all roads lead to Rome

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Modern wording of medieval sentiment; apparently originally a reference to Roman roads generally and the Milliarium Aureum (Golden Milestone) specifically.[1]

Appears in the Latin form mīlle viae dūcunt hominēs per saecula Rōmam (a thousand roads lead men forever to Rome) in Liber Parabolarum, 591 (1175), by Alain de Lille.[2]

The earliest English form appears to be “right as diverse pathes leden the folk the righte wey to Rome”, in A Treatise on the Astrolabe (Prologue, ll. 39–40), 1391, by Geoffrey Chaucer.[3][4][5][6]


all roads lead to Rome

  1. (idiomatic) Different paths can take one to the same goal.
    Synonyms: all roads lead to Mecca, there's more than one way to skin a cat, (Australia) all roads lead to Sydney


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Schaaf, P. (1867/1886) Ante-nicene fathers: The Apostolic fathers, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, volume 1, electronic reprint edition, Grand Rapids, MI, USA: CCEL: Roberts, A. & Donaldson, J, Eds., page 1
  2. ^ Samuel Singer; Kuratorium Singer (1995), Walter de Gruyter, editor, Thesaurus Proverbiorum Medii Aevi: Lexikon der Sprichwörter des Romanisch-germanischen Mittelalters[1], →ISBN, page 355
  3. ^ A Treatise on the Astrolabe, Part 1”, in (please provide the title of the work)[2], accessed 2 November 2008, archived from the original on 2009-08-13
  4. ^ Gregory Y. Titelman (1996) Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings, →ISBN, page 8
  5. ^ Linda Flavell; Roger Flavell (1993) Dictionary of Proverbs and their Origins
  6. ^ “User Groups : Who Said It? : all roads lead to Rome”, in[3], accessed 2 November 2008, archived from the original on 2009-05-14