Ancient and modern

Why all Roman roads really did lead to Rome

Whatever the problems involved in building, let alone finishing, HS2, it is hoped that it will replicate what was ultimately achieved – prosperity, intentionally or not – by the 53,000 miles of roads with which Rome covered its empire (and so successfully that prosperity is now found wherever networks of Roman roads were established across Europe, including Cornwall). The first Roman road was the Via Appia (named after its proposer Appius Claudius), built in 312 bc. It connected Rome with the port of Brindisi 300 miles south; it also offered easy crossing to the wealthy Greek East. This became of great importance: travel by ship, far faster than by road,