Inventions have defined cultures throughout history and transformed the way we live our lives. There was too much for inventing and discovering the ancient world when it came to making things most simple. Ancient Rome is without a doubt one of the most popular inventive civilizations that altered the direction of human progress. In certain ways, however, advancement in the Roman era was more accurate, and improvements in existing technologies were brought about.
Here is a record of the top 10 ancient Roman innovations that have contributed to significant progress in engineering and architecture, which have established the Roman people as one of the most powerful civilizations of the modern age.
Even though this remarkable architectural innovation has preceded the earliest years of Roman civilization, it was a vital mechanism in the general paradigm of architecture as soon as the Romans have adapted it to their designs. The Romans first discovered a way of placing an arch on two high pedestals to cover a path (and in many cases, even highways).
These arches were key engineering buildings that lay the foundations of many of the structural highlights of ancient Rome. These arches were constructed on several bridges: the aqueducts, sewers, amphitheaters, and the big Colosseum. Later in the Middle Ages, Roman arches were used to build some of the most beautiful cathedrals. It was the only way known to put a roof without supporting beams in a house.
9. Grid-based cities
Once again, the Romans were not the first to establish grid-based institutions and towns and, from the old Indus town of Mahjong Daro in Pakistan, the earliest basic grid plan. However, the Romans who adopted this idea introduced a different layer and made it so wide that towns on the grid became commonplace. An entire Roman grid was distinguished by a rectangle or square in almost complete orthogonal street form.
At a right angle in the middle of the grid will cross the two major avenues, Cardo and Decumanus. This network was perfect for organizing various community elements such as housing, theatres, and shops into specific blocks. The Romans inserted numerous objects such as open theatres, public baths, markets, and other fun-filled activities into the city grid to prevent the city from being a single block. Then, by establishing colonial and military camps in their vast Empire from Britain to the northern Africans, Italy, and the eastern Mediterranean region, they standardized this settlement pattern.
8. Sewers and Sanitation
The ancient Roman Empire boasted of the highest degree of modern wastewater and sanitation. The Romans set up a range of public baths, latrines, and interconnection of wastewater lines that connected them to a complicated and effective engineering process. The streets of Rome and other major cities were running alongside a wide network of sewers and drains. A great deal of water was constantly spilled into these drains in Roman aqueducts and runoff water from nearby streams.
The flush was then to throw all the waste into the next river (normally the Tiber), which would not seem to be the ideal choice for health but was much safer than keeping the wastewater in the streets. In the ancient Romans, the city’s majority of houses were also associated with closed gutter and drainage pipes. Their sanitation and drainage infrastructure rendered the ancient Romans a precursor of modern sanitation activities worldwide.
7. Roads and Highways
One of the key factors for the impeccable and efficient management of such a large empire in ancient Rome was to build one of the most advanced road networks of the ancient era. The Roman state, spread across the Roman and then the Roman Empire, was pivotally influenced by roman roads and highways.
In 700 years, they have constructed some 55,000 miles of paved roads throughout the Middle Ages and across Europe, ensuring that supplies, troops, and intelligence are moved across the whole of the Empire quickly and efficiently. Roman roads generally went straight across the countryside, making journeys quick and effective. These skilled roads were easily navigated, and the Romans used road signs and markings first. They were very quick to follow. They also provided for a well-protected and regulated plurality of highways.
In those days of the Roman Republic and Empire, the Romans had several facilities that had not perfected constructing aqueducts for transporting water from rivers, sources, and reservoirs would have been impossible. The first roman aqueduct was constructed around 312 BC and from that time on started to provide the city center with the downhill water flow.
The entire water supply network was based on various conditions and the use of gravity to ensure a steady flow. When the water entered major towns, such as Rome, it would include huge reservoirs. The municipal swimming pools, fountains, toilets, and residential villas will tap on the water network. As one of the most evident patterns of the old water infrastructure, the aqueduct is a real monument to Roman architecture and invention.
