Highways & bridges, newspapers, battlefield surgery and the roman numerals..what do they have in common? All of these are inventions of the ancient Roman civilization, one of the most distinguished and prosperous cultures to have ever flourished. From Julias Ceasar crafting the Gregorian calendar to Agathinus, a popular physician who made astounding discoveries in medicine and Augustus, the astute politician, Rome has been the land of intellectuals.
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT ANCIENT ROME?
The Roman civilization started as a settlement along the Italian peninsula and grew into the city of Rome during the 8th century BC before fraying as part of the Western Roman Empire around the 5th century AD. The civilization consisted of the most creative and inventive scientists, writers, architects and philosophers that paved the way for modern living and technological evolution. Romans are known for their prolific accomplishments in engineering and architecture that paved the way for modern-day inventions. Some of these include technology for running water within towns, roads and highways, aesthetically pleasing monuments and innovative structures that reflect inspirations from Etruscan and Greek architecture.
5 MARVELS ANCIENT ROME BUILT
ROADS AND HIGHWAYS
The most noteworthy invention of Romans that depict remarkable engineering concepts were roads and highways that define the navigational patterns of modern day travel. The designers and builders of those times crafted outstanding local transport systems that were sprawled across a major portion of European and Mediterranean terrain. These were made using five different layers consisting of mortar, masonry, concrete and stones that enabled these highways to entail flood resistant features while facilitating effective connectivity. The Romans also built tunnels made of square hard rock and bridges across the urban settlement to ease trade links with the other countries across the globe.
The aqueducts were first invented by this great civilization that led to the development of better sanitation systems, fountains with solid foundation, ornate public bathrooms and sewage systems with underground links. These aqueducts had the capacity to stretch from 10 to 100 kilometers with most of them descending from heights 300m above sea level. As they had mining prowess, the designers and builders were also able to create reservoirs for storing water and conduits needed for the supply of metal-extraction equipment.
It might be surprising to know that the newspapers were first created by ancient Romans. These were part of the endeavor of the civilization to make information such as legal, military and civil updates accessible to public. These newspapers were used first around 131 BC and were written on stone or metallic surfaces and put up in populated areas like the Roman Forum. These were also referred to as Acta Diurna containing information like success tales of military service including game listings, stories and important notifications of interest for the masses.
One of the most fascinating inventions of the Romans is concrete which to this day is a core building block of most skyscrapers, residential estates and urban structures. Without this amazing discovery, man probably would not have been able to evolve at the rate we have today with urban evolution and state-of-the-art urban fabric. By using concrete and turf, the Romans were able to construct forts, bridges,
buildings and dams that are part of the striking architecture of modern times.
Another great area where Romans exceled was healthcare and battlefield surgery through the use of innovative surgical tools and methods. Romans invented the cesarean section which is still performed to this day. Surgery on the battlefield was streamlined by deputing trained medical corps to provide medical care to the affected individuals. These experts and field doctors saved many lives by using inventive
techniques for arterial surgical clamps to reduce blood loss and hemostatic tourniquets.
Another great area where Romans exceled was healthcare and battlefield surgery through the use of innovative surgical tools and methods. Romans invented the cesarean section which is still performed to this day. Surgery on the battlefield was streamlined by deputing trained medical corps to provide medical care to the affected individuals. These experts and field doctors saved many lives by using inventive techniques for arterial surgical clamps to reduce blood loss and hemostatic tourniquets.
LESSONS FROM HISTORY
Arthur Erikson once said, “Roman civilization had achieved, within the bounds of its technology, relatively as great a mastery of time and space as we have achieved today”. Ancient Rome teaches us discipline, confidence, focus and aggressive adaptation. From its political administration to the stunning monuments, the glory of the civilization has left great marks and lessons for current generations to learn from.