Appius Claudius

(Appius Claudius Caecus)

340–273 BC

Appius Claudius Caecus was a powerful Roman politician who made many reforms to give a voice in government to landless workers. He also published a code for legal practices, and organized the construction of Rome's first aqueduct. He was elected censor once, and consul twice. He also undertook construction of the famous "Via Appia" or "Appian Way", a road from Rome to Capua. He eventually became blind. In his later years he made a speech before the Senate, exhorting the Romans not to make peace with Pyrrhus, who had recently beaten the Roman army at Heraclea. This speech was the first Latin oratory in recorded history.

Key events during the life of Appius Claudius Caecus:

312 BC
Beginning of censorship. Started building aqueducts and Appian Way.
308 BC
End of censorship.
307 BC
First consulship.
296 BC
Second consulship.
280 BC
Speech against Pyrrhus in Senate.

Other Resources

Story Links
Book Links
Master of Strategy  in  Stories from Ancient Rome  by  Alfred J. Church
Appius Claudius Caecus  in  Famous Men of Rome  by  John H. Haaren & A. B. Poland

Image Links

The Appian Way
 in Famous Men of Rome

Ruins of the Roman Aqueducts
 in Historical Tales: Roman

Short Biography
Caius Pontius Samnite general who captured the Romans at Caudium Pass.
Fabius Rullianus Hero of the Battle of Sentinum, against the Gauls and Samnites.
Pyrrhus Renowned general, won victories in Macedon, Italy, and Greece, but failed to follow up wins.