5. Roman Numerals
Roman numerals originated in ancient Rome, as the name implies already. The first use of these numbers goes back anywhere between 900 and 800 BC and is one of today’s most common numeration schemes. The current counting methods were then unable to meet the need for ever-complicated calculations. To provide a standard counting system, roman numerals were created, which can be used effectively in correspondence and commerce.
However, these roman numbers were characterized by faults such as lack of the zero number and the incapacity to quantify fractions. However, even after the collapse of the Roman Empire, these figures survived. Their usage now reveals the long legacy of this ancient number notation in movies, novels, and many other mainstream and cultural realms.
4. Surgery Tools and Techniques
Various surgical instruments and techniques were invented in ancient novels, which led to further advances in medicine and surgery. The medical scene in Rome was influenced strongly by the progress of surgery in the ancient Greeks. In ancient Rome, doctors used all existing instruments, but they also created many new instruments and invented methods, including the cesarean section. But by making field medicine a major concern, they made the greatest operational jump in the fighting field.
A military healthcare corps was set up to help wounded soldiers in combat under Augustus’ rule. The Romans perfected medical advances and so saved thousands of lives to save immediate blood loss. They invented instruments such as bronze scalps, obstetric hooks, bone drills, forceps, and the rather frighteningly named vaginal speculum. The Romans are often accredited as the pioneers of antiseptic surgery because they used surgical instruments to clean them in hot water before surgery.
3. Julian Calendar
When Antic Romans were the greatest of the ancient western world’s civilizations, they understood the complexities that could extend to the whole Empire by keeping a regular calendar. It did not help to add months of the unknown number of days due to a dominant superstition. The calendar was eventually too far removed from a daily schedule when Julius Caesar introduced a new reform, which made it the basis of the calendar for a solar year.
He also introduced the 12 months of the year. The calendar was named after Julius Caesar, and some Eastern Orthodox churches still use it today to quantify their holidays. While the Julian calendar had been an almost perfect invention, it miscalculated the sun year by around 11.5 minutes. The Gregorian calendar, which was largely based on the Julian model, was finally created and adopted in 1582 AD.
History is full of autocrats who had official declarations and innovations to hold the people in line. Rome was the first Empire to create a complex structure of written reporting, reported as “Daily Events” in the Acta Diurna. The government issued these handwritten newsletters regularly in the Roman Forum from A.D. 59 to around 222 A.D. Most of Acta Diurna’s coverage included political news, proceedings, military camps, executions, big controversies, and related subjects.
The Romans also published the Act Senate, which reported the Roman Senate proceedings. Still, this type of newspaper was kept out of reach of the public until Julius Cesar made it available to everyone connected with his famous reforms. When the first newspapers in Europe came out, they may not have impacted Acta Diurna, but these news coverings were the miners of news publishing history.
In constructing new buildings quickly and retaining their structural integrity, the ancient Romans were highly competent. The innovative concrete built by the Romans helped create impeccable and durable buildings that played an important part in ancient Rome’s architectural accession. The researchers who looked closely at its composition considered it superior to contemporary concrete and much more ecological.
The piece of pavement they tested on had been submerged in the Mediterranean for more than 2,000 years. This concrete analysis showed that it made the concrete an unbelievably solid construction material and that it differs greatly from the concrete that we currently use. The Romans mix their cement with a volcanic rock commonly known as the “tuff” to prevent any chemical degradation by the resulting concrete. It is not surprising that many ancient Roman institutions like the Pantheon, the Colosseum, and the Roman Forum have existed for over two millennia.
Courtesy of the discoveries and innovations listed before, it is only fair to say the Romans stepped out from underneath the giant shadow of the ancient Greeks. The ancient Romans have managed to create and innovate their way to become one of the leading civilizations of the old world, ranging from engineers such as aqueducts and arches to the stunningly stable concrete, which stood the test of time. While much of its innovations have been neglected in the face of far superior contemporary technical advancements, its inventions have inspired cultures to introduce new methods to rule, live and comprehend the environment.