The Influence of Roman Empire on the Development of Western Civilization

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The History of the Roman Empire

The history of the Roman empire is one of the primary sources in the discovery of western civilization in the world. Further, most of the contribution made by the Roman empire is still observable following the development of various innovations. The was founded by the 8th century with the influence being felt in the 21st century. The essence of this is through the determination of cultural inheritance which is incorporated into diverse groups of political, ethnic and religious practices. The paper will explain aspects which made the Roman Empire make significant contributions to Western Civilizations in the advancement of technology.

Technological Advancements

The Roman empire is recognized as one of the most technologically advanced civilizations of various innovations such as the antiquity and development of different concepts that are since influencing the contemporary world. Additionally, some of this contribution of western civilization in the advancement of technology was improved through the generations of the early middle ages as well as the beginning of the modern era (Büntgen et al. 580). There are various advancements which are still being used as the advancement of technology and western civilization from the Roman empire. The development of energy contract is one of the techniques whose concepts is being applied until the modern world. The technology which uses energy in transforming material into the desired form or object through some types of mechanics is one of the advancements which was made early in the Roman empire. The empire developed cheaper energy with a comprehensive class technology to ensure the economic considerations. As a result, this is the reason why the type of technological advancement was influenced until the development of western civilization. The essence of this led to its success in all ages in different kinds of energy such as animal, human oil and water.

Engineering and Construction

The Romans used water power as well as build mills especially to crush cereals and to saw timber. The other type of technological advancement which was assimilated from the Roman empire is the development of engineering and construction. Under this aspect, there are various structures which were made and consist of roads, aqueducts, dams, amphitheaters, and bridges. Greeks and Etruscans mainly influenced Roman architecture. These individuals adopted many of the column and arches build in the regions that are still present in Italy. The construction of roads and highways encompassed nearly 1.7 million square miles and covered most of southern Europe. The effectiveness was ensured through the administration of this sprawling domain. The construction was sophisticated through a system that is applied in the current world. These Roman roads are also being used and consist of the combination of gravel, dirt as well as bricks which are made of granite. The engineers of roman empire adhered to the strict standards in the designs of highways. The essence of this was to create narrow roads which curved to allow for the drainage of water.

Aqueducts, Dams, and Bridges

The motivation for the construction of these roads and highways were also in correlation to the military conquest where the messengers and elegance could be used to relay information immediately. The other engineering and construction techniques are the aqueducts. These were constructed for the supply of water within the cities (Adas 140). The city of Rome was being supplied by eleven aqueducts made of limestone to provide nearly one million cubic meters of water each day. The engineers used the marvels to apply the gravity transporting water along the stone which leads and concrete pipelines into the cities. The construction of an aqueduct which primitive canals for water transport and irrigation and the focus of development were targeted below the surfaces with small portions above ground supported arches. The bridges were also among the technological advancement which was influenced to the western civilization. The Romans were the first people to build substantial and lasting bridges built.

Military Technology

The engineering construction was built with stone and used the development of arch. By 142 B.C the pons Aemilius was build and known to be the oldest bride in Italy. Further, it has a broader width and soon length with almost 60 feet above the water body. The construction of dams and mining engineering development were also technological advancement which influenced the western civilization. The Dams were primarily built with the purpose to collect water such as the Subiaco dams which were fed by any Novus was known as the most massive aqueducts of the room. During the Roman empire reign, they build 72 dams within one country (Spielvogel 211). At one site the construction of Montefurado in Galicia which was built in across the river Sil exposed to gold deposits in the bed of the river. The technology in the development of dams is significant to the current applications in the building of dams. On the other hand, the mining techniques were also developed by the Romans. The essence of mining during the reign of the Roman empire was to use aqueducts. Some of these consist of the modules within northwest Spain having seven channels entering the Minehead. The process consists of the use of hydraulic mining with streams which are released onto the hillside. Further, the debris rock could be sluiced away by hushing and water used to douse fires in breakdown the hard rock in a process referred to as fire setting.

