Ancient Rome - Achievements and Inventions for Kids and Teachers - arches, concrete, mosaics, footwear, language, calendar, propaganda techniques, law and more Illustration

Roman Achievements
& Inventions

The Romans were very good at copying other peoples ideas, but they rarely gave other civilizations credit for these ideas.  According to the ancient Romans, everything was invented by Romans. They actually did invent or achieve some important things themselves, things we still use today. We owe them a lot!

What did the Romans do for us? (animated cartoon, bbc)

  • Architecture: The ancient Romans are referred to as the great builders, and they were. They developed many new techniques for buildings and construction of all types including the invention of concrete.

  • Arches: The Romans used arches to keep bridges strong. Modern bridges reflect this invention today. Look at just about any bridge and you'll see an arch supporting it, making it safe and strong for use.

  • Water Systems:  The Romans built incredibly well built aqueducts that ran for miles, bringing fresh water to the cities and towns.

  • Roman roads and road signs.

  • Tunnels: The Romans built tunnels to transport water and to open mountains for travel

  • Public Health Programs: The Romans were great believers in healthy living.  They made sure that all the people of Rome were able to get medical help.

  • Public Welfare: The Romans also believed that all Romans should have food and shelter. Under the Empire, they developed welfare programs for the poor.

  • Mail System:  Messages were sent by a relay system of messengers

  • Newspapers! The Romans kept people up to date on what was happening with newspapers! The news was carved on stone tablets and the tables were displayed in town centers for the people to read.

  • Libraries: The Romans builts libraries to hold scrolls.

  • Latin: The Romans spread across Europe, Southwest Asia, and North Africa bringing their traditions and their language (Latin), the root of all the romance languages including English, French, and Spanish.

  • Religion: The Catholic faith, which kept learning alive after the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

  • Roman Law and Justice including the law that states a person is innocent until proven guilty (from the Twelve Tables)

  • Government, the Roman Senate: The Senate was made up of prominent Roman citizens. Before any policy could become law in ancient Rome, it had to be presented to the Senate and debated. After debate, the Senators would make recommendations and the General Assembly would vote whether or not to make this suggestion a law.

  • Education:  Education was very important to the ancient Romans, and even the poor learned reading and writing. The school rooms were often in public buildings, separated by a curtain. Boys went to school. Girls usually did not, although they were taught at home by educated slaves and by their mother.

  • Propaganda campaigns including coinage with the current emperor's picture on it, to remind everyone who was in charge of the empire.

  • Satire:  The Romans used satire in plays and literature in a loud and rude sort of sarcastic approach, especially in comic theatre

  • Works of Literature: The Romans wrote many plays including Virgil's Aeneid

  • Realistic statues: Other cultures, like the Greeks created perfect humans in their statues. If someone had a big nose, the Greeks would soften it in their statue to make the person more attractive. But the Romans created what they saw. If a man had a big nose, so did his statue.

  • Mosaics - The Romans created beautiful mosaics on floors and walls. Some of this art is still being uncovered today!

  • Customs:  The Romans invented the use of rings to denote friendship, engagements, and weddings, and the use greenery to decorate during winter holidays, exchanging gifts on the first day of the new year, and other holiday customs.

  • Roman Calendar: Roman Calendar

  • Clothing: The Romans invented socks (called soccus by the ancient Romans) worn by both women and men. They improved footwear considerably for all kinds of shoes, including the hobnailed shoe that made such a scary racket when worn by the common soldier - along with shoe construction that adjusted for left foot, right foot variance in shape, which made wearing any shoes a lot more comfortable.  And a bunch of neat hats.

  • Games: Many board and ball games including knuckleball (jacks) and hoops. Roman Games 

The Great Builders

PowerPoints about Roman Achievements

Ancient Inventions

Video Clips, cartoons, animated