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.