Romans were the first in the European ancient world who tried to solve the problem of transport and communication between particular cities. Because Romans expanded their power not only across the areas of Middle and Western Europe but also Minor Asia and coast of Africa, a network of communication routes was very necessary to make it easier to travel and, most of all, faciliate transport of goods from distant cities belonging to Rome.
Romans built about eighty thousand kilometres of roads and created communication network that connected the most distant places of the Empire. First of all, roads served military purposes.
Most routes led to provincial regions of Roman administration that were centres of Greek-Roman civilisation in areas where the process of romanisation had just begun. Roman roads were to last for ages that is why they were built upon a foundation of rock that was surfaced with stone paving blocks. The roads had a drainage ditch on each side and were crowned to shed water.
Thank to that procedure roads could be used all year round.
Up until the medieval times people were still using these roads.
Development of road network was of great advantage also for commerce. First of all transport became cheaper. In times when lack of comfortable communication routes was common, goods from distant places of the Empire were imported mainly by sea routes. It was not the easiest possible way because it often happened that the ship sunk during the storm and the valuable cargo usually sunk with it. Road transport was much safer. Roads served mainly the army during numerous war expeditions so travellers and carriers felt much more secure. Since then also merchants seldom suffered a loss of their goods.