The romans were badass. There are no two ways about it. As Empires go, they excelled. They managed to excel in law, war, art, literature, architecture, technology, religion and language. Plus they had some killer outfits. Did you know that it was treason for anyone but an emperor or senator to wear purple? They though left handed people were unlucky, tried to have a horse elected as consul to an emperor and had over 140 communal toilets where they socialised.
Yes, before political corruption, a degradation of moral values and some barbarians put an end to it all, they were doing pretty damn well. Sure, they had a class system that meant you could find yourself fighting lions if you put a foot wrong but, on balance, the society was virtuous, prosperous and efficient. They developed some pretty ground breaking and important innovations for the furtherment of our species.
What I’m getting to is roads. They loved ‘em. With just some soldiers taking a break from fighting to become surveyors and road builders they built 250,000 miles of roads, all leading to Rome, of course. There was always an easy way to find your way back to the colosseum. But how would the Roman soldier know how long it would take him or how far he was from home before a smartphone allowed him to geolocate and use a journey planner on Google maps? Mile stones, simple innocuous concrete pillars that they saw fit to place up and down their military highways – all leading back to the ‘golden milestone’ in Rome; the centre of the Empire. Each one a mark of distance, time, achievement or to locate something of significance.
The Roman Empire lasted almost 700 years. At 100 issues we’re at 9 years, but this month is our milestone; the one hundredth issue of a magazine that was only originally planned to have had three. It’s been fun. Many of you have been part of it, so thank you. We’re just a Gallery, a reflection of you. You look ravishing Jersey.