Overview

Roman inventions made a huge impact across the Empire. These Roman inventions varied and had different impacts in different places, for example the Roman road system was applied across the Roman Empire. Whilst other Roman inventions such as sewers and aqueducts impacted upon the major cities in Rome.


1. Roads

Paved roads were built on a massive scale by the Romans. In fact by the end of the Roman Empire over 400,000 kilometres of roads were built by the Romans, spanning from Egypt to Britain! By around 200AD there were twenty-nine major highways going in and out of Rome. With the average width of a road being 2.5 metres (8ft) you can imagine the massive amounts of people able to go about their business in the ancient capital. Although there were many purposes for building roads the main aim was to create a highway for the great military machine of Rome to get around quickly.


2. Concrete

The Romans being great architects needed to be able to build quickly whilst making sure the building was structurally sound. This encouraged them to invent and develop one of the first known types of concrete, also known in Latin as 'opus caementicium'. This was developed towards the end of the Roman Republic and was used through the entirety of the Empire.

This concrete was used in many famous structures and has enabled them to stand tall even to this day. Buildings which have been built using this concrete include the Coliseum, many aqueducts and the sewers of Rome. In 64AD the great fire of Rome forced the city to be largely rebuilt; the fast setting concrete sped up the time it took to finish the large project.


3. Arches

A structural arch is a structure that supports large amounts of weight. These were used as early as the 2nd millennium BC in Mesopotamia, the Romans however used the design throughout their Empire to create many magnificent buildings.

Aqueducts would commonly use arches in order to raise the structure up for a downward slope to be maintained, allowing gravity to pull the water to its desired destination. The arch structure can be found in every corner of what was the Roman Empire and it has been replicated ever since then to create many more marvels of engineering.



4. Julian Calendar

The Julian Calendar consisted of 365 days in one year, divided into a further 12 months. The months were as followed:

  • Ianuarius
  • Februarius
  • Martius
  • Aprilis
  • Maius
  • Iunius
  • Julius
  • Sextilis
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December


5. Sewers

The opposite of aqueducts which brought fresh water into Roman cities, sewers took human waste out of the city where they wouldn't contaminate drinking water. This strong policy towards hygiene would help restrict the diseases which often run rampant in ancient and medieval cities.

During the height of the Roman Empire there were seven major sewers running out of Rome. These impressive structures can be found underneath the city to this day. Many other sewers were built in other large and important cities around the Empire.