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     The saying "All roads lead to Rome" means simply that all paths or activities lead to the center of things. This saying comes from the days of the Roman Empire, when Rome ruled over most of the known world. The roads built at that time were for military use, so all the empire's roads started from the capital city, Rome, and spread out to cover the whole empire. The long highways were important for maintaining both the stability and the expansion of the empire. The Romans became famous for, among other things, their 80,000 kilometers of hard-surface highways. The saying "All roads lead to Rome" came into use in the 1100s as a metaphor, with the meaning that all different methods will still produce the same result.

 

公元前3世纪,罗马帝国统一了整个亚平宁半岛。公元前1世纪,罗马城成为地跨亚、非、欧三洲,罗马帝国的政治、经济和文化中心。罗马帝国为了加强其统治,修建了以罗马城为中心,通向四面八方的大道。这些大道为巩固罗马帝国的统治和其扩张发挥了巨大作用。道路系统是以罗马城为中心向四周放射的,所以走任何一条大路都能到达罗马城。现在,这个成语比喻的是,通过不同方法可以得到同一个结果。

 

(本文选自人民教育出版社《中学英语文化背景知识手册》,2008年8月第1版)

    
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