Roman Technology By Colleen Messina; edited by Debbie English



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Roman Technology
By Colleen Messina; edited by Debbie English

  




1     The Romans were great builders. Many things you see today have been inspired by ancient Rome. Even though they copied some things in architecture from the Greeks, the Romans had many original ideas.
 
2     The Romans also extended the use of the arch developed in Mesopotamia. An arch is a curved structure that can hold a lot of weight. Arches helped Roman architects a great deal. With arches, they could build over windows and doors. With arches, they could build huge structures called aqueducts. Aqueducts (see illustration) brought water to the city of Rome from the hills.
 
3     The Romans also improved concrete by making it stronger and waterproof. Concrete is created when you mix lime, sand, pebbles and water. Roman builders improved concrete by adding volcanic sand. The volcanic sand produced concrete that was stronger and would even harden under water. This concrete made it possible to build permanent piers for trade vessels and permanent bridges along the roads.
4     The Romans also built many roads over thousands of miles. These roads helped the army keep track of the vast Roman Empire. The roads were straight. Chariot wheels moved much more easily over paved roads than on muddy ruts. The Romans only built straight roads; therefore, some of their roads tunneled through mountains. During the Roman Empire, it was true that “all roads lead to Rome.”

 
5     Around 72 A.D., the Romans built an enormous structure called the Colosseum with concrete; it was their largest amphitheater. The Colosseum was used for gladiator fights and venationes (combats between men and wild beasts). The construction of the Colosseum would not have been possible without concrete and the use of the arch. When Vespasian became emperor in 69 A.D., he had two pressing issues that required his immediate attention. The first crisis was to rebuild Rome. Back in 64 A.D., a huge fire raged for several days and caused tremendous damage to the city. Among the casualties was the city's wooden amphitheater. Vespasian knew how important entertainment was to his people. As a result, he wanted to build a magnificent sports venue for all to enjoy.


6 The second need for building the Colosseum was to erase the memory of Nero. For 14 years, from 54 A.D. to 68 A.D., this crazy emperor ruled the empire heartlessly. To secure power and advance his personal agendas, he murdered many Christians, his stepbrother, his two wives, and even his own mother. During the "Great Fire of Rome" he was said to have played his lyre while reciting “The Fall of Troy.” After the fire was put out, he showed no compassion for the city's loss and suffering. All he cared about was building an enormous palace called Domus Aurea (the Golden House). Though Nero ended his own life in 68 A.D., his horrific, oppressive behaviors were still the talk of the empire. To ease people's minds from those unhappy years, Vespasian decided to dismantle Domus Aurea and use part of the land for a grand, stony amphitheater. That grand, stony amphitheater was the Flavian Amphitheater, or more popularly known as the Colosseum.    
  
7     The Romans were great builders. Using arches, they were able to build larger structures than the Greeks. They developed an important new building material—waterproof concrete. From arches to concrete, our modern world has been influenced by the architects of ancient Rome.

Copyright © 2008 edHelper



technology: The application of science, especially to industrial or commercial objectives.

Directions: Read all questions and answers carefully. Then, locate and underline the supporting information in the article. Finally, bubble in the best answer for each question. After you finish, check your answers.


1.  

Which civilization(s) influenced Roman architecture?
   Greek
   Mesopotamian
   European and African
   both Greek and Mesopotamian




2.  

Which civilization developed the arch?
  European
  Greek
   Mesopotamian
  Roman




3.  

What was the greatest advantage of the arch?
  architecture became more interesting
  they could build over doors and windows
  arches support a lot of weight
  they could build aqueduct




4.  

Read this sentence from the article. “Even though they copied some things from the Greeks, the Romans had many original ideas.”
What does the word original mean?
  old
  innovative
  ordinary
  ancient




5.

What best explains why Vespasian began constructing the Colosseum?
  The wooden amphitheater was destroyed in

a fire.
  He wanted to hold gladiator games.


  He wanted a venue for sporting events to

entertain the people of Rome.

  He wanted to erase the memory of Nero.




6.

What information in paragraph shows the author’s personal biases?
  She claims that Nero burned the city of Rome

to further his personal agenda.


  She says that he loved himself more than he

cared about family.


  She describes Nero as “crazy.”

  She says that Nero played his lyre while

the city of Rome burned.






7.

According to the article how was Roman architecture similar to Greek architecture?
  Both civilizations used waterproof concrete.
  Both civilizations built very tall buildings.
  Both civilizations used arches and columns

in their buildings.

  The article does not elaborate on similarities.




8.

According to the article how was Roman architecture similar to Mesopotamian architecture?
  Both civilizations developed the arch.
  Both civilizations used the arch.
  Both civilizations used arches and columns

in their buildings.

  The article does not elaborate on similarities.




9.

What was true of both Nero and Vespasian?
  Both build great building in Rome.
  Both were emperors of the Roman Empire.
  Both were Roman emperors who built great

buildings in Rome.

  Not enough information is provided to

answer the question.






10.

Which of the listed acts could be considered examples of the “heartlessness” of Nero?
  murdering many Christians
  providing relief for the suffering people

of Rome after the city burned


  murdering his brother

  all of the above




11.

What topic discussed in the article is illustrated by the picture to the right of paragraphs one and two?
  the use of arches
  a Roman aqueduct
  a concrete pier

   a Roman road tunneling through a

a mountain






12.

What topic discussed in the article is illustrated by the picture at the bottom of the page?
   the Flavian Amphitheater
   a Roman road
  a Roman aqueduct

   Domus Aurea (the Golden House)






 Roman Technology - Answer Key




  1.    both Greek and Mesopotamian

  2.    Mesopotamian

  3.   arches support a lot of weight

  4.   innovative

5.   He wanted a venue for sporting events to entertain the people of Rome.

  1. -----

  2.   She describes Nero as “crazy.”

  3.   The article does not elaborate on similarities.

  4.   Both civilizations used the arch.

9.   Both were Roman emperors who built great buildings in Rome.



  1.   murdering many Christians

  2.   a Roman aqueduct

  3.    the Flavian Amphitheater



Materials:

  1. Prentice Hall: World Studies: The Ancient World; chapter 7 Section 2 pages 221-222

  2. Engineering an Empire produced by the History Channel; sections on Introduction (for Roman Roads); Augustus (concrete), Aqueducts, Nero, and the Colosseum

  3. Realia: marble model of Colosseum; model of small wall fountain as outlet in Rome for the aqueducts; pictures of Colosseum and aqueducts


Evaluation:

  1. Journal: Title page for Unit 1: Ancient Rome which needs the following for an “A”: complete heading in upper right corner, colored illustration of an aqueduct or the Colosseum (pages 221 & 222 in Ancient World Textbook), and a student summary of the information on these items from notes and textbook in the students own words. The summary should be in a complete paragraph with a main idea sentence, at least three detail sentences, have correct spelling and punctuation. All of the work should be neat.—project grade

  2. Journal: Cornell Notes in notebook for Roman Technology—class work grade

  3. “Ancient Roman Republic—Quiz for Sections 1 and 2—test grade


Social Studies Objectives:

Student Friendly Question: What were the Roman civilization’s greatest contributions to architecture?

S.S.2.3.7: Understand how physical environments shape human systems (art and architecture).


Language Arts Objective:

    • By identifying main ideas and supporting details, students will complete Cornell Notes about Roman technology.

    • Students will use the information from the Cornell Notes to write a paragraph about an aqueduct or the Colosseum.

    • Vocabulary-technology: The application of science, especially to industrial or commercial objectives.


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