Rome: Engineering an Empire
It is said that Rome was not built in a day. True. It took ambition, lust, murder and the unrivalled power of technology to make the Roman Empire span across three continents and many centuries. While the contributions of ambition, conquest and other political and militaristic factors remain important for the Roman Republic to transform into an Empire, none of this could have been possible without the immense contribution of engineering and technology. In this essay, we shall look into three engineering feats that I believe were crucial in building the Roman Empire. We shall be making use of the video “Rome: Engineering an Empire” as an aid towards the selection of the three technological marvels.
The three most remarkable Roman engineering feats that stand out from the rest, in my opinion, are the Roman Concrete, the Aqueduct and the Coliseum. The reason for it is that even after the Roman Empire is long gone, these three still exist in some form in our modern civilizations.
Beginning with the Roman Concrete, it was the material that the Roman engineers used in building every single type of structure in the Empire. Experts believe it was due to this ‘secret weapon’ that Romans could build bigger, stronger and faster than anyone else. The Roman Concrete was superior to the rest because of the addition of Pozzolana, a volcanic dust that made the concrete much stronger and water proof. This strong mixing material is the reason that all the other architectural marvels were made possible. It allowed Romans to build under water and enabled building of massive piers and permanent bridges.
The second remarkable achievement in Roman engineering was the building of the Aqueducts. Aqueducts were huge and long structures that carried fresh water from the high mountain slopes to public bath, fountain and private homes of the city of Rome. Aqueducts were remarkable engineering examples of...