Transportation-economic aspects of Roman highway development: The case of Via Appia

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Abstract

The ancient Romans built an excellent system of roads, the development of which required systematic planning, creative design and high-quality construction and maintenance capabilities. At the empire's peak about 85,000 km (53,000 miles) of road connected the capital Rome with its far-away frontiers. Twenty-nine major public roads radiated from Rome, the most famous of which was Via Appia (The Appian Way), also called the "queen of roads". Built in 312 BC, it is the most illustrious example of Roman civil engineering skills; small sections of it are still in use today. What were the major reasons underlying this (and similar) massive and costly undertakings? How was it constructed so as to last for so many centuries? How much real resources were invested in its construction and what were the principal benefits? These are the main questions that this study aims to examine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-478
Number of pages26
JournalTransportation Research, Part A: Policy and Practice
Volume37
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2003

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