Even though the Roman Empire is over 2,000 years old, its contributions to the world continue on today. Usually, we assume ancient people were backward and simple living, but that simply isn’t true. We owe much of our own technology to the Roman people. From architecture to entertainment, Roman customs, knowledge, and designs have been handed down throughout the centuries. Curious to see what Roman wonders we take for granted? Here are 25 Indispensable Roman Contributions To The World.
Romans didn’t invent the arch, but they sure did perfect it. With a reverence for the Greek architectural order of things, Roman architects built upon that knowledge and took it even further, advancing the technology. Their new arch techniques allowed the construction of aqueducts, coliseums, basilicas, and amphitheaters without the fear of them collapsing. Not only have many of these structures lasted for thousands of years, but the techniques are still in use today.
Before Rome became a massive empire, it existed primarily on the Italian Penninsula as a budding Republic with two elected consuls that acted as a kind of president and an elected Senate. This was in contrast to many countries at the time ruled by kings. Years later, their system of a Republic would be used as a model for the United States and others.
The Romans were also skilled at making solid, long-lasting forms of concrete, putting modern concrete to shame. While today’s concrete will break down within fifty years or less, Roman concrete is still standing strong. Roman engineer Marcus Vitruvius is said to have created this super strong mortar out of volcanic ash, lime, and seawater. They mixed those three things with volcanic rock and dipped it into more sea water. After ten years, a rare mineral formed within the concrete called aluminum tobermorite, allowing it to maintain its strength.
The Romans loved their entertainment. Realizing it could keep them in power longer, many Roman leaders and emperors encouraged it by providing it for free. From chariot races, gladiator battles, and plays at the theater, many forms of entertainment enjoyed back then are also enjoyed today.
Roads and Highways
Once the Romans figured out that major paved roads could help them maintain a strong military and empire, they built them everywhere. Over the course of 700 years, they paved 55,000 miles of roads all over Europe. These roads were well-engineered, designed to last, and allowed for fast travel across the empire. Even after 2,000 years, many Roman roads are still in existence today.