In W. Bernard Carlson’s article, “The Romans,” he goes into great depth discussing everything about the Roman Empire. He discusses all sorts of categories, such as: where they started, how they operated, what they ate, their military, and even their different technologies. Some of the Roman ideas are still incorporated into modern society.
Carlson started off by explaining how the Romans originated in Italy by Latins. They traded salt with the Greeks and the Greeks gave them the knowledge of how to use iron and chariots. The Romans ended up adapting a lot of other ideas from Greece as well such as language, military tactics, and ideas of religion. For politics, Rome originally had a king, but was soon overthrown by a group of patricians who then led. Every year, each member of the patricians would select two consuls that could veto other’s decisions. People that had no say in government were known as plebs, and they made their own group so that they could have a say in politics. In 450 BCE, they even made the Twelve Tables which confirmed equal rights to all citizens.
Rome was able to expand its territory because of its military, they expanded by force because of how large their army was. They were even able to defeat Carthage which was founded by the Phoenicians in North Africa by crafting 100 warships.
Carlson explained how advanced the Romans technology was, one piece of evidence was their military weapons. First, they got the hand held crossbow, which had better range than a normal bow and arrow. Then they got the mounded crossbow, or the carroballista that shot even further and required about 11 men to operate. Later, something called an onager developed, and it could launch large stone about 1500 feet.
Carlson then told about the food technology like the new ways to improve crops. He explained how the richer people could afford meats and that wine was something that people couldn’t live without.
The Romans also figured out how to work metal and used it for tools, and used the mine shafts to help prevent flooding. They also discovered a way to divide metals when melting them and how to combine different metals so they were stronger.
Carlson then discussed how the Romans had an amazing system of paved roads. While they weren’t the first to have paved roads, they had the largest and most sophisticated road system at the time. While others were able to make use of the roads, their main purpose was to quicken the military by giving them a road to travel.
One of the key Roman technologies was the development of the arch, and later aqueducts to transport drinking water to cities. They were so sufficient, that eight of them could deliver about 220 million gallons of water a day. Another building technology was their well planned cities, everything was set out in almost perfect coordination.
Today, people still use tons of Roman technologies such as the arch, roadways, and many more ideas. The fact that they still contribute to today’s society shows how important they were in building the world as we see it.