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Roman Milestone 

Did All Roads Lead to Rome in the Roman Empire?

This painting of the ruins of a "milliarium" or Roman milestone attests to the fact that in the ancient world "all roads lead to Rome". The famous maxim was correct, and what was even more precise was that to a Roman all roads lead from Rome. According to the Roman system, a gilded pillar was placed by the Emperor Augustus in the Forum Romanum to mark the beginning point of the vast network of Roads that extended out throughout the whole Empire.

Milestones were to mark every mile from the Eternal City. No traveler would mistake the fact that he was on a Roman road and upon imperial domain. The legions created these roads and used them for quick maneuvering among Provinces. There were Roadside Inns, Taverns, and Hotels. The Emperor Augustus believed strongly that International Trade was important to the prosperity and peace of the Empire and his Pax Romana. The Ancient Roman Milestone ruins are important in the study of Biblical archaeology. They reveal accurately what the Bible describes about Rome and the Emperor Augustus.

The Appian Way. In ancient Roman history roads were constructed to connect every corner of the Roman Empire. The roads (Viae) were most impressive within Italy, and the closer you came to Rome. The roads provided speedy travel for the Imperial legions. The most famous was the Via Appia, which was built in 312 BC by Appius Claudius Caecus, and it originally ran from Rome to Capua. Around the half-century later it was paved and extended all the way to Brundisium.

The Golden Milestone. Below the Temple of Saturn In Rome Augustus set up the "golden milestone' (Millarium Aureum) which recorded the distances which separated the capital from the principal cities of the Empire.

Through archaeology we have learned much about Roman highways and their history. There have been around four thousand milestones discovered throughout various parts of the Roman Empire, and their inscriptions reveal much of the accuracy of Roman history.

it is interesting that when the Emperor Nero had committed suicide he fled outside of Rome to his slaves farm at the "4th milestone." where he ordered his slave Epaphroditus to kill him.

Milestones were originally stone obelisks – made from granite, marble, or whatever local stone was available – and later concrete posts. They were widely used by Roman Empire road builders and were an important part of any Roman road network: the distance travelled per day was only a few miles in some cases.[citation needed] Many Roman milestones only record the name of the reigning emperor without giving any placenames or distances.[1] The first Roman milestones appeared on the Appian way. At the centre of Rome, the "Golden Milestone" was erected to mark the presumed centre of the empire: this milestone has since been lost. The Golden Milestone inspired the Zero Milestone in Washington, D.C., intended as the point from which all road distances in the United States should be reckoned. [Wikipedia]

Ancient Roman Milestone Photo

MILLIA'RE, MILLIA'RIUM, or MILLE PASSUUM, the Roman mile, consisted of 1000 paces (passus) of 5 feet each, and was, therefore, 5000 feet. Taking the Roman foot at 11.6496 English inches (vid. Pes), the Roman mile would be 1618 English yards, or 142 yards less than the English statute mile. By another calculation, in which the foot is taken at 11.62 inches, the mile would be a little more than 1614 yards. The number of Roman miles in a degree of a large circle of the earth is a very little more than 75. The most common term for the mile is mille passuum, or only the initials M. P. ; sometimes the word passuum is omitted.' The Roman mile contained 8 Greek stadia. The milestones along the Roman roads were called milliaria. They were also called lapides ; thus we have ad tertium lapidem (or without the word lapidem) for three miles from Rome. Augustus erected a gilt pillar in the Forum, where the principal roads terminated, which was called milliarium aureum ; but the miles were not reckoned from it, but from the gates of the city. Such central marks appear to have been common in the principal cities of the Roman Empire. The "London stone" in Cannon-street is supposed to have marked the centre of the Roman roads in Britain." [Roman Antiquities]

Sketch of A Roman Milestone

MILLIA'RIUM. A milestone; which the Romans placed along the sides of their principal roads, in the same manner as we do, with the respective distances from
the city inscribed upon them, reckoned at intervals of 1000 Roman paces (our mile) apart. This custom was first introduced by C. Gracchus ; and the
illustration represents an original Roman mile-stone, now .standing on the Capitol, but which originally marked the first mile from Rome, as indicated by
the numeral I. on the top of it. The rest of the inscription refers to the whom it was successively restored. 2. Milliarium am-etim. Tlie golden milestone
; a gilt column, erected by Augustus, at the top of the Roman forum {in capite Rom. fori. Plin. H.N. iii. 5. Suet. Otho, 6. Tac. Hist. i. 27.), to mark the
point at which all the great military roads ultimately converged and ended. (Plut. Galb. p. 1064.) The precise spot where it stood was not ascertained till
about ten years ago, when an excavation, undertaken by the late pope, revealed a circular basement coated with marble at the north-east angle of the forum,
close beside the arch of Septimius Severus, which, by the common consent of all archaeologists, has been received as the remaining base of the golden
miliary column. But it does not appear that the mileage of the roads was constantly reckoned from this standard ; on the contrary, actual measurements of
the distances marked upon Roman milestones, which have been found standing in their original places, prove that those distances were computed from the gates
of the city (Marin. Frat. Arv. p. 8. Fabrett. Aq. p. 136.) ; and the law books also cite a third principle of measuring, from the last row of houses (mille
passus non a niilliario Urbis, sed a continentibus adificiis numerandi sunt. Macer. Dig. 50. 16. 154.). All which testifies that the practice varied at
different periods, and led to litigation amongst the Romans themselves. It will be remembered that our mileage on some roads, which used to be marked from
the standard at Cornhill, is now reckoned more commonly from one of the bridges. [Roman Antiquities, Rich]

