"Rome wasn't built in a day." English writer John Heywood is generally credited with popularizing that phrase, though its precise origins are lost in the mists of time. Historians generally agree that it entered the English language as an already time-honored French proverb, which makes a certain amount of sense. French forebears knew about Roman conquest better than most, with ancient Gaul being a frequently contested holding first of the Roman Republic, and later of the Roman Empire.
It's good to remember that creating something grand and enduring takes time. When setting your feet on the path to greatness, don't expect to just barrel forward and achieve your wildest dreams in no time at all. On the other hand, however, even in ancient Rome certain accomplishments were brought to fruition in a remarkably short number of months, weeks, and (famously, in some cases) days. When Julius Caesar campaigned against the Gauls (Remember them? They remembered Caesar — for generations), he built a bridge across the majestic Rhine River in just 10 days. Caesar dismantled the bridge almost as quickly as it had been built, but when his legions returned to the Rhine two years later, his engineers built a second bridge even more quickly than they'd built the first.
(That bridge came down, too, much like its predecessor, following a brief show of force on the far side of the river. Caesar left it to later generations of Romans to eventually build more permanent Rhine crossings.)
What's the point? Only that you can sometimes take an important step on a wider path to greatness in a short amount of time. Caesar's lickety-split Rhine River crossings demonstrated Rome's might, cowed some of the more warlike Gallic tribes, and added to the legend that eventually allowed Rome's most celebrated soldier-statesman to sweep across a different river and seize control of the entire Republican apparatus of government.
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