21 Facts About Roman roads


Roman roads were physical infrastructure vital to the maintenance and development of the Roman state, and were built from about 300 BC through the expansion and consolidation of the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire.

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Roman roads were of several kinds, ranging from small local roads to broad, long-distance highways built to connect cities, major towns and military bases.

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The courses of many Roman roads survived for millennia; some are overlaid by modern roads.

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Unless these allusions are just simple anachronisms, the Roman roads referred to were probably at the time little more than levelled earthen tracks.

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The Tables command Romans to build public roads and give wayfarers the right to pass over private land where the road is in disrepair.

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Roman roads law defined the right to use a road as a servitus, or liability.

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Such Roman roads led either to the sea, or to a town, or to a public river, or to another public road.

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Roman roads were named after the censor who had ordered their construction or reconstruction.

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Gaius Gracchus, when Tribune of the People, paved or gravelled many of the public Roman roads, and provided them with milestones and mounting-blocks for riders.

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Second category included private or country Roman roads, originally constructed by private individuals, in whom their soil was vested, and who had the power to dedicate them to the public use.

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Such Roman roads benefited from a right of way, in favor either of the public or of the owner of a particular estate.

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Under the heading of viae privatae were included Roman roads leading from the public or high Roman roads to particular estates or settlements.

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Such Roman roads ran either into a high road, or into other viae vicinales, without any direct communication with a high road.

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The construction and care of the public roads, whether in Rome, in Italy, or in the provinces, was, at all periods of Roman history, considered to be a function of the greatest weight and importance.

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Care of the streets and roads within the Roman territory was committed in the earliest times to the censors.

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The task of maintaining the Roman roads had previously been administered by two groups of minor magistrates, the quattuorviri and the duoviri who were both part of the collegia known as the vigintisexviri .

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Roman roads pursued them and their families with fines and imprisonment for 18 years and was later rewarded with a consulship by Caligula, who shared the habit of condemning well-born citizens to work on the roads.

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Roman roads generally went straight up and down hills, rather than in a serpentine pattern of switchbacks.

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Roman roads bridges were so well constructed that a number remain in use today.

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All Roman roads were considered to begin from this gilded bronze monument.

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In France, a Roman roads road is called voie romaine in vernacular language.

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