The German Wikipedia on post coaches states that the Roman carrucae (there described as a Reisewagen, something like travelling vehicle) already had suspension and a passenger cabin. I tried to find information about it, but all articles seem to concern a heavy wheeled plow.

But models of Roman coaches for the cursus publicus seem very detailed, so I dare hope information might be out there.

  • @DevSolar i can not see the suspensions in that picture. I seek a general understanding of the suspension. Was it curled Springs? Where were they mounted,…
    – Ludi
    Aug 12, 2020 at 10:45

1 Answer 1


As it appears you just don't rightly know what to look for in this picture from your second link, I drew up a crude "front view" schematic of the vehicle pictured.

front view

Blue are the wheels, black the frame, red the passenger cabin. And the green part, that is the suspension. The passenger cabin is quite literally suspended from the frame by leather straps.

  • 2
    Nice drawing! This makes those pictures a lot clearer!
    – gktscrk
    Aug 12, 2020 at 10:58
  • 3
    Good catch! and a good drawing. Well done!
    – MCW
    Aug 12, 2020 at 11:00
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    Actually, I now understand, why the English use suspension. The German article used Federung which literally implies springs and not Aufhängung. Now the difference becomes very clear. Thank you!
    – Ludi
    Aug 12, 2020 at 11:51
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    At first, frWP looked like a good match for 'more explanatory text', but still: what material/mechanism was this, how did it work, and how widespread was this construction? (If you'd like: "Suspended from the frame" by what/how – we see mainly 'where'. Was it wood, fibre strings, leather…) Aug 12, 2020 at 23:04
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    @LangLangC: Added "leather straps", as evident from the linked picture. As to statistics on how widespread this specific construction was relative to others, I guess we'll have to wait until someone unearths production papers from the big wagon production companies of the time... ;-) Note though that "suspended by leather straps" was something that was done until well into the "wild west" era. (I distinctly remember seeing that kind of suspension on Wells Fargo stagecoaches, although there it was front-to-back, not side-to-side.)
    – DevSolar
    Aug 13, 2020 at 6:48

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