Roman Structures > Roman Roads
The development of the complex network of ancient roads was one of the greatest achievements of the Roman Empire. They allowed the Romans to link the far flung provinces and settlements with the umbilicus mundi or naval of the empire located in the capital of Rome and enhanced communication, transportation, military hegemony, cultural diffusion and trade with exotic lands. Like tentacles from an octopus the Roman roads spread out across Europe, Africa and the Near East and linked the Roman Empire with much of the ancient world including the Red Sea, the Silk Road, China, India and much more.
See Pax Romana
Ancient Roman roads linked famous settlements, monuments and structures and were very intricate, often with some roads being carved directly into the sides of hills to easily traverse rocky terrain. All of this allowed for the diffusion of personal mail, technologies, trade goods, ideologies and more that greatly characterized both the Hellenistic and Roman eras as a whole. Despite hosting many civilian travelers and merchants from all cultures and ethnicities the Roman roads were also instrumental in helping maintain imperial political, economic and military supremacy.