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“All Roads Lead to Rome” Presentation
Directions: You will have 2 minutes to inform the audience of Roman road construction and convince them of
the importance that roads have in any civilization. Cite specific examples of how the Roman Roads were
necessary to the Republic and later the Empire. Use the articles and questions below as a guide.
The famous Roman roads were a vast
network of hard-surfaced roads connecting the
city of Rome with the farthest reaches of the
Empire. The stone-paved highways lasted for
more than a millennium [thousand years], and
some sections are still in use today. Author
Isaac Asimov claimed that there was no better
mode of transportation in the world until the
arrival of railroads close to 2,000 years later.
Romans began building roads in 312
B.C. following their first major conquests.
The beginning stretch, the Appian Way, trailed
132 miles southeast out of Rome. Thereafter,
roadbuilding kept pace with the empire’s
expansion. Eventually Roman roads wound
53,000 miles around the Mediterranean and
northeastern Atlantic regions.
The roads, constructed by slaves and
legionaries [soldiers], were wide enough for
large wagons to pass each other. The principal
use of the highways was to move Roman
legions [armies] from one part of the empire to
another; however, citizens were free to use the
roads. The Roman statesman Cicero once
spoke of moving 56 miles in a cart in just ten
hours. However, travelers had to be alert for
bandits, as people might simply “disappear”
while riding along the Roman roads.
GUIDING QUESTIONS: Not sure what to present? Answer these questions and that will be a great start!
1. Why the Roman roads were originally built?
2. Who built the road system?
3. Who else were helped by the construction of the road system?
4. What bodies of water served as natural breaks to the roads?
5. How many miles make up the Roman road system in 117 A.D.?
6. Which two rivers provided a natural path for the Roman roads to follow?
7. What was a problem along these roads?
8. “All roads lead to Rome” is a famous saying that originally described the Roman highway system. Miles of roads
also led away from the Eternal City. How did this influence the spread of democratic ideas and Christianity?
The Milestone
The Romans built thousands of miles of wonderful roads, to connect every part of the empire back to Rome. Up until
about a hundred years ago, people were still using these roads, as well, roads! In recent years, instead of building new
roads, modern engineers simply covered many of the old Roman roads with a coat of asphalt. The Romans did a
wonderful job building roads! To help people find their way while traveling these roads, the Romans more or less
invented the milestone (or mile marker) which grew increasingly wordy, and increasingly tall, so it could be easily read
from a vehicle. Some are 6 feet tall. The milestone usually gave the mileage to the nearest large city, sometimes to a
smaller town as well as the date and perhaps who paid for the road.
There seems to have been no formal traffic code, including what side of the road to drive on; but there were various laws
about what you could and could not do on a given type of road, and when you could do it. Roads were considerably less
crowded, and much less traveled than today.
Create your own EDIBLE Roman Road! Yum!!!
Directions: This diagram shows a piece of Roman road. Use the numbers below to label each section, then
complete the reading and decide what food items you will use to
Some things to remember:
build your recipe for a roman road. Don’t forget to bring a vessel
to hold your recipe! I will provide plates and spoons for everyone
1. All food items should be store
to have a taste.
2. You will be judged on
creativity, taste, and your 2
minute presentation.
3. Make sure all of your
construction elements will
taste good together!
4. Look for items you have in
the pantry before you go
purchase something form the
Roman Road Construction
(From the bottom up!)
Our Roman Road
Who is bringing this item
in on the due date?
1) At the bottom of the trench, the
Romans put a layer of big stones.
2) Broken stones, pebbles, cement
and sand to make a firm base.
3) Cement mixed with broken tiles.
4) Paving stones formed the surface
of the road. These were cut so they
fitted together tightly.
5) Curb - stones at the sides held in
the paving stones and made a
channel for the water to run away.
In what container will you be Who will bring the container?
placing your road?
1 – poor
5/10 – best
Judges: Feel free to write notes to yourself in the boxes about each Roman road entry.