Appian Way (ăp´ēən), 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.
Appian (ăp´ēən), fl. 2d cent., Roman historian. He was a Greek, born in Alexandria. He held various offices in Alexandria, was an advocate in Rome, and then imperial procurator in Egypt. His history of the Roman conquests, from the founding of Rome to the reign of Trajan, is more a collection of monographs on specific events than a continuous history. Although strongly biased in favor of Roman imperialism, it reproduces many documents and sources that otherwise would have been lost. Of the 24 books, written in Greek, only Books VI–VII and Books XI–XVII have been fully preserved.