THE THEFT OF PUBLIC WATER IN ANCIENT ROME Summary The theft of the public water delivered to the city by the aqueducts was a common phenomenon in ancient Rome. It was perpetrated both by private persons as well as by the officials and services responsible for the proper functioning of the city’s water supply. The most frequent abusers were the procuratores, aquarii, vilices, and libratores. Various methods were used to prevent water fraud. They included legal means as well special technology for the prevention and faster and more effective detection of instances of water theft and other abuses connected with its distribution.