Appian Way

/ap"ee euhn/
an ancient Roman highway extending from Rome to Brundisium (now Brindisi): begun 312 B.C. by Appius Claudius Caecus. ab. 350 mi. (565 km) long.

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Latin Via Appia.

First and most famous of the ancient Roman roads, running from Rome to Campania and southern Italy.

Begun in 312 BC by the censor Appius Claudius Caecus, the road originally ran 132 mi (212 km) to ancient Capua; by 244 BC it extended 230 mi (370 km) to the port of Brundisium (Brindisi) in Italy's heel. Built of smoothly fitted blocks of lava on a heavy stone foundation, the road provided a long-lasting surface for transporting merchandise to these seaports (and thence by ship to Greece and the eastern Mediterranean). Remains can be seen today outside Rome.

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▪ ancient road, Italy
Latin  Via Appia, 
 the first and most famous of the ancient Roman roads, running from Rome to Campania and southern Italy. (See Roman road system.) The Appian Way was begun in 312 BC by the censor Appius Claudius Caecus. At first it ran only 132 miles (212 km) from Rome south-southeastward to ancient Capua, in Campania, but by about 244 BC it had been extended another 230 miles (370 km) southeastward to reach the port of Brundisium (Brindisi), situated in the “heel” of Italy and lying along the Adriatic Sea.

      From Rome southward the Appian Way's course was almost straight until it reached Tarracina (Terracina) on the Tyrrhenian Sea. The road then turned inland to the southeast to reach Capua. From Capua it ran east to Beneventium (Benevento) and then southeastward again to reach the port of Tarentum (Taranto). It then ran east for a short distance to terminate at Brundisium.

      The Appian Way was celebrated by Horace and Statius, who called it longarum regina viarum, or “queen of long-distance roads.” As the main highway to the seaports of southeastern Italy, and thus to Greece and the eastern Mediterranean, the Appian Way was so important that during the empire it was administered by a curator of praetorian rank. The road averaged 20 feet (6 m) in width and was slightly convex in surface in order to facilitate good drainage. The road's foundation was of heavy stone blocks cemented together with line mortar; over these were laid polygonal blocks of lava that were smoothly and expertly fitted together. The lava blocks formed a good traveling surface, and one that proved to have extraordinary durability over the centuries. The first few miles of the Appian Way outside Rome are flanked by a striking series of monuments, and there are also milestones and other inscriptions along the remains of the road.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Appian Way — the Appian Way the first important ↑Roman Road. It was built in 312BC and runs south from ↑Rome to Brindisi on the Adriatic coast …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Appian Way — Appian Ap pi*an, a. [L. Appius, Appianus.] Of or pertaining to Appius. [1913 Webster] {Appian Way}, the great paved highway from ancient Rome trough Capua to Brundisium, now Brindisi, constructed partly by Appius Claudius, about 312 b. c. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Appian Way — road between Rome and Capua, so called because it was begun (302 B.C.E.) by the consul Appius Claudius Caecus …   Etymology dictionary

  • Appian Way — [ap′ē ən] [after the Roman censor Appius Claudius Caecus, by whom it was begun in 312 B.C.] ancient Roman paved highway from Rome to Capua to Brundisium (Brindisi): c. 350 mi (563 km) …   English World dictionary

  • Appian Way — The Appian Way (Latin and Italian: Via Appia) was the most important ancient Roman road. It is also called the the queen road . [cite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Past Catches Up With the Queen of Roads… …   Wikipedia

  • Appian Way — Ap′pi•an Way′ [[t]ˈæp i ən[/t]] n. anh geg an ancient Roman highway extending from Rome to Brundisium (now Brindisi): begun 312 b.c. by Appius Claudius Caecus. ab. 350 mi. (565 km) long …   From formal English to slang

  • Appian Way — /ˈæpiən weɪ/ (say apeeuhn way) noun an ancient Roman road extending from Rome to the seaport of Brundisium in south eastern Italy (now Brindisi); begun 312 BC. About 560 km …   Australian English dictionary

  • Appian Way — geographical name ancient paved highway extending from Rome to the Adriatic …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Appian Way — The road to Rome from Puteoli where Paul disembarked (Acts 28:13); 70 km. (40 miles) south of Rome on the road was the Forum of Appius, where a party of Roman Christians welcomed Paul …   Dictionary of the Bible

  • Appian Way — noun an ancient Roman road in Italy extending south from Rome to Brindisi; begun in 312 BC • Instance Hypernyms: ↑highway, ↑main road • Part Holonyms: ↑Italy, ↑Italian Republic, ↑Italia …   Useful english dictionary

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