Appia

Via Appia 2

Ὁ δὲ διὰ τῆς Λατίνης ὁδοῦ ἀπῆγε τὸ στράτευμα, τὴν Ἀππίαν ὁδὸν ἀφεὶς ἐν ἀριστερᾷ, ἣν Ἄππιος ὁ Ῥωμαίων ὕπατος ἐννακοσίοις ἐνιαυτοῖς πρότερον ἐποίησέ τε καὶ ἐπώνυμον ἔσχεν. ἔστι δὲ ἡ Ἀππία ὁδὸς ἡμερῶν πέντε εὐζώνῳ ἀνδρί· ἐκ Ῥώμης γὰρ αὕτη ἐς Καπύην διήκει. εὖρος δέ ἐστι τῆς ὁδοῦ ταύτης ὅσον ἁμάξας δύο ἀντίας ἰέναι ἀλλήλαις, καὶ ἔστιν ἀξιοθέατος πάντων μάλιστα. τὸν γὰρ λίθον ἅπαντα, μυλίτην τε ὄντα καὶ φύσει σκληρόν, ἐκ χώρας ἄλλης μακρὰν οὔσης τεμὼν Ἄππιος ἐνταῦθα ἐκόμισε· ταύτης γὰρ δὴ τῆς γῆς οὐδαμῆ πέφυκε. λείους δὲ τοὺς λίθους καὶ ὁμαλοὺς ἐργασάμενος, ἐγγωνίους τε τῇ ἐντομῇ πεποιημένος, ἐς ἀλλήλους ξυνέδησεν, οὔτε χάλικα ἐντὸς οὔτε τι ἄλλο ἐμβεβλημένος. οἱ δὲ ἀλλήλοις οὕτω τε ἀσφαλῶς συνδέδενται καὶ μεμύκασιν, ὥστε ὅτι δὴ οὐκ εἰσὶν ἡρμοσμένοι, ἀλλ’ ἐμπεφύκασιν ἀλλήλοις, δόξαν τοῖς ὁρῶσι παρέχονται· καὶ χρόνου τριβέντος συχνοῦ δὴ οὕτως ἁμάξαις τε πολλαῖς καὶ ζῴοις ἅπασι διαβατοὶ γινόμενοι ἐς ἡμέραν ἑκάστην οὔτε τῆς ἁρμονίας παντάπασι διακέκρινται οὔτε τινὶ αὐτῶν διαφθαρῆναι ἢ μείονι γίνεσθαι ξυνέπεσεν, οὐ μὴν οὐδὲ τῆς ἀμαρυγῆς τι ἀποβαλέσθαι. τὰ μὲν οὖν τῆς Ἀππίας ὁδοῦ τοιαῦτά ἐστι.
(Procopius, Bell. Goth. 1.14.6-11)

So Belisarius led his army from Naples by the Latin Way, leaving on the left the Appian Way, which Appius, the consul of the Romans, had made nine hundred years before and to which he had given his name. Now the Appian Way is in length a journey of five days for an unencumbered traveller; for it extends from Rome to Capua. And the breadth of this road is such that two waggons going in opposite directions can pass one another, and it is one of the noteworthy sights of the world. For all the stone, which is mill-stone and hard by nature, Appius quarried in another place far away and brought there; for it is not found anywhere in this district. And after working these stones until they were smooth and flat, and cutting them to a polygonal shape, he fastened them together without putting concrete or anything else between them. And they were fastened together so securely and the joints were so firmly closed, that they give the appearance, when one looks at them, not of being fitted together, but of having grown together. And after the passage of so long a time, and after being traversed by many waggons and all kinds of animals every day, they have neither separated at all at the joints, nor has any one of the stones been worn out or reduced in thickness,—nay, they have not even lost any of their polish. Such, then, is the Appian Way. (tr. Henry Bronson Dewing)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s