Bridges are structures built over natural obstacles in order to provide safe passage over them. Throughout history bridges have been associated with many areas of human life: they have vital economic, military and social functions, showcase achievements of engineering and are considerable works of public art. Bridges demonstrate the political and economic power of their builders and as liminal spaces embody sacred and mythological meanings. Hence the consideration of bridges is crucial for our understanding of the societies that created and used them.
Despite their fundamental social importance and unlike Roman, medieval West European and even Ottoman bridges, Byzantine bridges have attracted astonishingly little scholarly attention. This fact is especially distressing when one considers that many monuments in former Byzantine territory have been insufficiently documented and continuously fall victim to natural dangers such as earthquakes and man-made destruction such as armed conflict and the construction of hydroelectric dams.