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Of the many things the Romans were famous for, roads rank pretty high in the list by importance, along with bridges, viaducts and canals. Together they formed an outstanding transportation network that played a crucial role in tightening Rome’s grasp on the Mediterranean Basin. It was roads that held the Roman Empire together.

One of the first and the most important long roads built by the Romans was the Appian Way. The road was begun by Appius Claudius Caecus, the Roman censor, in 312 BC, and originally ran for about 212 km from Rome to the ancient city of Capua, but by 244 BC, it was extended by another 370 km to reach the port of Brundisium (now Brindisi) by the Adriatic Sea. The Appian Way was chiefly a military road built to transport troops to smaller regions outside of greater Rome.

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Photo credit: Stijn Nieuwendijk/Flickr

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