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Rome is a city formed by a cluster of villages and these villages were important for defense purposes and for agricultural practices in the plains of river Tibet hence making Rome an acropolis type of city. To sustain its large and growing population, it bought wheat and other food commodities from its neighboring territories like the Etruscans. To enhance good communication and administration it curved roads in the territory and this went hand in hand with the construction of reservoirs and aqueducts to ensure an adequate supply of water in the town. The creation of a public bath alongside the central hot air heating led to accelerations of deforestation meaning that there was an imbalance between the human population and the production which exerted pressure on the natural resources.
Technological development in Rome
Early Rome technology is a combination of customs and artifacts which supported the civilization of Rome. This technology was in many fields which include engineering, transport, and construction with some discoveries like that of mechanical reaper not matched until the 19th century. The roman city was rectangular with two major streets, the documents and cardo, there were other streets that divided the city into blocks though some cities were not planned, and the forum was the crucial point of these cities. The growing population in Rome made it necessary for the Romans to import cereal, the center was at port Ostia, and this led to correlating urbanization with the shipping industry. The first horrea and insulae were built in the first AD. The horrea were constructed near ports while the insulae were built in the city. The horrea were very important because Romans depended on the importation of cereal for subsistence and this continued until the third century. This archeological evidence shows that the horrea was very important to maintain the food supply for the growing city of Rome.
Through innovation, town planning was very important in Rome, the roman in the city plans considered factors like the climate, purpose of the town, and the environment. The plan resembled early to early towns in Italy or the army camps that were square with avenues crisscrossing at the center. The center of a Roman town was a forum; this was where people carried on the business activities. Imperial forums required a design that was very comprehensive, large cities like Rome hoisted several forums for many purposes like administration, religious functions, and for exchange of commodities like vegetables. For the purpose of business, specially designed architectural structures were built, but there resembled the forum, MacCallum is an example of such a structure that had shops surrounding a colonnaded court, this building acted as a marketplace, the horrea served the function of warehouses for wholesale trade.
The technological innovation in Rome led to the division of labor as there were specialists in trade and crafts, the economy in these cities improved through tax collection and specialization which led to increased productivity in all sectors since a city was a geographical, economic, and political unit.
The factors that lead to urbanization in Rome are similar to those of ancient Egypt, these factors include the need for security, population increase, need for easy control of the empires by the authority, and increase in the emergence of specialized craftsmen. In both cities, there was the innovation of new technology which simplified life for the residents.
- Colin chant, David Goodman, 1999, pre-industrial cities and technology, Ruotledge publishers, UK
- Roman technology handbook.