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Golden milestone (Milliarium Aureum)

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Remains of an inscription in latin Milliarium Aureum
Remains of an inscription in latin Milliarium Aureum | Photo: Longbow4u | Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Emperor Octavian Augustus loved order in his country. For this purpose, he commissioned the construction of the so-called “golden milestone” (Milliarium Aureum) near the Temple of Saturn in the central part of the Roman Forum. Today’s researchers believe that the stone could have been a list of the most important cities of the Empire with the distance to them.

It was also believed that all roads started here, and distances were measured relative to the stone. Hence the saying that “all roads lead to Rome”. The later emperor Constantine the Great referred to it as Umbilicus Urbis Romae or “the navel of Rome”.

  • Samuel Ball Platner, A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome

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