The Aqua Appia was the first Roman aqueduct. It was constructed in 312 BC by Appius Claudius Caecus, the same Roman censor who also built the important Via Appia. Its source, which Frontinus identifies as being about 780 paces away from via Praenestina, was allegedly established by Caius Plautius Venox.
The Aqua Appia flowed for 16.4 km into the city of Rome through the Porta Maggiore, and emptied into the Forum Boarium, near the Porta Trigemina. Nearly all of its length was underground, which was necessary because of the relative heights of its source and destination, and afforded it protection from attackers during the Samnite Wars that were underway during its construction. It dropped only 10 m over its entire length, making it a remarkable engineering achievement for its day.
Frontinus calculated that the aqueduct was capable of delivering 1825 quinariae (75,537 cubic meters) of water a day into Rome.
- Aqua Appia entry on the Lacus Curtius website
- Information on Roman aqueducts
- Photographs of models showing the layout of Aqua Appia and Aqua Marcia in the city of Rome
- From a list of 25 aqueducts described in detail