The designer told The Local that he always had an interest in Rome, reading the Asterix and Obelix books as a child:
I had the spontaneous idea to model the ancient road network in a modern style.
Picture: Sasha Trubetskoy
I was motivated by a desire to produce a high-quality transit-style map, unlike all the poorly designed maps I've been seeing online.
In the description of how he made the map, he detailed the creative liberties he took:
The biggest creative element was choosing which roads and cities to include, and which to exclude. There is no way I could include every Roman road, these are only the main ones. I tried to include cities with larger populations, or cities that were provincial capitals around the 2nd century.
Obviously to travel from Petra to Gaza you would take a more or less direct road, rather than going to Damascus and “transferring” to the Via Maris. The way we travel on roads is very different from rail, which is a slight flaw in the concept of the map. But I think it’s still aesthetically pleasing and informative.
You can pay $9 on his website for a high-res print version of the file, to make a poster.