"All roads lead to Rome"
The remains of the Miliarium Aureum
GNU Free Documentation LicenseThe remains of the Miliarium Aureum - Credit: MM

This phrase has a long history, with its first English usage appearing in Chaucer’s Treatise on the Astrolabe (1391). It refers specifically to the Milliarium Aureum, a monument erected by Caesar Augustus in 20 BC in the central Forum of Ancient Rome. It was from this point that all roads were considered to issue and all distances in the Roman Empire were measured relative to it. At the height of Rome’s power, 29 great military highways radiated from this central point.