Ancient inventions of Rome in modern the world

A photo from open sources

History is not always true. We are accustomed to exalt ancient Greek culture, while the Roman we assign a secondary role. Roman poetry was not as exalted as Greek philosophy. Hellenes set the tone for the ancient world. Learning from the Greeks was the norm for the nobility of ancient Rome.

If you want geometry to be explained to you, then best it would turn to the Greek, if you need to build a floating a bridge, sewer network or build a weapon that shoots flaming balls of gravel and resin to a distance of 274 meters, then you should take the help of a Roman. Inventions of Rome and by today they serve in the modern world.

Achievements of the ancient Romans

Brilliant architectural, organizational and technical feats the Romans distinguish them, as well as the Greeks, among the ancient peoples. Although their knowledge of mathematics was rudimentary, they built models, experimented, and built so hard as much as was possible at that time. As a result, their labors we can still see today: they extend from the bridge of Limur (Limyra) in Turkey to the Hadrian’s Wall in Scotland. Below are the most significant achievements of the ancient Romans.

1. Pontoon bridges

Roman engineering technology is often called synonymous with the military technology. World famous roads were not built for everyday use by ordinary residents, they were built so that the legions quickly get to their destination and also quickly left there. Pontoon designed by the Romans bridges, built mainly during the wartime, served the same goal, and were the brainchild of Julius Caesar. In 55 BC he built a pontoon bridge, whose length was about 400 meters, to cross the river Rhine, which is traditionally German tribes considered their defense against the Roman invasion.

A photo from open sources

Caesar’s bridge across the Rhine was an extremely clever structure. The construction of a bridge across the river, while not disturbing the flow of rivers, this is a very difficult event, especially in the military the environment where the building should be guarded day and night, and engineers must work very quickly and efficiently. Engineers established supports on the bottom of the river at an angle against the current, thereby giving the bridge extra strength. Also installed protective piles that have eliminated the potential threat that could swim on the river. As a result, all piles were assembled together, and on their peaks a wooden bridge was built. Total construction took only ten days, while only lumber. Thus, in local tribes quickly spread information about the comprehensive power of Rome: if Caesar wanted to cross the Rhine, he did it.

Perhaps the same apocryphal story accompanies Caligula pontoon bridge built across the sea between Bahia and Puzuoli (Baiae and Puzzuoli), about 4 km long. Presumably Caligula built this bridge after heard from one soothsayer that he has about the same the chance to become emperor, as well as the opportunity to cross the Bay of Bayi on horses. Caligula took it as a challenge, and built this bridge.

2. Segment arch

As with almost all of the above engineering feats, the Romans did not take part in the invention of the arch, however, they sure you have perfected it. Arches and arch bridges existed for almost two thousand years when the Romans took up them. Roman engineers realized that arches should not be continuous, that is, they should not cover a given gap “in one welcome. ” Instead of crossing space in one jump, they can be broken down into several, smaller parts. So In this way, segmented arches appeared.

A photo from open sources

The new shape of the arch had two distinct advantages. At first, potential bridge span could be increased in geometric progression. Secondly, since their manufacture less material was needed, segmented arched bridges were more malleable when passing water under them. Instead of make water flow through one small hole, water under segmented bridges flowed freely, thereby reducing flood hazard and bearing wear rate.

3. Hydropower

Vitruvius, godfather of Roman engineering, describes several technologies by which the Romans used water. Combining Greek technologies such as the cusps and the water wheel, the Romans were able to develop their advanced sawmills, mills and turbines.

The Changeling Wheel, another Roman invention, spun under action of flowing, not falling water, which made possible creation of floating water wheels used for grinding grain. This came in handy during the siege of Rome in 537 CE. when General Belisarius solved the siege problem by cutting off supplies food through the construction of several floating mills on the Tiber, which thereby provided people with bread.

Strange, but archaeological evidence suggests that the Romans had all the necessary knowledge to create various kinds of water devices, but they used them extremely rarely, preferring instead cheap and widely available slave labor. However, their watermill was one of the largest industrial complexes in the ancient world before the industrial revolution. The mill consisted of 16 water wheels, which ground flour for neighboring communities.

4. Aqueduct

Along with roads, aqueducts have become another engineering miracle the Romans. The meaning of the aqueducts is that they are very long, in fact very long.

One of the difficulties of supplying water to a big city is that when a city grows to a certain size, you cannot any of its points to access clean water. And although Rome located on the Tiber, this river was very polluted by another Roman engineering achievement, sewer.

A photo from open sources

To solve this problem, Roman engineers built aqueducts – a network of underground pipes, elevated water lines and bridges, designed to deliver water to the city and neighborhood.

Like roads, Roman aqueducts were very complex system. Although the first aqueduct built at about 300 BC, was only 11 kilometers long, by the end third century AD in Rome there were 11 aqueducts, total 250 miles long.

5. Underfloor heating

Effective temperature control is one of the most difficult engineering tasks that people deal with but the Romans managed to solve it, or at least almost solved it.

Using the idea that is still used in technology warm floors, the hypocaust was a set of hollow clay columns below the floor through which hot air and steam pumped from a separate furnace to other rooms.

Unlike other, less advanced heating methods, the hypocaust carefully solved two problems at once, which were always connected with heating systems in the ancient world – smoke and fire. Fire was the only heat source, however, from time to time the building caught fire, and the resulting smoke in a confined space often played fatal role.

