25 Indispensable Roman Contributions To The World

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.

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5

Medical Tools

roman medical toolsSource: http://exhibits.hsl.virginia.edu/romansurgical/

Thanks to the preservation of Pompeii, we have a better idea of the kinds of medical tools ancient Romans used. Many of them were used all the way up to the 20th century. Some of the tools discovered were a vaginal speculum, a rectal speculum, and a male catheter.

4

City Planning

rome planSource: http://publications.newberry.org/makebigplans/rerouting-metropolis/transportation-burnham/streets-rome

The Romans were greatly admired for their city planning, creating some of the first “grid cities.” Many of their grid cities became early models for later designs in traffic and commerce. By designing cities, they discovered they could control the flow of traffic and make commerce and production more efficient.

3

Apartment Buildings

roman apartmentsSource: https://www.thoughtco.com/life-in-ancient-roman-apartment-117742

Apartment buildings were very similar in Roman times to ours today. Landlords would rent out the lower rooms to shopkeepers and businesses while keeping apartments on the upper levels. They were called “insulae” and would almost always consist of poor working class people that couldn’t afford a home. Some scholars believe in the town of Ostia alone, 90% of the people there lived in apartment buildings.

2

Traffic Signs

roman traffic signsSource: https://blog.allstate.com/from-rome-to-detroit-a-history-of-street-signs/

Traffic and road signs are not modern day phenomena. The Romans used them, too. On their many roads and highways, they used large “milestones” to give travelers information on the direction and distance of Rome and other towns.

1

Fast Food

popinaeSource: http://mentalfloss.com/article/66277/6-examples-early-fast-food-ancient-history

McDonald’s probably likes to think it invented fast food but that simply isn’t the case. For instance, in the ancient city of Pompeii, no one liked to cook or the convenience just wasn’t available to people as few kitchens were found in people’s houses. Instead, citizens went to “popinae” or ancient take-out restaurants. Eating on the go was fairly common.

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Photo: 1. ell brown, La popina du bordel de Pompéi, CC BY 2.0 , 2. Júlio Reis, Geira Milha XXIX caminho, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 3. Robert Young, Ancient Roman apartment block, CC BY 2.0, 4. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 5. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 6. Tammra M, Photo #471 - In Surgery Delivering, CC BY 2.0, 7. Xanara, Roman sewer Cologne, CC BY-SA 4.0 , 8. Дмитрий Окольников, Roman numerals!, CC BY-SA 4.0 , 9. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 10. anonymous, Vieux la Romaine Villa hypocauste, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 11. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 12. Mediatus, Scan eines mir vorliegenden Abgusses., Pompei, Gladiatoren, AE 1914, 00157, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 13. anonymous, Roman writing tablet 02, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 14. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 15. Diliff, Colosseum in Rome, Italy - April 2007, CC BY-SA 2.5 , 16. Unknown Till Niermann, Statue-Augustus, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 17. Chris 73, Roman lead pipe ostia antica 01, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 18. max pixel (Public Domain), 19. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 20. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 21. PhR61, Timgad rue, CC BY 2.0 , 22. Neil Carey, Roman Chariot Races, CC BY-SA 2.0 , 23. Michael Wilson from York, United Kingdom, Ancient Roman concrete vault, CC BY 2.0 , 24. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 25. Bernard Gagnon, Aqueduct of Segovia 08, CC BY-SA 3.0


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