It is sometimes difficult for scholars
to sort what the ancient Romans actually invented from the inventions
they copied from
other cultures. The Romans were great believers in
taking the best and making it their own.
The Greek gods are a perfect example.
When the ancient Romans heard the stories of the ancient Greek gods,
they loved them! They renamed the Greek gods, just about all of them
except for Apollo, kept the myths the same, and adopted them
all. Suddenly, the Greek gods were Roman gods. They were the top Roman gods including the king and queen of
all the gods - Jupiter and Juno (Zeus and Hera to the Greeks). The
Romans pretended they always were.
Some scholars credit the ancient Romans
with the invention of lipstick and other cosmetics, while others
insist cosmetics were invented by the people who lived in the Indus
Valley region of ancient
argument is probably still raging in scholarly circles about which
group of ancients invented the umbrella; some say the ancient
Chinese, others insist it was the ancient
Babylonians, still others
think perhaps it was the ancient
Celts. The ancient Romans, of course, would claim they
invented the umbrella.
The ancient Romans did not credit other
civilizations with the invention of much of anything except silk. They did admit there were silk
people somewhere - the ancient Chinese - but that's because
for many centuries the Romans couldn't find them.
Which all goes to explain why, even though
the Romans left lots of written records, it's hard to know what
they actually invented, since according to the ancient Romans,
they invented just about everything.