字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント I wish you welcome to the great ancient road of Via Appia, also known as the Appian Way. Of all the roads that led to Rome, the Appian Way was the most famous and the most strategically important road. It eventually stretched all the way from Rome to the seaport of Brindisi in southeast Italy, through which trade with the East was funneled. The main purpose of the road was however not to transport goods, but to allow for quick troop movement. The Appian Way was the first road built specifically for troop transportation. During this era, the Romans were the masters of road construction and had some of the very finest engineers in the world. All their roads were connected to Rome, where the Master Itinerarium was located. This was a list of all the destinations along each road all the way to the border of their empire, hence the expression - "All roads lead to Rome." The road network was an important factor in Roman warfare. The Roman army's success was partly due to their smart use of strategically placed forts. The forts allowed the army to prepare for battle and quickly refresh and re-equip afterwards. However, the bases needed to be connected by quality roads for easy access and supply from Rome. In the First Samnite War in 343 BC, the Romans were forced to a ceasefire, as they could neither support nor resupply their troops quickly enough. During the Second Samnite War, which followed shortly after the first, the Romans suffered another humiliating loss. This time, a Roman army became trapped in the mountains without supplies. The army quickly became surrounded by the enemy and the Senate was forced to negotiate for their release. After this, the Romans had had enough. The solution became the road ahead of you -- the Appian Way. Its Latin name, "Via Appia" derives from the man who was responsible for its construction; Appius Claudius Caecus. He became a Roman censor in year 312 BC and both started and finished major parts of the new road the very same year. The construction process was very advanced. Prior to the construction of the road itself, bridges across rivers were built, heights were flattened and valleys filled - all to make the road as straight at possible. The road was built using layers of cemented stone together with gravel and lime cement. The road also had drainage ditches to prevent the road from being flooded. The surface was said to have been so smooth that you could not distinguish the joints in the road. The surface of today's road is however very rough, as much of the cement has eroded. The finished road achieved its purpose, as the Romans later defeated the Samnites. The main factor was this great road, which allowed them to concentrate their forces and keep them well supplied. Over the following years, the road was expanded southwards and soon reached Italy's southeast coast. With this, the impressive 560 kilometers long road we know today stood completed. Along this road you can find several interesting sites, the majority very close to Rome. One of the first sites from Rome is Church of Domine Quo Vadis. According to Christian tradition, this church was the place where Peter encountered the vision of Christ, which caused him to go back to the city to face subsequent martyrdom. There are also entrances to Rome's many catacombs along the road. The two most prominent ones are the Catacombs of San Sebastiano and of San Callisto. These catacombs were where early Christians buried their dead and held their meetings during the worst times of persecution. They stretch many miles and are definitely worth a visit - unless you are suffering from claustrophobia of course. Other major sites close to the starting point are Circus of Maxentius and Tomb of Cecilia Metella. All these sites are located just a few miles from the road's starting point. There are also signs along the road, so they are quite easy to find. However, for the most atmospheric stretch of the walk, continue onwards for an extra couple of miles. As the road leads on, you will find yourself more and more on the countryside. You will also see that the tourists thin out the longer you press on. After the first few miles, you can find several marble ruins, reliefs and broken statues.