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06 November 2009

Via Egnatia: An Ancient Roman Road Through The Balkans

"The via Egnatia is the name by which the Romans defined and structured the East-to-West route of this network, starting from the II century B. C.

Such route was of strategic importance both in ancient times and today, when the flow of the sources of energy and the information, which are crucial to the development of many continental areas, are more evident.

What was the function of the ancient via Egnatia may be found today in two slightly different positions: either northwards, under the name of Corridor 8, a connection project aimed at linking Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania from the Black Sea through the bench marks of Varna, Burgas, Sofia, Skopje, Durazzo, with the exclusion of the modern Greece and the Thessalonica harbour; or, somehow in alternative, more southwards, by keeping its name and following, in its final section, another ancient route which, from Larissa junction, led to the Ionian Sea (the Nea Egnatia, with its harbour at Igoumenitsa).

The need to tackle the problem of the topographical reconstruction of such route with a systematic and analytic approach, far from being solved, is at the roots of the book published by Michele Fasolo. The first volume specifically aims at recovering, re-examining and updating the knowledge of Via Egnatia and the ancient path that preceded it, known in the Roman age as a road of Candavia, in the Albanian central region, running from the Adriatic coast to the area of Ochrida lake and, more eastwards, until the ancient town of Herakleia Lynkestidos in Macedonia."

Michele Fasolo, La via Egnatia I. Da Apollonia e Dyrrachium ad Herakleia Lynkestidos, Roma, 2003, 288 pp.

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