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The Appian Way - Ghost Road Queen of Roads - cover

The Appian Way - Ghost Road Queen of Roads

Robert A. Kaster

Publisher: The University of Chicago Press

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Summary

The eminent classicist delivers “an evocative history of Europe’s first great road” from Rome to the heel of Italy in this “slim but evocative volume” (The Guardian, UK).   The 1st century Roman poet Statius called the Via Appia “the Queen of Roads,” and for nearly a thousand years that description held true, as countless travelers trod its path from the center of Rome to the Southern Italian city of Brindisi. Today, the road is all but gone, destroyed by time, neglect, and the incursions of modernity; to travel the Appian Way today is to walk in the footsteps of ghosts. In The Appian Way, Robert A. Kaster is our guide to those ghosts—and the layers of history they represent.   A footsore Roman soldier pushing the imperial power south; craftsmen and farmers bringing their goods to the towns that lined the road; pious pilgrims headed to Jerusalem, using stage-by-stage directions that can still be followed—all come to life once more as Kaster journeys along what’s left of the Appian Way. Other voices help him tell the story: Cicero, Goethe, Hawthorne, Dickens, James, and even Monty Python offer commentary and insight. With The Appian Way, Kaster invites us to close our eyes and walk with him back in time, to the campaigns of Garibaldi, the revolt of Spartacus, and the glory days of Imperial Rome.
Available since: 03/01/2012.
Print length: 138 pages.

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