via Egnatia

Via Egnatia: a journey across the lower Balkans through time


Dr. Yannis Lolos

(AIA Kress Lecture)


Department of History, Archaeology and Social Anthropology,
University of Thessaly, Argonauton and Filellinon


The Via Egnatia, initiated by the proconsul of the Roman province of Macedonia Cn. Egnatius probably in the mid-140s BCE, was the first Roman highway built east of the Adriatic sea. It originally led from Apollonia and Dyrrachion in Illyria (modern Albania) to the Hebrus river in Thrace (modern boundary between Greece and Turkey), but later its line extended to Constantinople (Istanbul). With a length of almost 1100 km and a lifespan of many centuries (until the 5th century A.C.) the Via Egnatia crossed many nations and important cities in modern Albania, F.Y.R.O.M., Greece and Turkey. The largest part of this artery has been obliterated or covered over by modern roads or again destroyed by cultivations and land development in the course of the 20th century. Yet, some sections are still visible, especially near Pequin and Librazhd (Albania), and near Kavala and Alexandroupoli (Greece). The entire artery and many of the old cities along its course revived under the Ottoman rule (from the 15th century onwards). During the lecture we shall follow the Via Egnatia from west to east and track its history through the centuries.

Dr Lolos received a PhD in Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology from the University of California, Berkeley and also studied at the Sorbonne. He has extensive experience with archaeological excavation and archaeological/topographical surveys at a number of sites in Greece, including Sikyon, Stymphalos, Thermon, and several others, and at Musarna, an Etruscan site in Italy. His special academic interests include Landscape Archaeology, Archaeology of the Hellenistic City, Greek and Roman Architecture and Topography, and he is the author of a forthcoming Hesperia supplement: Land of Sikyon: The Αrchaeology and Ηistory of a Greek City-State, Princeton 2011.


Further information: 973-655-3479 or 973-655-7420,