8 junio, 2024

The 10 Most Important Contributions of Rome

Some contributions from Rome The most important to humanity are the bridges, the Julian calendar, the roads that were built in a large part of the empire, the concrete, the basilicas, the sewers, among others.

Rome was born in the 8th century BC. C. with the union of various Latin and Sabine towns. The Etruscans contributed to the organization and urban planning of the city. It took a short time for it to become the capital of an empire with a million inhabitants. The invasion of the Barbarians forced it to organize its military defense and retreat behind a wall (Aureliano).

With the appointment of Constantinople as the second capital, the decline of Rome began, which was only stopped by its quality as the seat of the Christian papacy and capital of the Papal States.

You may also be interested in the contributions of the most important Egyptians.

What were the contributions of Rome to the world?

Although the originality of their contributions is questioned, there is no dispute that the Roman was a civilization that innovated, improving existing technology and putting it at the service of the majority. In fact, it will be seen that the public sphere had great relevance in that environment.

1. Aqueducts and bridges

They were built for the purpose of bringing fresh water to urban centers from distant sources. They designed them in the form of large structures with arches and with the ideal inclination so that the water did not flow too fast (and erode the stone), nor too slow (and evaporate or turn into mud).

Once the water reached the cities, the large reservoirs supported it. So, it became a network, a system to which public baths, fountains, toilets, and private villas were connected. They also included pipelines and sewers.

The first aqueduct was the Aqua Appia (312 BC), which was underground and 16 kilometers long, while the best preserved bridge is the Puente del Tajo in Alcántara.

2. The Julian calendar

It owes its name to its inventor, Julius Caesar, who created it with the aim that the entire Roman Empire shared a common calendar.

It is based on the duration of a solar year, although I miscalculated it by about 11 and a half minutes, which is why it is later replaced in many latitudes by the Gregorian calendar, which only made a few minor modifications. However, the Julian calendar is still used by many Orthodox churches.

He instituted the 12 months in a year: January, by the god Janus; February, for the Februa festival; March by Mars; May, by the goddess Maia; June, by the goddess Juno, April, which means open or open in allusion to the flowering of spring; July, by Julius Caesar; August, by Emperor Augustus; September, for being the seventh month; October, for being the eighth; and so on until December.

3. Roads and highways

The construction of one of the most sophisticated road systems of antiquity was one of the main reasons that facilitated the expansion and dominance of the Roman Empire.

In about 700 years, they built some 55,000 miles of paved roads around the Mediterranean basin and across Europe, ensuring the effective transport of goods, soldiers, and information.

The Romans were one of the first to use road signs and mile markers, and they strove to build straight routes for faster travel.

In fact, many modern European highways follow the ancient Roman roads, as they use the most direct route to connect the cities.

4. Numbers

As with the calendar, Roman numerals emerged, between 900 and 800 BC, as a standard counting method that could be used efficiently in communications and commerce.

They replaced some numbers that could not satisfy the demands required by the calculations required by the trade of the time, and although they also had defects (such as the absence of the number zero and uselessness for the calculation of fractions), it is a system of numbers that it is still used for various purposes.

5. Concrete

One of the reasons why structures such as the Pantheon, the Colosseum and the Roman Forum remained standing for so long, is precisely a material that the Romans used to build them: concrete.

That compound that they created differs from what is known today; It was combined with volcanic rocks (tuffs), which allowed the resulting concrete to withstand possible chemical disintegrations and therefore, the constructions were more durable.

6. Basilicas

Although today a basilica is almost exclusively associated with the Christian church, this type of structure was created by the Romans as a place for any large gathering, and the most common use was as courts. The best example of this type of construction is the Severan Basilica in Lepcis Magna (216 AD).

They also stood out in architecture for the construction of large baths using their characteristic arches and domes, and including pools, hot and cold rooms, fountains and libraries.

In addition to the imposing private houses with their gardens or large apartment blocks built in brick, concrete and wood, for the less affluent in the city.

7. Newspapers

Rome was the first empire that established a system for circulating information among its people, called Acta diurnal (Daily Events), handwritten news sheets with data on political events, trials, military campaign, executions, etc.

They also had the Acta Senatus, a record of proceedings in the Roman Senate, which was only accessible to the public after reforms introduced by Julius Caesar during his reign.

8. The Law

Since Rome was a slave society where one could be the owner of goods and human beings, it was necessary to regulate property, establish norms and know how to punish those who broke the law.

This is how Roman Law arises, which contemplates norms, laws, codes and provisions that regulated behavior in the civil, criminal, property, inheritance, diplomatic and family fields.

His influence was such that today practically all the civil codes of Europe and America are inspired by Roman Law.

In the same way, it was they who shaped the concept of republic, according to which public officials are elected by the people through suffrage and according to their merits. Notion very present in the democratic States of today.

9. Network-based cities

Although the idea of ​​a city created in the form of a grid did not come from the Romans, they were responsible for improving it and taking it to a larger scale.

A basic Roman grid was characterized by a rectangle or a square in an orthogonal street arrangement, in which the two main streets would intersect at right angles in the center of the grid.

In this way, it was easier and more natural to organize the different components of the city; houses, theaters, public baths, markets and shops in private blocks.

In this configuration they built cities from Great Britain to North Africa, in Italy and also throughout the eastern Mediterranean region.

10. Sewers and sanitation

Rome had an extensive network of sewers and drains running along the streets, connected to most of the houses in the city, and washed with runoff from local streams.

The waste was dumped into the nearest river (usually the Tiber).

In short, ancient Rome was a nation within which inventions arose or were improved that changed the course of human nature and the development of different civilizations, in fields as diverse as architecture, agriculture, medicine or sports.


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The illustrated little Larousse (1999). Encyclopedic dictionary. Sixth edition. International coedition.
Europe (undated). Greatest Ancient Roman contributions to the world. Retrieved from: eupedia.com.
Pellini, Claudio (2014). Sciences in Rome. Roman scientists. Recovered from: historiaybiografias.com.
Rome history (2010). Top 10 ancient roman inventions. Retrieved from: ancienthistorylists.com.
Ancient Rome (2015). Contributions to humanity. Recovered from: romaaantigua.blogspot.com.

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