These ancient inventions are still being used today
Many scholars consider the Roman Empire the greatest civilization in all of history. When we think about their overall impact on the world, it shouldn’t be a shock to anyone that the Ancient Romans were the originators of many of the world’s greatest inventions and ideas.
However, the more you learn about this fascinating society, the more you realize how incredibly advanced they were. Their creations and developments sprang from virtually every facet of life. They excelled in engineering, military prowess, art, philosophy, and government.
The Romans have influenced modern society more than any other ancient civilization. Let us examine seven of their remarkable contributions to humankind.
As we observe the architectural wonders of our world, we can see Roman influence everywhere and in many forms. An example of this is the Roman arches. Whenever we examine the ways that the Ancient Romans built structures, we quickly notice their clever use of these arches.
To be fair, Rome didn’t really invent the idea of arches, but they greatly refined their use. They understood more than anyone the importance of using keystones in these arches. This allowed them to build higher and stronger structures while using less material because the weight and strain were considerably reduced.
Ancient Romans used these arches to build their famed aqueducts, bridges, and even the amazing Roman Colosseum. And many of these arches still stand today.
Julius Caesar, who is the most famous of all Romans, decide to reform the calendar because Roman superstitions had messed up the timeline relative to heavenly bodies in the sky. He understood full well the length of a solar year duration and subsequently proposed a 12 month year. Then he went about name every one of the months.
The influence of Ancient Rome still exists within our calendar. An example of this is the names of current months like July and August. The most amazing thing is that Caesar’s observation was so accurate that we still use his calendar today — exactly how he designed it.
There is a popular expression from history that says, “All Roads Lead to Rome.” This sentence is not only referring to the size and greatness of the Roman Empire, but it also refers to the fact that the Ancient Romans invented roads (as well as concrete).
These ancient “highways” back then were used primarily for the military and for trade. They were built so well that several of them are still in use today. Overall, they constructed around 55,000 miles of these roads all over Europe. They were built from granite, dirt, and gravel. Additionally, the Romans were the first society to start using road signs too.
Perhaps the biggest influence that Ancient Rome has had in modern society today is found in government and legal systems. Countless national governments in the world today have used the Roman republic as a model. Even many legal terms like habeas corpus, Pro Bono, and the affidavit have come straight from the Twelve Tables of Rome.
These Twelve Tables were implemented around 450 BC and were the world’s initial semblance of a constitution. The tables addressed different laws pertaining to property, family, and various crimes. Ultimately the Twelve Tables were replaced by the Corpus Juris Civilis, a well-known legal system that has had a massive influence on many of the world’s existing civil laws.
Most of us have seen pictures of those amazing aqueducts that provided freshwater directly into many of the Ancient Roman cities. But what we don’t see too often is the Roman sewers, which removed all their human waste daily. When you couple this with the Roman baths, we can see how serious the Romans were about their health and hygiene.
Ancient Rome and major cities created a sophisticated network of sewer tunnels and drainage systems. Although dumping human waste right into the Tiber River wasn’t the healthiest thing to do, we cannot argue that Rome’s advanced plumbing system revolutionized the public health of the world.
Throughout all of history, ancient civilizations used either heavy tablets or parchment scrolls to record their written language. The Ancient Romans did the same thing — until they began creating bound books. Believe it or not, that is quite true. The bound paperback books from today originated from the Romans. These big stacks of animal skins and bound parchments are what resemble bound books most closely.
Amazingly, even the Christians during those times used this Roman method to put together the very first version of The Holy Bible.
The Roman Empire was the first society that sought a way to help their less fortunate citizens. The very first welfare law was passed in 122 BC. It was called Lex Frumentaria, and it directed the government to sell grain at low prices to its poorest citizens.
Emperor August later started giving away grain every month to the poor. Decades later, Emperor Trajan went even further with the welfare program by giving away food, money, and subsidized education to its poor.