Via Egnatia after Egnatius: Imperial policy and inter-regional contacts
The Via Egnatia, which linked Dyrrachium to Kypsela and ultimately to Byzantium/ Constantinople, was the first Roman highway to be built east of the Adriatic. The studies published so far on this important road are devoted almost exclusively to its military importance, particularly during the Roman Republic. This author's goal instead was to assess the importance of the Egnatia at apolitical, social, and cultural level, by examining written sources (literary and epigraphical) and material remains. The article looks into the policy of Roman emperors regarding the Egnatia, and the role of the Via as a factor of commercial, social, and cultural interaction between the Italian peninsula and the Greek world, as well as among the cities and regions that it crossed. It also shows the contribution of the Egnatia to the spectacular development of certain cities and the parallel weakening of others, together with its impact upon the rural landscape.