What really set Rome apart in the ancient world was their vast highway system and the amazing engineering of the roads.
In 312 BC, there was about 53,000 miles of roadways.
Roads and bridges were built as a way for soldiers to get to the battle sites as well as for merchants to reach distant cities.
Via Appai, "The Appian Way", 350 miles long, was named after Appius.
- The process for building a roadway included:
- 1. Dig a trench just under 3 ft
- 2. Fill the trench with large stones
- 3. Next, fill the trench with small stones and a lime-water mix
- 4. Next, lay down some gravel and flint and pack it down
- 5. Finally, neatly level and lay down flat paving stones
Roads were crowned to allow water to slope to the sides and run off.
Not all roads were paved, some were gravel.
A Roman Surveyor was sent to evaluate the terrain/land.
Flaminian Way went through the mountain. A crew of men used a process of heating the rock and then cooling it quickly to create fissures. Then they used chisels and hammers to break through the solid rock.
Milvius Bridge, 142 BC, was the first bridge made of stone. Guidebooks existed in ancient times. During the Pax Romana (Period of Peace), many tourists and travellers came through.
The Roman Mile was measured as 1000 paces a Roman soldier could walk. Mile came from mille, the Latin word for 1000.
Vehicle rentals were made available, including wagons, carts, carriages, horses, mules and a driver.
Full service rest stops ("road houses") also sprang up at regular intervals.
Mile stones (like our modern day mile marker) showed the name of the town, distance, and name of the stone builder.
There were four major roads into Rome: Via Appia Via Latina Via Flaminia Via Aurelio