The Via Flaminia

Via_Flaminia

The Via Flaminia was/is a Roman road leading from the city of Rome over the Apennine Mountains to Ariminum on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. This was the major option the Romans had for travel between Etruria, Latium and Campania and the Po Valley as the mountain trails weren’t a viable option for most. It leaves Rome, goes through the mountains and ends up in Cagli. From there it descends the eastern slope through several cities on the coast and goes north to Rimini. To put things simply it was an important trade route, and the best option for travel at the time.

Gaius Flaminius originally constructed it in 220 BC. Frequent improvements were made to it during the imperial period. Augustus, when he instituted a general restoration of the roads of Italy reserved the it for himself. Vespasian constructed a new tunnel through the pass of Intercisa and later Trajan repaired several bridges along the road. In the Middle Ages it was known as the Ravenna road, as it led to the then more important city of Ravenna. Following the end of Ravenna, it fell into disuse during the Lombard period, but was partially reconstructed in the Renaissance era and continued to be of military importance down to the Napoleonic era and World War II.

The importance of the ancient Via Flaminia was during the period of Roman expansion in the 3rd century BC and 2nd century BC, as it was the cheaper sea route, a main axis of transportation by which wheat from the Po valley supplied Rome and central Italy. During the period of Roman decline, the Flaminia was the main road leading into the center of Italy. It was taken by Julius Caesar at the beginning of the civil war, but also by various barbarian hordes, Byzantine generals, and the like. A number of major battles were fought on or near the Via Flaminia, for example at Sentinum and near Tadinum. In the early Middle Ages, the road was controlled by the Eastern Empire and was a civilizing influence. It is part of what is known as the “Byzantine Corridor”. However, it is no longer considered convenient, as it is essentially inaccessible to modern traffic between northern Italy and the capital.

If you’d like to know more about it check out this link – http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/209431/Via-Flaminia – It gives even more information on the general road systems of Rome

 

 

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