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Bill Thayer

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An article from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica, now in the public domain.
Any color photos are mine, © William P. Thayer.

Vol. X
Via Flaminia

Flaminia, Via, an ancient high road of Italy, constructed by C. Flaminius during his censor­ship (220 B.C.). It led from Rome to Ariminum, and was the most important route to the north. We hear of frequent improvements being made in it during the imperial period. Augustus, when he instituted a general restoration of the roads of Italy, which he assigned for the purpose among various senators, reserved the Flaminia for himself, and rebuilt all the bridges except the Pons Mulvius, by which it crosses the Tiber, 2 m. N of Rome (built by M. Scaurus in 109 B.C.), and an unknown Pons Minucius. Triumphal arches were erected in his honour on the former bridge and at Ariminum, the latter of which is still preserved. Vespasian constructed a new tunnel through the pass of Intercisa, modern Furlo, in A.D. 77 (see Cales), and Trajan, as inscriptions show, repaired several bridges along the road.

The Via Flaminia runs due N from Rome, considerable remains of its pavement being extant in the modern high road, passing slightly E of the site of the Etruscan Falerii, through Ocriculi and Narnia. Here it crossed the Nar by a splendid four-arched bridge to which Martial alludes (Epigr. VII.93.8), one arch of which and all the piers are still standing; and went on, followed at first by the modern road to Sangemini which passes over two finely preserved ancient bridges, past Carsulae to Mevania, and thence to Forum Flaminii. Later on a more circuitous route from Narnia to Forum Flaminii was adopted, passing by Interamna, Spoletium and Fulginium (from which a branch diverged to Perusia), and increasing the distance by 12 m. The road thence went on to Nuceria (whence a branch road ran to Septempeda and thence either to Ancona or to Tolentinum and Urbs Salvia) and Helvillum, and then crossed the main ridge of the Apennines, a temple of Jupiter Apenninus standing at the summit of the pass. Thence it descended to Cales (where it turned NE), and through the pass of Intercisa to Forum Sempronii (Fossombrone) and Fanum Fortunae, where it reached the coast of the Adriatic. Thence it ran NW through Pisaurum to Ariminum. The total distance from Rome was 210 m. by the older road and 222 by the newer. The road gave its name to a juridical district of Italy from the 2nd century A.D. onwards, the former territory of the Senones, which was at first associated with Umbria (with which indeed under Augustus it had formed the sixth region of Italy), but which after Constantine was always administered with Picenum.

[T. As.]

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Page updated: 18 Nov 17