The Miliarium

The Milliarium Aureum. Near the Rostra and below the temple of Saturn stood the 'Golden Milestone' (milliarium aureum) erected by Augustus in B. C. 20. It was a marble shaft, covered with gilded bronze, on which were inscribed the distances from Rome to all the important cities of Italy and the provinces. Distances on the Roman military roads were however in the time of the empire reckoned from the gates of the Servian wall: for example the Via Appia from the Porta Capena, the Via Salaria and the Via Nomentana from the Porta Collina; these gates were almost a Roman mile distant from the Forum. In the excavations of 1835 there were found two fragments of a great marble cylinder (diameter about 4 ft.), the surface of which had been left rough and still showed traces of having been covered with metal: these pieces, which are lying at present in front of the temple of Saturn, belonged in all probability to the Milliarium. The exact situation of the mile-stone cannot be ascertained because the foundations were destroyed in connection with the building of the modern street (1835). [Roman Monuments]

In 20 BC Augustus Erected the Millarium Aureum (Golden Milestone) in Rome. Reconstruction above.

See Plinius n. h. Ill, 66; Tacitus hist. I, 27; Suetonius Otho 6, Plutarch Galba 24; Cassius Dio LIV, 8; Notitia reg. VIII.

TERMINA'LIA, a festival in honour of the god Terminus, who presided over boundaries. His statue was merely a stone or post stuck in the ground to distinguish between properties. On the festival the two owners of adjacent property crowned the statue with garlands, and raised a rude altar, on which they offered up some corn, honeycombs and wine, and sacrificed a lamb or a sucking pig. They concluded with singing the praises of the god.' The public festival in honour of this god was celebrated; at the sixth milestone on the road towards Laurentum," doubtless because this was originally the extent of the Roman territory in that direction. The festival of the Terminalia was celebrated a. d. VII. Kal. Mari., or the 23d of February, on the day before the Regifugium. The Terminalia was celebrated on the last day of the old Roman year, whence some derive its name. We know that February was the last month of the Roman year, and that when the intercalary month Merceconius was added, the last five days of February were added to the intercalary month, making the 23d of February the last day of the year," [Roman Antiquities]

Finally, Caius Gracchus' erected milestones along the whole extent of the great highways, marking the distances from Rome, which appear to have been counted from the gate at which each road issued forth ; and Augustus, when appointed inspector of the via; around the city, erected in the Forum a gilded column (milliarium aureum), on which were inscribed the distances of the principal points to which the viee conducted. Some have imagined, from a passage in Plutarch," that the distances were calculated from the milliarium aureum, but this seems to be disproved both by the fact that the roads were all divided into miles by C. Gracchus nearly two centuries before, and also by the position of various ancient milestones discovered in modern times. [Roman Antiquities]

CIPPUS was a low column, sometimes round, but more frequently rectangular. Cippi were used for various purposes; the decrees of the senate were sometimes, inscribed upon them ; and; with distances engraved upon them, they also, served as milestones. They were, however, more frequently employed as sepulchral monuments. Several of such cippi are in the Townly collection in the British Museum, one of which is given in the woodcut annexed. The inscription is to the memory of Viria Primitiva, the wife of Lucius Virius Helius, who died at the ago of eighteen years, one month, and twenty-four days. Below the tablet, a festoon of fruits and flowers is suspended from two rams' heads at the corners ; and at the lower corners are two sphinxes, with a head of Pan in the area between them. On several cippi we find the letters S. T. T. L., that is, Sit tibi terra levis, whence Persius, in the passage already referred to, says, " Non levior cippus nunc imprimit ossa." It was also usual to place at one corner of the burying-ground a cippus, on which the
extent of the burying-ground was marked, towards the road (in fronte) and backward to the fields (in agrum). [Roman Antiquities]

