Random Thoughts Redux
It’s 3 a.m.
I cannot sleep so I blog.
The following are random thoughts of my dream.
I am walking on a road. Blocks laid down on sand, but it is straight. Green trees on my left and right. The wind is cool.
End of dream.
I dream therefore I blog. I think I know what I was seeing.
What would the average ‘ancient’ see as he or she approached the city on foot?
I kick myself for not doing the one thing that I actually planned when I visited the city and failed to do. It would have been so simple to jump in a cab and say : “Take me to the Via Appia.” Now say it in Italian. “Portami Via Appia?” Is that correct? A simple adventure for a day.
I understand that the road still exists, and there are people who walk down it. It was built in 312 B.C. by an Appius Claudius Caecus and spanned 350 miles. How jaded we have all come. We have paved over the landscrape so that roads are the norm rather than the exception. Today, I can not walk more than a few feet than running into a road that might block my path. Now a road seems to the young as the natural state of things, but in the time of Ancient Rome it was new, the ipad of its age, the latest in technology. It brought the world to the doors of Rome, and brought many on foot to its walls. It cut through obstacles. It sped up communication. It was the digital highway of its age. Oh, think I’m pushing the comparison? A digital highway connects resources does it not? A digital highway connects libraries and research systems together. The Via Appia connected trade and the military might of Rome – making life easier.
There are many types of roads. In my life I have walked on many of them, and I am going down one right now.
I can’t help to think that I would have approached the city one of the first things that I might have seen were the tombs. Remember I am a poor farmer, rarely had seen anything but my hut, my forest, and the hills that surround my farm. What would have I thought as I came upon the Mausoleum of Cecilia Mettella. She is the daughter-in-law of Crassus who surpressed the Spartacus Revolt. Would I have thought this to be Rome? Would I have dawdled thinking its grandeur to be the city itself, until others along the way set me straight?
“Further on, further on…” the other pilgrims would say and I would follow.