Roman Travel Project


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Latin 2 Project



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PowerPnt 2003.pngA PowerPoint slideshow of this work is available here: Image:Roman Travel Presentation.ppt

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You are a wealthy Roman citizen living in the city of Rome. All day you listen to the hustle and bustle of the busy city. Outside your window, rich men are being carried by slaves on litters. At night you lie awake listening to the constant sound of carriages.

Street inside Rome

  • Streets were very narrow
  • Most people traveled on foot
  • Wealthy men were carried by slaves on litters
  • No wagons allowed during the day, so all at night

You long to get away from all the noise of the city. You retirement age is nearing and you want to see the world. You know all about the great philosophers of Athens and the ancient city of Troy from your education. You feel as if you would want to visit these places and become a “complete person.”

After reading many travel guides including “The Descriptions of Greece,” you decide to go on a two year vacation and see the sights of the world including Naples, Athens, Turkey, and Egypt. You tell you slaves to prepare to leave home with you knowing that you may never return from your dangerous journey.

Holidays (Vacation)

  • Augustus started the world’s largest industry, travel after ridding the seas of pirates and building a vast road system
  • Rich Romans wanted to see the places they heard about in myths and become a “complete person”
  • Much like what we do today
  • Average vacation was 2 years, though could last up to 5 years

You leave Rome and head down the Via Appia towards Naples. The entire road is 350 miles long and well traveled by government officials, army officers, merchants, students, and athletes. However there is this smell and gruesome sight along the entire road. Every 70 meters one of Spartacuses slaves who took part in the revolt is crucified. You keep your head down and admire the road. You wonder how Roman roads were so well engineered, along with Roman sewers, bridges and aqueducts.

Via Appia

  • Most famous Roman road
  • First big road built in 312 B.C.E.
  • From Rome to Caupa with a branch going to Naples
  • Other branches were later build from it


  • Built by military for military
  • One of the reasons Rome was so successful
  • Goods, mail, and orders traveled along roads
  • Passable in all weather thanks to good construction
  • Wide enough for 2 carriages to pass
  • Military had stations every so often were they could exchange horses

Roads Today

  • Some still survived today
  • Others under modern highways
  • Shows how good their route was
  • Built straight, but went around natural obstacles

Roads Under Construction

  • Had no compasses, used tool called Groma
  • Wooden cross with lead weights
  • When all weights were even, tool was level

Dangers of Travel / Inns

  • Pirates at sea
  • Robbers along roads
  • Sickness
  • Accidents
  • Stranded miles from anything
  • Break downs
  • Dirty
  • Lots of bugs, sickness
  • Burned down frequently
  • Bad food
  • Shady innkeepers

You arrive safe in Naples and spend some time with friends (a better place to spend the night then at an inn) and looking around. Next you will take a boat to Turkey to their spas. Boat travel was very important to Romans and was 25 times faster then on land. Hopefully there will be no pirates along the way.


  • Efficient and safe transportation is required in all civilizations
  • It provides for the moving of goods, information, and allows effective governing
  • Romans had 1st large scale commerce and unified trade system
  • Common language, system of money, and laws

Sea Travel

  • 25 times faster then land
  • Copied ships from the Greeks and the Carthaginians
  • Stayed close to shore to navigate
  • no compass
  • Beached their ship every night and slept ashore

After Turkey you will visit the great Pyramids and Alexandria, a great trading port. Egypt, you learn, is very important to the survival of Rome. Rome relies on the grain it gets from Egypt. Someone only needs to threaten this supply to get the immediate attention of the emperors.

Next you travel to the ancient city of Troy. Like the pyramids, this ancient site attracts many tourists. It is noisy and crowded as many sellers holler their wares. Tour guides pass and tell great stories about the war and war heroes.


  • It was not like you were the only one at these sites.
  • They were crowded and attracted many people, had great fascination, just like it is toady


Word.PNGA Microsoft Word version of this work is available here: Image:Roman Travel Handout.doc

Important Facts

  • Rome streets were narrow and crowded
  • Rich Roman went on Holidays in order to see the world and become a “complete person”
  • Tour Guides were written at that time
  • Via Appia is the most famous Roman road.
  • Roads were built by military for military and were one of the reasons Rome was so successful
  • Travel and Inns were dangerous
  • Some roads/routes still survive today sowing how good they were
  • Roman roads were well built and a Groma was used to mark out it’s course
  • Transportation is very important to all civilizations.
  • Sea travel was 25 times faster then land
  • Tourism was alive and well in Roman Times

Discussion Questions

  1. Why was the roads system so important, and is so important today?
  2. What are some of the pros/cons of sea travel?
  3. What were the uses of roads and who used them?

Works Cited