the ancient Romans spared no pains to obtain a supply of pure water for their cities, and I think it is high time that we followed their example, and went to the trouble and expense of obtaining drinking water from unimpeachable sources, instead of, as is too often the case, taking water which we know perfectly well has been polluted, and then attempting to purify it for domestic purposes. An address by Prof. W.H. Corfield, M.D., M.A., delivered before the Sanitary Institute of Great Britain, July 9, 1885. - Building News.