APPIUS, MARKETPLACE OF
A marketplace 64 km (40 mi) SE of Rome. It was a well-known station on the famous Roman highway Via Appia, running from Rome to Brundusium (now called Brindisi) by way of Capua. 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 Roman 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 stingy tavern-keepers.”—Satires, I, V, 1-6.
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. Part of the delegation waited at Three Taverns (15 km [9.5 mi] closer to Rome) while the rest proceeded as far as the Marketplace of Appius.—Ac 28:15.
Today there is a place still known as the Foro Appio, or Appian Forum, on the Appian Way. A signpost indicates the area where the Marketplace of Appius once stood. There is a small rural town called Faiti across the Appian Way.
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Marketplace of Appius