Ancient Roman technology

Roman technology is the collection of antiques, skills, methods, processes, and engineering practices which supported Roman civilization and made possible the expansion of the economy and military of ancient Rome (753 BC – 476 AD).

The Roman Empire was one of the most technologically advanced civilizations of antiquity, with some of the more advanced concepts and inventions forgotten during the turbulent eras of Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages. Gradually, some of the technological feats of the Romans were rediscovered and/or improved upon during the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Modern Era; with some in areas such as civil engineering, construction materials, transport technology, and certain inventions such as the mechanical reaper, not improved upon until the 19th century. The Romans achieved high levels of technology in large part because they borrowed technologies from the Greeks, Etruscans, Celts, and others.

Artistic rendition of the Pantheon

With limited sources of power, the Romans managed to build impressive structures, some of which survive to this day. The durability of Roman structures, such as roads, dams, and buildings, is accounted for the building techniques and practices they utilized in their construction projects. Rome and its surrounding area contained various types of volcanic materials, which Romans experimented with the creation of building materials, particularly cements and mortars.[1] Along with concrete, the Romans used stone, wood, and marble as building materials. They used these materials to construct civil engineering projects for their cities and transportation devices for land and sea travel.

The Romans also contributed to the development of technologies of the battlefield. Warfare was an essential aspect of Roman society and culture. The military was not only used for territorial acquisition and defense, but also as a tool for civilian administrators to use to help staff provincial governments and assist in construction projects.[2] The Romans adopted, improved, and developed military technologies for foot soldiers, cavalry, and siege weapons for land and sea environments.

Having familiar relations with warfare, the Romans became accustomed to physical injuries. To combat physical injuries sustained in civilian and military spheres, the Romans innovated medical technologies, particularly surgical practices and techniques.