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  • I wish you welcome to the great ancient road of Via Appia, also known as the Appian Way.

  • Of all the roads that led to Rome, the Appian Way was the most famous and the most strategically

  • important road. It eventually stretched all the way from Rome to the seaport of Brindisi

  • in southeast Italy, through which trade with the East was funneled. The main purpose of

  • the road was however not to transport goods, but to allow for quick troop movement. The

  • Appian Way was the first road built specifically for troop transportation.

  • During this era, the Romans were the masters of road construction and had some of the very

  • finest engineers in the world. All their roads were connected to Rome, where the Master Itinerarium

  • was located. This was a list of all the destinations along each road all the way to the border

  • of their empire, hence the expression - "All roads lead to Rome."

  • The road network was an important factor in Roman warfare. The Roman army's success was

  • partly due to their smart use of strategically placed forts. The forts allowed the army to

  • prepare for battle and quickly refresh and re-equip afterwards. However, the bases needed

  • to be connected by quality roads for easy access and supply from Rome. In the First

  • Samnite War in 343 BC, the Romans were forced to a ceasefire, as they could neither support

  • nor resupply their troops quickly enough. During the Second Samnite War, which followed

  • shortly after the first, the Romans suffered another humiliating loss. This time, a Roman

  • army became trapped in the mountains without supplies. The army quickly became surrounded

  • by the enemy and the Senate was forced to negotiate for their release. After this, the

  • Romans had had enough. The solution became the road ahead of you

  • -- the Appian Way. Its Latin name, "Via Appia" derives from the man who was responsible for

  • its construction; Appius Claudius Caecus. He became a Roman censor in year 312 BC and

  • both started and finished major parts of the new road the very same year.

  • The construction process was very advanced. Prior to the construction of the road itself,

  • bridges across rivers were built, heights were flattened and valleys filled - all to

  • make the road as straight at possible. The road was built using layers of cemented

  • stone together with gravel and lime cement. The road also had drainage ditches to prevent

  • the road from being flooded. The surface was said to have been so smooth that you could

  • not distinguish the joints in the road. The surface of today's road is however very rough,

  • as much of the cement has eroded. The finished road achieved its purpose, as

  • the Romans later defeated the Samnites. The main factor was this great road, which allowed

  • them to concentrate their forces and keep them well supplied. Over the following years,

  • the road was expanded southwards and soon reached Italy's southeast coast. With this,

  • the impressive 560 kilometers long road we know today stood completed.

  • Along this road you can find several interesting sites, the majority very close to Rome. One

  • of the first sites from Rome is Church of Domine Quo Vadis. According to Christian tradition,

  • this church was the place where Peter encountered the vision of Christ, which caused him to

  • go back to the city to face subsequent martyrdom. There are also entrances to Rome's many catacombs

  • along the road. The two most prominent ones are the Catacombs of San Sebastiano and of

  • San Callisto. These catacombs were where early Christians buried their dead and held their

  • meetings during the worst times of persecution. They stretch many miles and are definitely

  • worth a visit - unless you are suffering from claustrophobia of course. Other major sites

  • close to the starting point are Circus of Maxentius and Tomb of Cecilia Metella. All

  • these sites are located just a few miles from the road's starting point. There are also

  • signs along the road, so they are quite easy to find.

  • However, for the most atmospheric stretch of the walk, continue onwards for an extra

  • couple of miles. As the road leads on, you will find yourself more and more on the countryside.

  • You will also see that the tourists thin out the longer you press on. After the first few

  • miles, you can find several marble ruins, reliefs and broken statues.

I wish you welcome to the great ancient road of Via Appia, also known as the Appian Way.

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    大菲鴨阿 posted on 2016/08/30
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