Appius Claudius Caecus

Appius Claudius Caecus
Memorial inscription of Appius Claudius C. F. Caecus, "Appius Claudius Caecus, son of Gaius."

Appius Claudius Caecus ("the blind"; ca. 340 BC – 273 BC) was a Roman politician from a wealthy patrician family. He was dictator himself and the son of Gaius Claudius Crassus, dictator in 337 BC.[1]



He was a censor in 312 BC although he had not previously been consul.[2] He sought support from the lower classes, allowing sons of freed slaves to serve in the Senate, and extending voting privileges to men in the rural tribes who did not own land. During the Second Samnite War, he advocated the founding of Roman colonies throughout Latium and Campania to serve as fortifications against the Samnites and Etruscans.

During his term as censor, he built the Appian Way (Latin: Via Appia), an important and famous road between Rome and Capua, as well as the first aqueduct in Rome, the Aqua Appia. He also published for the first time a list of legal procedures and the legal calendar, knowledge of which, until that time, had been reserved for the pontifices, the priests. He was also concerned with literature and rhetoric, and instituted reforms in Latin orthography.

They later served as consul twice, in 307 BC and 296 BC, and in 292 BC and 285 BC he was appointed Dictator. In 280 BC, after he had gone blind (because of a curse, according to Livy), he gave a famous speech against Cineas, an envoy of Pyrrhus of Epirus, declaring that Rome would never surrender. This is the first recorded political speech in Latin, and is the source of the saying "every man is the architect of his own fortune" (Latin: quisque faber suae fortunae).[3]


His sons included Gaius Claudius (father of the consul Appius Claudius Caudex) and the first Tiberius Claudius Nero.

Appius Claudius Caecus is used in Cicero's Pro Caelio as a stern and disapproving ancestor to Clodia. Cicero assumes the voice of Caecus in a scathing prosopopoeia, where Caecus is incensed at Clodia for associating with Caelius, a member of the middle equestrian class instead of the upper patrician class. Caecus's achievements, such as the building of the Appian Way and the Aqua Appia, are mentioned as being defiled by Clodia's actions.

See also


  1. ^ George Converse Fiske (1902). "The Politics of the Patrician Claudii". Harvard Studies in Classical Philology (Harvard University Press) XIII: 26. 
  2. ^ Livy, ix.29.
  3. ^ James Grout: Appius Claudius Caecus and the Letter Z, part of the Encyclopædia Romana

Preceded by
Publius Decius Mus and Quintus Fabius Maximus Rullianus
Consul of the Roman Republic
with Lucius Volumnius Flamma Violens
307 BC
Succeeded by
Quintus Marcius Tremulus and Publius Cornelius Arvina
Preceded by
Quintus Fabius Maximus Rullianus and Publius Decius Mus
Consul of the Roman Republic
with Lucius Volumnius Flamma Violens
296 BC
Succeeded by
Quintus Fabius Maximus Rullianus and Publius Decius Mus

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Appius Claudius Caecus — (lateinisch caecus = „der Blinde“; * um 340 v. Chr.; † 273 v. Chr.) war ein bedeutender Politiker und Staatsmann der mittleren Römischen Republik. Er lebte an der Wende vom 4. zum 3. Jahrhundert v. Chr. Aus einer reichen römischen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Appius Claudius Caecus — est un homme d État et auteur romain qui fut censeur en 312 av. J. C., consul en 307 et 296 av. J. C. ; c est le premier écrivain latin connu. Dès 312, il passe pour pythagoricien. Il est le constructeur de la voie Appienne (Via Appia), qui… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • APPIUS Claudius Caecus — orator Romanus, de quo Tullius in Bruto, et Tuscul. l. 4. a quo Via Appia secundum quosdam. Hic caecus evasit, cum munus Herculi sacrificandi, quod hactenus Poticiorum erat, ad servos translatum ivisset. Aquaeductibus Romam ornavit. In veteri… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Claudia (Tochter des Appius Claudius Caecus) — Claudia war eine Tochter des römischen Politikers Appius Claudius Caecus. Ihr Bruder Publius Claudius Pulcher verlor als Konsul des Jahres 249 v. Chr. die Schlacht von Drepana. Nur wenig später beging er wahrscheinlich Selbstmord. Im dichten… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Appius Claudius — ist der Name folgender Personen: Appius Claudius Crassus (Konsul 471 v. Chr.), Konsul im Jahr 471 v. Chr., einer der Decemviri von 451 v. Chr. bis 449 v. Chr. Appius Claudius Caecus (* um 340 v. Chr.; † 273 v. Chr.), Politiker und Staatsmann der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Appius Claudius Caudex — (f. 264 BC) was a patrician member of the Claudii. He was the grandson[1] of Appius Claudius Caecus through his father Gaius Claudius, and served as consul in 264 BC. In that year, he drew Rome into conflict with Carthage over possession of… …   Wikipedia

  • Appius Claudius Caudex — est un patricien membre de la gens des Claudii et consul en l année 264 av. J. C., fils de Gaius, et petit fils de Appius Claudius Caecus. Biographie En 265 av. J. C., Hiéron II de Syracuse a attaqué Messine. Les Mamertins, mercenaires de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Appius Claudius Caudex — war ein Mitglied der römischen Patrizierfamilie der Claudier. Er war der Enkel des Appius Claudius Caecus und Konsul im Jahr 264 v. Chr.[1] Er zog die Republik zur Frage des Besitzes von Sizilien in den Konflikt mit Karthago hinein. Im Jahr 265 v …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Appius Claudius — There were a number of Romans named Appius Claudius: Appius Claudius Sabinus Inregillensis, consul in 495 BC Appius Claudius Crassus, a decemvir in 451 BC Appius Claudius Caecus (PW 91), censor in 312 BC Appius Claudius Caudex (PW 102), consul in …   Wikipedia

  • Claudius Caecus, Appius — flourished 3rd century BC Roman statesman and legal reformer. Elected censor, Appius extended the rights of the sons of freedmen and the landless. He completed the Aqua Appia, Rome s first aqueduct, and started construction of the Appian Way. He… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”