However, since the floor was raised in the hypocaust system, the hot air from the stove never came into contact with room.

Instead of “located” in a room, heated air passed through hollow tiles in the walls. At the exit of the building, clay tiles absorbed warm air, resulting in a room It was warm.

6. Sewerage

The huge collectors of the Roman Empire are one of the most strange creations of the Romans as they were originally built not at all to serve as sewer systems. Cloaca Maxima (or the Largest Sewer, if translated literally) was originally built to drain some of the water local swamps. The construction of the “cesspools” began in 600 BC and over the next hundreds of years more and more water was added ways. As the channels continued to rummage regularly, it’s difficult say exactly when the cesspool of Maxim ceased to be drainage ditch and became a proper sewer. Being originally very primitive system, Cloac Maxim spread like a weed, stretching their roots deeper and deeper into the city as it growth.

Unfortunately, Cloac Maxim had an exit directly to the Tiber, therefore the river was quickly filled with human waste. Not however, the Romans did not have to use the Tiber water for drinking or washing. It’s worth noting that they even had a special goddess, which monitored the operation of this system – Cloakin.

Perhaps the most important achievement of the Roman sewer the system was the fact that it was hidden from human eyes, not allowed to spread to any disease, infection, smell and unpleasant sights. Any civilization can dig ditch in order to meet the natural needs, however, for building and maintaining such a grand sewer system, it was necessary to have serious engineering minds. System was so complicated in device that Pliny the Elder announced it more grandiose human construction than building the pyramids.

7. Roads

Impossible, talking about the achievements of Roman engineering, not talk about roads that were so well built that many of them are still quite suitable for use even today. Compare our today’s asphalt highways with Roman roads are the same as comparing cheap watches with Swiss ones. They were strong, durable and built to serve. over the centuries.

A photo from open sources

The best Roman roads were built in several stages. To start workers pulled out a pit about a meter deep in the area where planned to build a road. Further, wide and heavy stone blocks were installed at the bottom of the trench, the remaining space covered with a layer of dirt and gravel. Finally, the top layer was paved slabs with bulges in the center so that water can drain. In general, Roman roads were extremely resistant to action time.

According to typical Roman fashion, empire engineers insisted on the creation and use of straight roads, that is, on their paving through any obstacles, and not bypassing them. If there was a forest in the way, they they cut it down if there was a mountain, they built a tunnel through it if swamp, they dried it. The disadvantage of this type of road construction, of course, there was a huge amount of human resources, necessary for work, but labor (in the form of thousands of slaves) is was what the ancient Romans owned in abundance. By 200 BC the Roman Empire numbered about 85,295 kilometers of highways.

8. Concrete

With regard to innovation in the field of construction, the liquid stone that is lighter and stronger than ordinary stone is the greatest the creation of the Romans. Today, concrete is an integral part of our everyday life, so it’s easy to forget how much His invention was once revolutionary.

Roman concrete was a mixture of crushed stone, lime, sand, pozzolana and volcanic ash. It could be poured into any form for the construction of a building, he was also very strong. Although originally used by Roman architects to build powerful foundations for altars from the 2nd century to AD the Romans began experimenting with concrete in order to build autonomous forms. Their most famous concrete construction, the Pantheon, is still the largest unreinforced concrete structure in the world, standing for more than two thousand years.

As mentioned earlier, this was a significant improvement. old Etruscan and Greek rectangular architectural styles that required a location around the perimeter of any building columns and heavy walls. Moreover, concrete is like building the material was cheap and fireproof. He was also enough flexible because he was able to survive numerous earthquakes, who constantly visited volcanic Italian peninsula.

9. Weapons

Like many technologies, Roman siege weapons were originally developed by the Greeks, and later perfected by the Romans. Ballist, essentially a giant crossbow that could during a siege shoot with large stones, was constructed from the handed Romans Greek weapons.

Using animal tendons, ballistae worked like springs in giant mousetraps so they could throw shells at a distance of up to 457 meters. Since the weapons were light and precise, it was equipped with spears and arrows, thereby it was used in as anti-personnel. Ballistas were also used for siege small buildings.

The Romans invented their own “siege engines” called wild donkeys due to a powerful blow delivered by a wild donkey. Although in in their work they also used the tendons of animals, “wild donkeys ”were much more powerful mini-catapults that fired balls of fire and whole buckets of large stones. At this, they were less accurate compared to the ballista, but more powerful, making them the perfect weapon for blowing up walls and arson during the siege.

10. Dome

We accept the inner space of the modern world as something for granted, however, is not worth it. Our huge vaulted arches, large atriums, glass walls, ceilings and much more – all this was unthinkable in the ancient world.

A photo from open sources

Before the Romans perfected the domes of buildings, even the most the best architects of those times had to suffer for a long time with the creation of stone roofs. Even the greatest architectural achievements, created before the advent of Roman architecture, such as, for example, The Parthenon and the pyramids looked more impressive from the outside than inside. Inside they were dark, and represented a limited space.

The Roman domes, in contrast, were spacious, open and created a real sense of inner space. First time in stories. Based on the understanding that the principles of the arch could rotate in three dimensions to create a shape that possesses the same strong supporting force, but “acts” on a larger areas, dome technology has become available mainly thanks to concrete.

Water Time Stones Bridges Pyramids

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