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Word of the Day - Tuesday, June 29th

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ITER (EYE-tuhr)

1. Latin for road or line of travel, journey, route

2. Passage between the third and fourth ventricles in the brain

Common clues: Roman road; Anatomical passage; Brain passage; Road to Roma; Appian Way, for instance; Route for Romulus; Roman passageway

Crossword puzzle frequency: 3 times a year

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The Appian Way (Latin: Via Appia) is a famous road built by the Romans. It is the most important among the Roman roads; it was called regina viarum, the queen of the roads.

Remains of the Appian Way in Rome Italy

Its construction was started in 312 BC by the consul Appius Claudius Caecus, restructuring an existing track that connected Rome with the Alban Hills (this road has been supposed to be the one that originally brought Latins from Albalonga to the future capital, at the time of its founding).

The original track of the Appian Way connected Rome (from Porta San Sebastiano in the Aurelian Walls, near the Baths of Caracalla) with Ariccia, Forum Appii, Terracina, Fondi, Formia, Minturnae (Minturno), Sinuessa (Mondragone) and finally Capua.

The road was later extended (190 BC) to Benevento (Beneventum) and Venosa which was founded at that time and populated by 20,000 Roman farmers; in a following epoch it was extended to Taranto (Tarentum) and Brindisi (Brundisium).

The Via Appia Traiana would soon have more linearly connected Benevento with Aecae (Troia), Canusium (Canosa) and Barium (Bari).

In 71 BC six thousand slaves rebelling under Spartacus, having been captured after his final defeat and death, were crucified along this road by Marcus Licinius Crassus.

After the fall of the Roman empire, the road was not as used as before; Pope Pius VI ordered its restoration and brought it into new use.

Wide parts of the original road have been preserved, and some are now used by cars (for example, in the area of Velletri). Along the part of the road closest to Rome, one can see many tombs and catacombs of Roman and early Christian origin. Also the Church of Domine Quo Vadis is in the first mile of the road.

The Via Appia was also the site of the first milestones.

A new Appian Way was built in parallel with the old one in 1784.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Appian way".