Appius Claudius Caecus

(fl. 312—279 bc)

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Censor 312 before holding other high office; consul 307 and 296, praetor 295: in the latter two years he fought in Etruria (see etruscans), Campania, and Samnium. In 280, now old and blind, he successfully opposed peace with Pyrrhus (2) after the Roman defeat at Heraclea.

Claudius was the first live personality in Roman history. As censor, he commissioned the building of the via Appia from Rome to Capua and the first aqueduct (aqua Appia). In drawing up the list of the senate he left out men regarded as superior to those included, even enrolling the sons of freedmen. He distributed the lower classes through all the rural tribes, thus increasing their influence in the tribal assembly; the move was reversed by the censors of 304 (see censor; census).

Subjects: Classical Studies.

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