Military Advancements and Medical Innovations

The Roman empire also influenced the technological advancement in military actions. These ranged from personal equipment and armaments which were used in the primary battlefield with the enemies. Further, the military technology used by the Roman empire advanced ancient weapons such as the segmented plates. This segmented armor provided good protection for vital areas. The ancient Rome was the wellspring for several modern government programs on warfare with the production of Roman siege engines. These consist of scorpions, Ballistas, and onagers which were not unique because they had been developed earlier. Additionally, the innovation of land warfare also led to the development of boarding devices which would ship the soldiers to the enemy battlefield. Besides, there was the development of battlefield surgery technological advancement made by the Roman empire. The invention of most of the surgical tools was initiated and pioneered such as the use of cesarean section was created by the Romans (Simonton, and Ting 230). The essence of this discovery was due to the battlefield which revolutionized the most valuable contribution of medicine. For instance, under the leadership of Augustus, the military medical corps were first created to assist in the battlefield to provide surgery units for injured soldiers. There was much-specialized training to save the lives of the military officers to continue with the war. The doctors in the field performed physicals on the recruits to help in stemming them against the possibility to spread disease and maintain sanitation. Further, they also used the discovery of medicine in antiseptic surgery which was later embraced in the 19th century and treatment of wounds and wellness among the soldiers.

Other Technological Advances

There were technological advances in concrete, newspapers, welfare, bound books, and the Roman arches. The architectural design of the houses is one of the historical development which is still applied to the modern civilization of the world. Many of the ancient Roman structure such as the Pantheon, the Colosseum, and the forum are among the remarkable buildings today. The Roman empire first until the concrete houses throughout the Mediterranean basins from buildings to bridges and monuments. The concern of creating concrete has been improved with the modern ways of developing structure considering the surrounding environment. However, it proved to be unique and durable since it was made through the combination of volcanic rocks and chemical decay. The newspapers were also known to contribute to public discourse by contextually applying its use when dealing with the legal and civil issues as well as passing information to the military. The first newspaper to write was known as the Acta Diurna and were written in the metal or stone and posted to traffickers in the Roman forum (Mitchell 170). The welfare development was initiated in ancient Rome was enhanced through the many modern government programs. These consist of measures which subsidizing the food, education and other expenses for the needy people.

Development of Bound Books and Arches

The bound books were technological advancement which assisted in the literary work of human beings during the reign of the Roman empire. The dominant literature entailed the form of unwieldy clay tablets as well as the scrolls. The roman streamlined the medium by ensuring the codex and a stack of bound pages which is recognized as an incarnation of the book. The first copies of the bound books were made out of the tablets wax and replaced with animal skin for more clarity of the pages. The ancient historians have noted that Julius Caesar created the first version of the codex by stacking sheets of papyrus to produce a first notebook (Levy 100). These techniques are later used in the modern world as books such as notepad used in offices. The arches were also the other technology which was developed and influenced western civilization. These arches existed nearly 4000 years ago, but the ancient Romans became the first to effectively harness their prowess to use them in the construction bridges buildings and houses. The ingenious design of the arch enabled the weight of the buildings to be evenly distributed along various supports to prevent massive structures such as Colosseum from climbing their weight.


Conclusively, the ancient Romans have several contributions which were essential to western civilization. Some of the contributions are still remarkable to the development of technological advancement. These were associated with the techniques in various fields such as engineering and construction and entails aqueduct, dams, roads, and bridges. The others consist of military equipment that ranges from personal equipment and armaments for the battlefield. Lastly, the development of energy was also a civilization aspect which assisted in the advancement of technology to the western world. These consisted of the transformation of energy into materials desirable in milling cereals and sawing timber.

Works cited

Adas, Michael. Machines as the measure of men: Science, technology, and ideologies of Western dominance. Cornell University Press, 2015.

Büntgen, Ulf, et al. "2500 years of European climate variability and human susceptibility." Science vol.331, no.6017 2011, pp. 578-582.

Levy, Jack S. War in the Modern Great Power System: 1495--1975. University Press of Kentucky, 2015.

Mitchell, Stephen. A history of the later Roman Empire, AD 284-641. John Wiley & Sons, 2014.

Simonton, Dean Keith, and Shing-Shiang Ting. "Creativity in Eastern and Western civilizations: The lessons of historiometry." Management and Organization Review vol. 6, no.3 2010, pp. 329-350.

Spielvogel, Jackson J. Western civilization. Cengage Learning, 2014.

November 13, 2023



Roman Empire

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World History

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