At the pinnacle of its rule, the Roman Empire had a network of roads extending from the sunbathing Rock of Gibraltar to the wetlands. Mesopotamia.. As the saying goes, “all roads lead to Rome” — but was that true?
The answer is not as simple as a clear “yes” or “no”. It’s a little more complicated than that.
In 2015, three Moovel Lab researchers (now an abolished German urban design team) dropped a uniform grid of nearly 500,000 points across a map of Europe. These points did not represent an ancient or modern city, but were just random spots to begin your journey to the imperial capital. The team then used an algorithm to calculate the best route to Rome using the latest routes from each of these starting points. The more often a part of the road is used at different points, the more it will be drawn in bold on the map. Their results show a fascinating network of roads leading to Rome, connecting other major cities that were part of the ancient empire, such as London, Constantinople (now Istanbul) and Paris.
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The map news was disseminated by word of mouth, but it did not actually prove that all roads lead to Rome. If the researchers did the same exercise, but instead looked at the shortest road from the same 500,000 points to Berlin or Moscow, the map would show similarly vast roads leading to these cities. “Our project didn’t really answer the question of whether all the roads lead to Rome,” said Philip Schmidt, one of the designers behind the artwork. “It was a playful survey of 99% of the questions.”
Still, Schmidt’s design tells us something about the durability of the Roman roads. Much of Europe’s road infrastructure is designed to link major cities to the Italian capital, potentially the heritage of the empire. Other researchers have also found this to be the case.
“We use computer modeling to find the most likely or most logical route connecting two points on the landscape and compare it to our knowledge of the Roman roads, which are similar. I checked to see if it was there, “said César Parcero-Oubiña. Landscape archaeologist at the Heritage Science Institute in Madrid, Spain. “If you go in and out of what were both Roman cities, the modern route is almost always the same.”
In other words, many of Europe’s multi-lane highways are the successors to the Roman Roads. This has changed in recent years, but Parcero-Oubiña told Live Science. “Newly constructed highways avoid populous areas to save money on land acquisition, so some new highways are not as logical as the old Roman routes. bottom.”
And that leads us to the question at hand: what was Roman logic for road construction? Did all the roads lead to Rome? “It depends on the importance of the road,” said Parcero-Oubiña. “The logic of how the ancient empire works is not much different from the modern nation. The Romans were not so different from us. They minimized the route to save time. I was trying. “
As geographically permitted, the main roads are straight, connecting important cities to other important cities, Parcelo Uvinha said. These direct routes were only possible if the country was properly annexed by the Romans and the military opposition was subdued. Otherwise, it wasn’t safe enough to travel outdoors.Early after the acquisition of the state Barbarian, Or the non-Romans were still resisting the occupation, the Romans would stick to a safer and more direct route through the state’s jungles and mountains, Parcelo-Uvinha said. However, as the state became peaceful, these roads formed an important connection to speed up trade and maintain troops and troops at the forefront of food supply.
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“The main roads connected important places, so somehow they all ended or started in Rome, but we didn’t have to go through Rome when traveling from London to Paris. The network did that. Because I made it possible. It will happen. ” These main roads were designed for the movement of wheels and animals. In short, it was much more sophisticated than a muddy road. “They were constructed of different layers like soil and rock, and finally there was a large stone slab on it. They were not flat, but they were a kind of dome shape that allowed proper drainage. “Parcero-Oubiña said.
“The main roads connected important places, so somehow they all ended or started in Rome, but we didn’t have to go through Rome when traveling from London to Paris. It happens.” rice field. These main roads were designed for the movement of wheels and animals. In other words, it was much more sophisticated than a muddy road. “They were constructed of different layers like soil and rock, and finally there was a large stone slab on it. They were not flat, but they were a kind of dome shape that allowed proper drainage. “Parcero-Oubiña said.
Then came another unpaved secondary unpaved road. Instead of providing a route to Rome, they connected small towns and cities.
So did all the Roman roads lead to Rome? No, but so many important things eventually got there. Parcelo Uvinha said the premise of the question may be flawed anyway, as most people going to Rome weren’t on the road.
“Connecting over the sea was much more convenient because it was faster and cheaper,” he said. “For example, if you wanted to go to Rome from the western part of the Iberian Peninsula, you probably got on a boat. horse And cart. “
Originally published in Live Science.
Did all the roads lead to Rome?
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