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The most famous of all Roman roads, road - "Via Egnatia"  is evident  in good part in Pelagonija. Back in the Roman Era,  path represented the shortest connection between Rome and the eastern parts of the empire.The period of construction of Via Egnatia did last 44 years. Also, it was  the most expensive construction project. In that time, the road did not bring any benefit to the Empire, because just when the road was completed, the division began and the kingdom disintegrated.

Via Egnatia represented the longest path of empire. It had a length of 800 km.

There are two versions for the origins of the name of the road . One is that it was received by the name of the locality  Egnatia on the Adriatic coast, where actualy the road started. The second version says  that the name comes from  the consul Gaj  Ignacij, who was the head constructor of the road. The second version is  considered more likely, because Gaj Ignacij is mentioned as "father" of the road in many sources.

The line of Via Egnatia was Durres - Elbasan - Struga - Ohrid - Bitola - Edessa - Pella - Thessaloniki - Amphipolis - Kavala - Ipsola - Malgora - Erdzheli - Selambria - Byzantium. It was connection between Ilirija, Macedonia, and Trakija.

Via Egnatia began to be built in 145  BC,  just one year after the end of the Third war between Macedonia and the Roman Empire. Its purpose was  to protect the Roman Empire of the possible re-creation of Macedonian army on  Macedonian mountains and hardly accessible places. The construction of this road was part of the Roman strategy  for quick counter-intervention.

Today, the traces of  Via Egnatia on the territory of Pelagonija, can easily be seen as an integral part of the archaeological site  Heraclea Lyncestis, near Bitola.


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This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The content of this publication are the sole responsibility of Pelagonija Regional Development Agency-PREDA, and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of EU.
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