The Role of Politics in the Historical Transport Networks of the Iberian Peninsula and the Pyrenees from Roman Times to the Nineteenth Century

Abstract: Transport routes are basic elements that are inextricably linked to diverse political, economic, and social factors. Transport networks may be the cause or result of complex historical conjunctions that reflect to some extent a structural conception of the political systems that govern each territory. It is for this reason that analyzing the evolution of the transport routes layout in a wide territory allows us to recognize the role of the political organization and its economic influence in territorial design. In this article, the evolution of the transport network in the Iberian Peninsula has been studied in a broad chronological framework to observe how the different political systems of each period understood and modified the transport systems. Subsequently, a second analysis of the evolution of transport networks in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula is included in this article. This more detailed and geographically restricted study allows us to visualize in a different way the evolution and impact of changes in transport networks. This article focuses on the calculation of the connectivity to analyze the intermodal transport systems. The use of network science analyses to study historical roads has resulted in a great tool to visualize and understand the connectivity of the territories of each studied period and compare the evolution, changes, and continuities of the transport network.