One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In full "golden milliarium": a gilded stone pillar erected during the reign of Augustus in the Forum in Rome below the temple of Saturn, and from which distances from Rome were calculated. Hence: a pillar or other marker serving a similar purpose in another city of the Roman Empire.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in Henry Savile (1549–1622), mathematician and classical scholar. From classical Latin mīliārium, mīlliārium.
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