Via Latina
The Via Latina was a Roman road
Roman road
The Roman roads were a vital part of the development of the Roman state, from about 500 BC through the expansion during the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. Roman roads enabled the Romans to move armies and trade goods and to communicate. The Roman road system spanned more than 400,000 km...

 of Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, running southeast from Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 for about 200 kilometers.

It led from the Porta Latina
Porta Latina
The Porta Latina is a single-arched gate in the Aurelian Walls of ancient Rome. It marked the Rome end of the Via Latina and gives its name to the church of San Giovanni a Porta Latina...

 in the Aurelian walls
Aurelian Walls
The Aurelian Walls is a line of city walls built between 271 and 275 in Rome, Italy, during the reign of the Roman Emperors Aurelian and Probus....

 of Rome
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 to the pass of Mons Algidus; it was important in the early military history of Rome. It must have preceded the Via Appia as a route to Campania
Campania is a region in southern Italy. The region has a population of around 5.8 million people, making it the second-most-populous region of Italy; its total area of 13,590 km² makes it the most densely populated region in the country...

, in as much as the Latin colony at Cales
Cales was an ancient city of Campania, in today's comune of Calvi Risorta in southern Italy, belonging originally to the Aurunci/Ausoni, on the Via Latina.The Romans captured it in 335 BC and established a colony with Latin rights of 2,500 citizens...

 was founded in 334 BC and must have been accessible from Rome by road, whereas the Via Appia was made only twenty-two years later. It follows, too, a far more natural line of communication, without the engineering difficulties that the arrow-straight Via Appia had to overcome. As a through-route, it preceded the Via Labicana
Via Labicana
The Via Labicana was an ancient road of Italy, leading east southeast from Rome. It seems possible that the road at first led to Tusculum, that it was then extended to Labici, and later still became a road for through traffic; it may even have superseded the Via Latina as a route to the southeast,...

, though the latter may have been preferred in later times.

After their junction, the Via Latina continued to follow the valley of the Trerus (Sacco
Sacco is a town and comune in the province of Salerno in the Campania region of south-western Italy.-Overview:Sacco is known as La Città della Buona Fortuna , because many of its inhabitants have gone on to accomplish many great things...

), following a line taken by the modern railway to Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

, and passing below the Hernican hill-towns
The Hernici were an ancient people of Italy, whose territory was in Latium between the Lago di Fucino and the Sacco River , bounded by the Volsci on the south, and by the Aequi and the Marsi on the north....

, Anagni
Anagni is an ancient town and comune in Latium, central Italy, in the hills east-southeast of Rome. It is a historical center in Ciociaria.-Geography:...

 (where it joined with the Via Praenestina
Via Praenestina
The Via Praenestina was an ancient Roman road of central Italy.It was initially called Via Gabina, from Gabii, the ancient city of Latium where it ended...

), Ferentino
Ferentino is a town and comune in Italy, in the province of Frosinone, Lazio, 65 km southeast of Rome.It is situated on a hill 400 m above sea-level, in the Monti Ernici area.-History:...

, Frosinone
Frosinone is a town and comune in Lazio, central Italy, the administrative seat of the Province of Frosinone. It is located about 75 km south-east of Rome close to the Rome-Naples Autostrada A1...

, and others. At Fregellae
Fregellae was an ancient town of Latium adiectum, situated on the Via Latina between Aquinum and Frusino , near the left branch of the Liris....

, it crossed the Liri
The Liri is one of the principal rivers of central Italy, flowing into the Tyrrhenian Sea a little below Minturno under the name Garigliano....

, and then passed through Aquino
Aquino is a town and comune in the province of Frosinone, in the Lazio region of Italy, 12 km northwest of Cassino.-History:The ancient Aquinum was a municipium in the time of Cicero, and made a colony by the Triumviri...

 and Cassino
Cassino is a comune in the province of Frosinone, Italy, at the southern end of the region of Lazio.Cassino is located at the foot of Monte Cairo near the confluence of the Rapido and Liri rivers...

, both comparatively low-lying towns. It then entered the interval between the Apennines
Apennine mountains
The Apennines or Apennine Mountains or Greek oros but just as often used alone as a noun. The ancient Greeks and Romans typically but not always used "mountain" in the singular to mean one or a range; thus, "the Apennine mountain" refers to the entire chain and is translated "the Apennine...

 and the volcanic group of Rocca Monfina, and the original road and, instead of traversing it, turned abruptly northeast over the mountains to Venafro
Venafro is a comune in the province of Isernia, region of Molise, Italy. It has a population of around 12,000, having expanded quickly in the post-war period.-Geography:...

, thus giving a direct communication with the interior of Samnium
Samnium is a Latin exonym for a region of south or south and central Italy in Roman times. The name survives in Italian today, but today's territory comprising it is only a small portion of what it once was. The populations of Samnium were called Samnites by the Romans...

 by roads to Isernia
Isernia Isernia Isernia (Latin: Aesernia or, in Pliny and later writers, Eserninus, or in the Antonine Itinerary, Serni is a town and comune in the central Italian region of Molise, and the capital of Isernia province.- Geography :...

 and Telese
Telese Terme, called simply Telese until 1991, is a city and comune in the Province of Benevento, in the Campania region of southern Italy. It is located in the valley of the Calore, well known for its hot sulfur springs.-History Telesia:...


After the disorders of the civil wars, the via Latina was repaired by a group of prominent Romans, including Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus
Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus
Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus was a Roman general, author and patron of literature and art.-Family:He was the son of politician Marcus Valerius Messalla Niger Although, some dispute his parentage and claim another descendant of Marcus Valerius Corvus to be his father.Messalla Corvinus is...

; the work was under way in 27 BC, at the time of Tibullus
Albius Tibullus was a Latin poet and writer of elegies.Little is known about his life. His first and second books of poetry are extant; many other texts attributed to Tibullus are of questionable origins. There are only a few references to him in later writers and a short Life of doubtful authority...

' elegy.

In later times, however, there was in all probability a shortcut by Rufrae along the line taken by the modern highroad and railway. The two lines rejoined near the present railway station of Caianiello, and the road ran to Teanum
Teano is a town and comune of Campania, Italy, in the province of Caserta, 30 km north-west of that town on the main line to Rome from Naples. It stands at the south-east foot of an extinct volcano, Rocca Monfina.- Ancient times and Middle Ages:...

 and Cales, and so to Casilinum, where there was the crossing of the Volturnus
In Roman mythology, Volturnus was a god of the waters, probably derived from a local Samnite cult. His festival, Volturnalia, was held on August 27.The Volturno river in Campania is named in his honour....

 and the junction with the Via Appia. The distance from Rome to Casilinum was 129 Roman miles by the Via Appia, 135 Roman miles by the old Via Latina through Venafrum, 126 Roman miles by the short cut by Rufrae. Considerable remains of the road exist in the neighborhood of Rome; for the first 40 Roman miles, as far as Compitum Anagninum, it is not followed by any modern road; while farther on in its course it is in the main identical with the modern highroad.
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