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Via Flaminia

The Via Flaminia was, a Roman road leading from Rome to Ariminum (Rimini), and was the most important route to the north.


It was constructed by Gaius Flaminius during his censorship (220 BC). 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 miles north of Rome (built by Marcus Aemilius Scaurus in 109 BC), 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 (Furlo), in 77, and Trajan, as inscriptions show, repaired several bridges along the road. In the Middle Ages it was known as the Ravenna road, as it led to the then more important city of Ravenna. Following the end of the Exarchate of Ravenna, it fell into disuse during the Lombard period, but was partially reconstructed in the Renaissance era and continued to be of military importance until the Napoleonic era. Since then it has become of increasingly archaeological interest.


The Via Flaminia runs due north from Rome, considerable remains of its pavement being extant in the modern high road, passing slightly easr of the site of the Etruscan Falerii (Civita Castellana), through Ocriculi (Otricoli) and Narnia (Narni). Here it crossed the River 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 (Spoleto) and Fulginium, from which a branch diverged to Perusia (Perugia), and increasing the distance by 12 miles. 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 (Cagli), where it turned north-east, and through the pass of Intercisa to Forum Sempronii (Fossombrone) and Forum Fortunae, wheie it reached the coast of the Adriatic. Thence it ran north-westthrough Pisaurum to Ariminum. The total distance from Rome was 210 miles by the older road and 222 by the newer. The road gave its name to a juridical district of Italy from the 2nd century 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.

Text mainly from Encyclopedia Britannica 1911, updating required

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