Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Many Aspects of Modern Travel Was Pioneered By the Roman Empire

Modern travelers take the open road for granted. We can hop into exquisitely engineered modern vehicles, pop onto smooth, straight freeways, well lit, with excellent signage and many roadside conveniences. We can cover as much ground as we might like in any direction, in relative comfort and safety.

Much that we love about modern road travel was actually available 2500 years ago to the ancient Romans. They created the template for a system of interconnected roads and conveniences that we have simply adapted during the 20th century as the automobile became the mass method of conveyance.

The road system that they built to connect their far-flung empire is still in use in many places.

As the Roman Empire flourished, conquered and consolidated new lands and needed to efficiently administer these territories the necessity for a durable network of roads became obvious to the ruling class. Prior to Roman ascendancy roads around the world were simple unpaved paths cut into the landscape by pack animals, carts and people moving goods to trade, barter and local markets.

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