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Take a walk along the Appian Way

In THE DEADLIEST LIE, Binyamin, Miriam bat Isaac’s twin brother, has dreams of becoming a gladiator. And so he travels from Alexandria, Egypt to Capua, Italy, the site of the Empire’s most famous school.

But the trip is arduous. His voyage to Ostia, the port of Rome, takes him no less than two months. Because of the Etesian winds, the ship has to sail along the southern coast of Asia Minor to Crete, Malta, and Sicily rather than to Rome directly.

Once in Rome, his sponsor outfits him with a mule and carriage and the clothing necessary to travel the Appian Way, one of the most strategically important Roman roads, dating back to 312 BCE when it was used for transporting military supplies. Masters of road construction, the Romans built all their roads to begin at Rome. Hence we say, “All roads lead to Rome.”

Next week, you’ll see the sights along the way.

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