APPIUS, MARKET PLACE OF
Also called “Appii Forum.” A marketplace forty-three Roman miles (39.6 statute miles or 63.6 kilometers) SE of Rome. It was a well-known station on the famous Roman highway Via Appia, running from Rome to the Bay of Naples where the seaport of Puteoli lay. Both the road and the marketplace draw their name from the founder, Appius Claudius Caecus, of the fourth century B.C.E.
As the usual point at which travelers halted at the close of the first day’s journey out of Rome, this post station became a busy trading center. Adding to its importance was its location at the northern terminus of a canal that ran alongside the road, traversing the Pontine marshes. Travelers reportedly were conveyed over this canal by night in barges pulled by mules. The poet Horace describes the discomforts of the journey, complaining of the frogs and gnats and depicting the marketplace of Appius as crammed with “boatmen and extortionate innkeepers.”
It was at this busy junction that the apostle Paul, traveling from Puteoli to Rome as a prisoner, first met the delegation of Christian brothers who, on hearing the news of his coming, had journeyed from Rome to meet him. The ruins of the town have been identified at Treponti, where the old forty-third milestone is still found.—Acts 28:15.