Appian Way ăp´ēən [key], Lat. Via Appia, most famous of the Roman roads, built (312 BC) under Appius Claudius Caecus. It connected Rome with Capua and was later extended to Beneventum (now Benevento), Tarentum (Taranto), and Brundisium (Brindisi). It was the chief highway to Greece and the East. Its total length was more than 350 mi (563 km). The substantial construction of cemented stone blocks has preserved it to the present. Branch roads led to Neapolis (Naples), Barium (Bari), and other ports. On the first stretch of road out of Rome are interesting tombs and the Church of St. Sebastian with its catacombs. In 1784, Pope Pius VI built the new Appian Way from Rome to Albano, parallel with the old.
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