Page:A short history of social life in England.djvu/39

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ROMAN ROADS

we learn that in those days of small opportunities there were women of this type in early Britain, a type which survived the Roman assimilation as well as the Teutonic invasions that swept over the country in later days.

The conquest more or less complete, the Romans found it easy to introduce into the newly acquired country all that had made life comfortable in their far-off Italian homes.

Their first great work was to convert the old British tracks into broad military highways, thus enabling their soldiers to march easily from one end of the island to another, as well as simplifying commercial intercourse. These roads were carried over the rivers by an extensive system of bridges built of timber on stone piers. Distances were made known by means of milestones, which were stone pillars on which were engraved the distance in numbers, the places between which the road extended, the name of the constructor, and the Roman Emperor in whose reign the stone was erected. At regular intervals of a day's journey were posting stations, where refreshments were obtainable. Indeed, the County Councillor of to-day might well make a study of the very complete system of road communication in-