Via Traiana

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Via Traiana
Remains of the Via Traiana at Gnatia
For Arabian road, see Via Traiana Nova

The Via Traiana was an ancient Roman road. It was built by the emperor Trajan as an extension of the Via Appia from Beneventum, reaching Brundisium (Brindisi) by a shorter route (i.e. via Canusium, Butuntum and Barium rather than via Tarentum). This was commemorated by an arch at Beneventum.[1]

Background[edit]

Via Traiana was constructed in 109 AD by Emperor Trajan at his own expense. It was built following the conclusion of conquest of Italy during a period of relative freedom from military campaigns. [2] Thus the Via Appia, from which Via Traiana was constructed as an extension, lost its original importance as a military highroad that connected Venosa (Venusia) and Taranto (Tarentum). Furthermore, the maintenance of direct military communications between Venusia, the military colony of 291 BC, and Rome, was no longer needed except in times of civil war, and the Via Appia simply became a means of reaching Brindisi.

Route[edit]

Strabo indicates correctly that traveling to Beneventum from Brundisium via the route of the later Via Traiana was a good day shorter than the old Republican road, Via Appia. [3] Although the actual measurement shows Via Appia to be 203 miles and Via Traiana 205 miles from Brundisium to Beneventum, the difference lies in their topography. There are a number of severe hills and difficult terrain along Via Appia until it reaches Venusia which is about 66 miles away from Beneventum. In contrast, although Via Traiana does encounter equally demanding passages as well in the first 40 miles from Beneventum, there is not another serious hill all the way to Brundisium.[4]

Roman bridges[edit]

For an overview of the location of Roman bridges, see List of Roman bridges.

There are the remains of several Roman bridges along the road, including the Ponte dei Ladroni, Ponte delle Chianche, Ponte Pietra, Ponte Rotto (across Carapelle river), Ponte Rotto (across Cervaro river), Ponte sul Ofanto and Ponte Valentino.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Via Traiana". Tjbuggey.ancients.info. Retrieved 2013-10-12. 
  2. ^ "Via Traiana". The Oxford Classical Dictionary. 3rd ed. 2003.
  3. ^ Strabo. "Geography: Books 6-7." Trans. Horace Leonard Jones. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995.
  4. ^ The Via Traiana. "Papers of the British School at Rome," Vol. VIII, No.5; pages 104-171. London: Macmillan & Co., Limited, 1916.

Sources[edit]

  • Via Traiana. "The Oxford Classical Dictionary." 3rd ed. 2003.
  • Strabo. "Geography: Books 6-7." Trans. Horace Leonard Jones. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995.
  • The Via Traiana. "Papers of the British School at Rome," Vol. VIII, No.5; pages 104-171. London: Macmillan & Co., Limited, 1916.