Ancient Cippus in the British Museum

Ancient Cippus in the Verona Museum

CIPPUS. A short round post or pillar of stone set up to mark the boundaries between adjacent lands or neighbouring states. The illustration represents one of these stones, now preserved in the Museum of Verona. From the inscription (one of the oldest authentic Roman inscriptions extant) we learn that it was set up by Atilius Saranus, who was dispatched by the senate, as proconsul, to reconcile a dispute between the people of Ateste {Este) and Vincentia ( Vicenza) respecting their boundaries. 2. A low pillar, sometimes round, but more frequently rectangular, erected as a tomb-stone over the spot where a person was buried, or employed as a tomb for containing the ashes after they had been collected from the funeral pyre, by persons who could not afford the expense ot a more imposing fabric. (Pers. i. 37.) The illustration represents an elevation and section of a cippus, which formerly stood on the Via Appia ; the section, on the left hand, shows the movable lid, and the cavity for receiving the ashes. [Roman Antiquities, Rich]

Cippus Tombstone with Ashes. (Eagle to carry soldier to heaven)


"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions" - John 14:2 

(Note: The word "Mansions" comes from the Roman word "mansiones" which was a place along a Roman Road where a weary traveler could get rest for the night.


Highways of the Roman Empire

Heart Message

Ancient Roman Roads - Bloodstream of the Empire

"When the fullness of time came, God brought forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law." (Gal 4:4)

The Roman road was the bloodstream of the empire. Merchants paid taxes to Rome on all their transactions, and they needed the roads to carry their goods to an ever-widening market. Legionnaires marched upon them swiftly gaining efficient access to battle. In a sense, the roads were funding and facilitating Roman expansion.

Yet God had a higher purpose. A new kind of merchant would soon be traversing the entire Mediterranean area, not one who transports his treasure to the city marketplace, but one who is a treasure, and who carries true riches, - not to sell, but to give away freely. The transforming good news of God’s forgiveness through Jesus the Messiah was imbedded into the hearts of the Apostles and early believers, and God prepared those roads for them to walk upon and lead others into His path.

A new kind of soldier would be running these well built thoroughfares to fight, - not flesh and blood, but a spiritual warfare that would liberate entire civilizations from the bondage of Satan’s tyrannical oppression and coercion, to a Kingdom ruled by love, service and willing devotion.

Throughout history ‘the road’ has provided an excellent metaphor for life’s journey. With amazement, we can look back over the winding grades of difficulty, the narrow pass of opportunity, the choice between security or adventure, when our road divided and we had to make the call.

Yes, all roads led to Rome, specifically the Forum, in the ancient empire of old, where an Emperor judged the players in the arena for their conduct before him. Our personal road will eventually and inevitably cease at the throne of Almighty God. It is He who must judge our travel upon this earth, in the blinding glory of His eternal justice. Compelled by His love, He placed sin’s damning penalty upon His Own Son, instead of us, so that we could freely receive the "thumbs up!" from Him who loves us beyond all measure.

The Word "Caesar" is Mentioned many Times in the Bible
(Note: It was not always Tiberius because he died in 37 A.D.)

Luke 3:1 - Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene.

Matthew 22:21 - They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.

Luke 3:1 - Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,

John 19:15 - But they cried out, Away with [him], away with [him], crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.

John 19:12 - And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.

Luke 20:25 - And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's.

Mark 12:14 - And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?

Mark 12:17 - And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him.

Acts 27:24 - Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.

Luke 23:2 - And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this [fellow] perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.

Acts 11:28 - And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.

Acts 25:11 - For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.

Acts 25:21 - But when Paul had appealed to be reserved unto the hearing of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept till I might send him to Caesar.

Acts 17:7 - Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, [one] Jesus.

Luke 2:1 - And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

Acts 28:19 - But when the Jews spake against [it], I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of.

Matthew 22:17 - Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?

Acts 25:8 - While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all.

Acts 26:32 - Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar.

Luke 20:22 - Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no?

Acts 25:12 - Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go.


Some Scriptures mentioning the word "Rome"


Acts 23:11 - And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

2 Timothy 4:22 - The Lord Jesus Christ [be] with thy spirit. Grace [be] with you. Amen. <[The second [epistle] unto Timotheus, ordained the first bishop of the church of the Ephesians, was written from Rome, when Paul was brought before Nero the second time.]>

Acts 18:2 - And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them.

Colossians 4:18 - The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace [be] with you. Amen. <[Written from Rome to Colossians by Tychicus and Onesimus.]>

Ephesians 6:24 - Grace [be] with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen. <[To [the] Ephesians written from Rome, by Tychicus.]>

Philemon 1:25 - The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with your spirit. Amen. <[Written from Rome to Philemon, by Onesimus a servant.]>

Acts 2:10 - Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,

Acts 19:21 - After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome.

Acts 28:16 - And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him.

Romans 1:7 - To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called [to be] saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Galatians 6:18 - Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with your spirit. Amen. <[To [the] Galatians written from Rome.]>

Philippians 4:23 - The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you all. Amen. <[To [the] Philippians written from Rome, by Epaphroditus.]>

Acts 28:14 - Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days: and so we went toward Rome.

Romans 1:15 - So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.

2 Timothy 1:17 - But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found [me].


Daniel 2:40 - "And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all [things]: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise."

Acts 23:11 - And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.


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