One of the World’s Greatest Engineering Achievements
The Roman road system comprised some 50,000 miles of first class highways, stretching from Syria in the east to Britain in the west. Rome remained the center of the highway system, and each mile of road had a cylindrical stone mile post which told the distance between that point and the Forum Romanum in the city of Rome. It took nearly 500 years to complete the Roman road system. The roads were built to exacting specifications: straight, graded, through tunnels, and over bridges. Roman chariots sped military personnel and important civil officials over the vast expanses of the Roman road system.
Troops and Trade Goods Moved Quickly and Reliably Over the Roman Roads
Caesar once covered 800 miles in ten days on one of the Roman roads, and a courier on horseback could cover 360 miles in two and a half days. Horse and mule carts averaged five to six miles per hour. Mail carts and wagons conveyed the post from town to town. This speed of transportation remained unequalled until the 19th century. Some of the roads, for instance, the Appian Way in Italy, are still in use today.