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From Hutton Webster's, Early European History (1917); edited for this on-line publication, by ELLOPOS
IV. THE RISE OF ROME TO 264 B.C.
» Contents of this ChapterPage 23
THE LATIN COLONIES
The Romans very early began to establish what were called Latin colonies  in various parts of Italy. The colonists were usually veteran soldiers or poor plebeians colonies who wanted farms of their own. When the list of colonists was made up, they all marched forth in military array to lake possession of their new homes and build their city. The Latin colonies were really offshoots of Rome and hence were always faithful to her interests. Scattered everywhere in Italy they formed so many permanent camps or garrisons to keep the conquered peoples in subjection. At the same time they helped mightily in spreading the Latin language, law, and civilization throughout the peninsula.
 Latin colonists did not have the right of voting in the assemblies at Rome. This privilege was enjoyed, however, by members of the "Roman" colonies, which were planted mainly along the coast.
All the colonies were united with one another and with Rome by an extensive system of roads. The first great road, called the Appian Way, was made during the period of the Samnite wars. It united the city of Rome with Capua and secured the hold of Rome on Campania. The Appian Way was afterwards carried across the Apennines to Brundisium on the Adriatic, whence travelers embarked for the coast of Greece. Other trunk lines were soon built in Italy, and from them a network of smaller highways was extended to every part of the peninsula.
Cf. The Ancient Greece * The Ancient Rome
Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) * Western Medieval Europe * Renaissance in Italy