Abstract: Via Egnatia: a journey across the lower Balkans through time


The Via Egnatia, initiated by the proconsul of the Roman province of Macedonia Cn. Egnatius probably in the mid-140s BCE, was the first Roman highway built east of the Adriatic sea. It originally led from Apollonia and Dyrrachion in Illyria (modern Albania) to the Hebrus river in Thrace (modern boundary between Greece and Turkey), but later its line extended to Constantinople (Istanbul). With a length of almost 1100 km and a lifespan of many centuries (until the 5th century A.C.) the Via Egnatia crossed many nations and important cities in modern Albania, F.Y.R.O.M., Greece and Turkey. The largest part of this artery has been obliterated or covered over by modern roads or again destroyed by cultivations and land development in the course of the 20thcentury. Yet, some sections are still visible, especially near Pequin and Librazhd (Albania), and near Kavala and Alexandroupoli (Greece). The entire artery and many of the old cities along its course revived under the Ottoman rule (from the 15th century onwards). During the lecture we shall follow the Via Egnatia from west to east and track its history through the centuries.


Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic (for lay reader):

M. Fasolo, Via Egnatia I. Da Apollonia e Dyrrachium ad Herakleia

Lynkestidos, Roma 2005 (2nded.).

Y. Lolos, Εγνατίαοδός, Athens 2008.

Y. Lolos, "Via Egnatia after Egnatius: Imperial policy and inter-regional contacts." Mediterranean Historical Review 22 (2007), 273-93.

F. O’ Sullivan, The Egnatian Way, NewtonAbbot 1972.

E. Zachariadou (ed.), The Via Egnatia under Ottoman Rule (1380-1699), Rethymnon 1996.

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