Roman Aqueducts: As
cities grew, the ancient Romans needed more fresh water. To solve this
problem, they built aqueducts. These were massive construction
An aqueduct, properly speaking, is the
entire conduit - from fresh water spring to town. (CONDUIT—A
natural or artificial channel through which fluids may be conveyed).
Where aqueducts had to cross valleys,
some were built above ground, on arches. Most of the time, they were
underground conduits, and sometimes conduits lying right on the
ground. These conduits could be made of clay or wood, covered or
encrusted with stone. The pipes inside the conduits, that carried the
water, were made of lead, which in turn required vast mining
enterprises and then transportation to get all this pipe out into the
field all over the empire, although most of the lead was mined in
What is extraordinary about the
aqueducts is the planning that must have gone into their construction.
Since the ancient Romans didn't use pumps, aqueducts had to be
positioned at a relatively constant gradient for dozens of miles. You
try building something that drops by only 100 feet in 40 miles....and
you'll begin to understand why scholars refer to the ancient Romans as
such great builders!
Roman Inscriptions: You
may have heard that the ancient Romans could not read or write.
Actually, the ancient Romans wrote quite a bit. Much of their pottery
was signed. Very often, the bricks used to make buildings were stamped
with their makers names. Lead pipes leading to these buildings, by
law, were stamped. Scholars have found over 200,000 Latin inscriptions and,
incredibly, several thousands are still being found every year!
stash of letters, written by enlisted men in the
army, and preserved by
being waterlogged from being dumped in a well in Scotland, it would
appear that some of the Roman army could read and write.
estimates are at around 30% of all adult men in Imperial Roman times had the
ability to read and write.
Ancient Romans Knew Where to Build
and Where Not to Build (and why!)
Rome - Construction Principles
site quickly explains how the Romans made concrete.
Roman Architecture - Free Presentations