Along the Appian Way - Pictures of the Road and Buildings

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Appia Antica (Antica Via)

Via Appia Antica
Via Appia Antica.

Radosław Botev. / Wikipedia

The Appian Way was built in stages, but was begun in the third century B.C. Known as the Queen of Roads, it was the southward road leading from the porta Appia in Rome to Brundisium on the Adriatic coast. [See Map of Italy where Rome is located at Cb and Brundisium at Eb.]

In the 18th century a new road, "via Appia nuova," was built along part of the Appian Way. The old road was then named "via Appia antica."

Here is a photo of a stretch along the old (antica) Appian Way.

When the Romans finally suppressed the revolt of enslaved people led by Spartacus, 6000 crucifixes were raised along the Appian Way all the way to Capua from Rome. Crucifixion was a death penalty that was not suitable for Roman citizens. A Roman citizen who met his death along the Appian Way was Clodius Pulcher, a descendant of the 312 B.C. censor, Appius Claudius Caecus, whose name was given to the Appian Way. Clodius Pulcher died in 52 B.C. in a fight between his gang and that of his rival, Milo.

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Appian Way Paving Stones

Cobblestones on the Appian Way
Cobblestones on the Appian Way.

juandesant / Flickr.

The Appian Way stones, closely fitting polygonal blocks or pavimenta of basalt, sits on top of layers of small rocks or stones cemented with lime.

The center of the road was raised to allow run-off of water to the sides.

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Tomb of Cecilia Metella

Tomb of Cecilia Metella
Tomb of Cecilia Metella.

Gaspa / Flickr.

This tomb by the Appian Way, of a patrician woman, one of several called Cecilia Metella, was later transformed into a fortress. The obscure Caecilia Metella (Caecilia Metella Cretica) of this tomb was a daughter-in-law of Crassus (of Spartacan rebellion fame) and the mother of Marcus Licinius Crassus Dives.


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Rabirii Family Tomb

The Rabirii Family Tomb
The Rabirii Family Tomb.

iessi / Flickr.

Along the Appian Way were various tombs, including this one for the Rabirii family. Busts of the family members are depicted in bas relief, along with one of the goddess Isis. This tomb is by the fifth Roman mile of the Appian Way.


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Appian Way Ornamental Stone

Stone From the Appian Way
Stone From the Appian Way.

dbking / Flickr.

Besides the tombs along the Appian Way, there were other landmarks. Milestone markers were cylindrical and about 6' high on average. The markers might include the distance to the nearest main town and the name of the person who built the road

This picture shows an ornamental stone that was once along the Appian Way.


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Your Citation
Gill, N.S. "Along the Appian Way - Pictures of the Road and Buildings." ThoughtCo, Nov. 15, 2020, Gill, N.S. (2020, November 15). Along the Appian Way - Pictures of the Road and Buildings. Retrieved from Gill, N.S. "Along the Appian Way - Pictures of the Road and Buildings." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 29, 2023).