Appian Way Rome Italy about 1892

Appian Way Rome Italy about 1892

THE APPIAN WAY, ROME — Southward from the Eternal City stretches across the Roman Campagna one of the most interesting thoroughfares in the world, it is the Appian Way. The Romans were marvelous road-builders, and this great military highway to the South was admirably constructed two hundred and twelve years before Christ. It is a most impressive hour that one spends in driving on this Appian Way. This desolate Campagna was once so thickly covered with suburbs and villages that it was difficult to tell where Rome ended and its environs began. But now beneath this almost uninhabited plain there seems to sleep a vanished world. On either side for miles we see the vestiges of ruined tombs, for this Via-Appia was the fashionable burial place of ancient Rome. The Romans were not fond of quiet cemeteries. They preferred that their bodies should be laid away near some great artery of human activity, where their funeral monuments might still recall them to their passing friends. Some of these tombs were very large; some were undoubtedly extremely elegant. The historic souvenirs of this ancient highway make of the Appian Way one of the most suggestive portions of Italy. Along this road, for example, and between many of these very tombs which we behold to-day came the magnificent funeral procession of the Emperor Augustus, bringing his lifeless body back to Rome for burial. By this route also was conveyed to Rome the beautiful captive, Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra; and from this Appian Way St. Paul first saw the Eternal City as he came to preach there a religion which was to supersede the faith which then prevailed, and ultimately make of Rome the central city of Christianity. (from John L. Stoddard, Glimpses of the world; a portfolio of photographs of the marvelous works of God and man – 1892)



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