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Greek And Roman Technology

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Some of the things we see today and appreciate are older than you would probably guess. Now a days we're surrounded by modern conveniences, but some of them aren't exactly that innovative. For example; when you take a shower, use the restroom, or turn on the sink you expect to have running water, the same thing the ancient Greeks had two thousand years ago. So I guess the Moen commercial is accurate. Who would have guessed that the interstate you traveled on to get to work isn't that original? Well, it really isn't we can see that now the internet is the information superhighway, but back then it really was. As Americans we have become enchanted by entertainment, whether it's sports, movie theatres, or the mall; all things that originated from bygone times. The Romans were great innovators and today we've done the same thing and borrowed their technologies that hold a prominent place in our culture. I hope to inform you on three things that have Greek origin. The roads, their plumbing system that still stands today, and the coliseum, and maybe next time you use them you'll have a greater appreciation for them.

1) Everyone's familiar with the saying all roads lead to Rome." Well, actually that's pretty accurate because at the peak of its empire there were 80,450 km of roads. I don't know about you, but like most Americans I have a need for speed so I took the interstate to get here; the Roman Emperor Agustus had the same passion in _____ AD he built the world's first highway system that spanned through: Europe, Northern Africa, the Middle East, and Britain. Actually all of these roads did lead to Rome because of the fact that all roads had route markers that said how many miles away it was from Rome. What were these roads used for? Delivering messages and mail that could travel over 500 miles in 24 hours. All this travel was made possible by the solid construction of the roads themselves. First, the road was flattened and then laid with logs or stones. Next, then on top of this layer were layers of stone, broken tiles, mud, and sand. Then a combination of volcanic ash, sand and gravel for traction. Last, on both sides, there were holes/trenches that allowed for drainage. Because of the fact that these roads were so well constructed, they are still in use today, and there are more than a few legends that they were constructed by gnomes or giants. We can see that many of the things made were well constructed and examples are still in existence.

2) If that was just the roads, can you imagine what type of commodities they had in they city? Well, maybe you can't so I'll elaborate. Some of the most important things for Rome, a thriving city and agricultural stronghold was running water. How do you get 200,000 million gallons of water to a thriving city? Easy, develop a complex sewer system like that of the Romans. They let gravity do their dirty work in the aqueduct they built. First, they dug holes in the ground that were 150 feet deep and then supported them with arches. Next, they used inverted siphons and gravity to force the water uphill. Then, repeat 10 more times to supply the city with enough water. Their larges ever built was in Carthage, spanned 87 miles. This enabled the Romans to enjoy their running water, flush toilets, and heated public bath houses. While getting clean seems like a necessity today, it was a recreational



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