The saying: omnes viae Romam ducunt (all roads lead to Rome) began in 20 BCE when Emperor Augustus had a large golden spike installed next to the Temple of Saturn on the Forum Romanum. This was the Milliarium Aureum, or Golden Milestone, from which distances to cities throughout the empire were measured. It marked the starting point for the extensive network of well-engineered roads that linked the Roman Empire.
At the height of Rome’s power the cursus publicus (public road network) consisted of at least 380 interconnected roads, totaling about 80,000 km. This extensive network ran from northern Britain to the Persian Gulf tying the empire together while facilitating trade and governance.
The very neat website OmnesViae.org is an online route planner that exclusively uses historic Roman roads. OmnesViae is based on the Tabula Peutingeriana, a fabulous 13th century parchment scroll map. The Peutinger Map that probably dated from the 4th century.
The Tabula Peutingeriana, consists of a dozen sections, is about 33 cm by 6.75 meters. By geolocating thousands of points from map, OmnesViae presents the roads and destinations on the scroll onto a more familiarly landscaped map. The shortest route between two points is calculated using the distances travelled over Roman rather than modern roads.