Ancient Roman Aqueducts Essay

1262 words - 6 pages

The Ancient Roman aqueducts are an engineering feat thought to be impossible in that day and age. Ancient Roman Aqueducts were a an engineering marvel unlike no others at this time because of their history, construction, and impact on society.
An aqueduct is any manmade bridge or viaduct that transports water. Aqueduct is derived from the latin words “aqua” (water) and “ducere” (to lead) (“Ancient Roman Aqueducts”). Even though aqueducts are a symbol of the engineering advancement of the Roman Empire, aqueducts are not a Roman invention. In 691 B.C., the Persians invented a qanāt, which is a channel that transports water from deep underground to the surface. In 530 B.C., Greeks built a primitive aqueduct. Even though the Romans did not invent the aqueducts, they perfected them. At the height of the empire, eleven aqueducts supplied Rome: Aqua Appia, Aqua Anio Vestus, Aqua Marcia, Aqua Tepula, Aqua Julia, Aqua Virgo, Aqua Alestinia, Aqua Claudia, Aqua Anio Novus, Aqua Traiana, and Aqua Alexandrina. These eleven aqueducts were built over a span of 538 years, from 312 B.C. to 226 A.D (Schram, Wilke D.). The eleven aqueducts carried a combined 200 million gallons of water per day to Rome (Wulf, Caroline). The aqueducts supplied each citizen of Rome with more than 265 gallons of water per day. That is a lot more than most modern water systems can deliver today (Layton, Julia). In the first days of the aqueducts, the water they brought in were used in government buildings, mining, agriculture, and baths (“Ancient Roman Aqueducts”). As Rome’s population grew, major aqueducts served government buildings, baths, public fountains, homes, and latrines throughout the city (Cote, Michael).
Aqueducts in ancient Rome operated entirely upon the forces of gravity. Every mile, the aqueduct sloped down by a few feet to ensure that there was a constant flow of water (Layton, Julia). Although the iconic image of an aqueduct is a water channel upon high arches, less than 5% of the entire aqueduct system was above ground (Cote, Michael). Most of the aqueduct system was underground. Arches were only used in valleys and other areas of low elevation so that the slope could be consistent.
Once the aqueducts reached Rome, it emptied into one of three holding tanks, or cisterns. The first holding tank was for public fountains. The second supplied public baths. The third was reserved for the emperor and for the wealthy (Wulf, Caroline). The main flow of the water could still be maintained while some of the water exited through smaller lines that supplied baths or fountains (“Construction”).The cistern also acted as a filtration system in the form of a settling tank. It helped to remove large debris and purified it slightly (“The Aqueducts of Rome”). Even though a filtration system was being used to help purify the water, aqueducts had to be properly cleaned and maintained regularly (“Construction”). This helped to keep the water clean and moving smoothly. Since the...

Find Another Essay On Ancient Roman Aqueducts

Technolgy In Ancient Rome Essay

1501 words - 6 pages large lakes and rivers. However, there were few of these located near major cities. As a result, it would be impractical for this water to be manually transported. Roman engineers were faced with a dilemma: how to get the water to the cities more efficiently. Their solution was the aqueducts. However, contrary to popular public opinion, the Romans did not invent the aqueducts. Aqueducts were used in ancient Egypt, Persia, and India. However, their

Julius Caesar Essay

1075 words - 4 pages people (Milani-Santarpia, April 23rd, 2014). Although their innovations were few and far between, the achievements that were accomplished during the Roman Era included triumphal arches, aqueducts, bronze valves, water pumps, medical and surgical tools, cesareans, fast-curing cement, reinforced concrete, and even the calendar we use today (Milani-Santarpia, April 23rd, 2014). Even though Rome didn’t have many innovations, the one’s they did have are


572 words - 2 pages society changed, public baths became more widespread and soon became more private. Baths were important in Roman society because not only were Roman baths a great architectural achievement, but they also had a great impact on life and the cleanliness of the people.Roman baths were among the most ambitious buildings in the empire. In the first century B.C. hypocaust was invented which was an ancient Roman system of under floor heating and was the

The Failure of Rome’s Economy and the Fall of the Roman Empire

1409 words - 6 pages The failure of Rome’s economy contributed majorly to the fall of Rome. The Roman Economy during the late Republic and Early Empire was based heavily on Agriculture and Commerce. Agriculture in ancient Rome was not only a necessity, but was idealized among the social elite as a way of life. Cicero had considered agriculture to be the best of all Roman Occupations (Sarudy). There had been a lot of trading between the provinces of the empire, and


2013 words - 9 pages Introduction When one thinks of the Ancient Romans, their mind immediately envisions a vast empire led by fierce rulers and intelligent peoples, but that leaves the question of how was Rome able to proceed from a small city to an imperialistic power. On the road to becoming an empire Rome must first improve their own infrastructure through the building of vast roads such as the Via Appia and through the building of aqueducts such as the Aqua

Roman and Greek Architecture Comparison

1812 words - 8 pages ancient Rome, and spanning the western world the impact of Roman potency is still apparent. Architecture was vital to the triumph of Rome. Simultaneously, conventional architecture like temples and basilicas and within its functional structures like bridges and aqueducts performed necessary roles in consolidating the empire. The building of roads together with bridges assisted communication throughout the far flung empire. Aqueducts such as the

Athens / Rome Planning and Structure.

585 words - 2 pages Athens / Rome Planning and Structure:The history and theories of city form traces how the shapes of cities have been generated by the prevailing contemporary social institutions and technologies of the times.Both ancient Roman cities and ancient Greek cities were similar in that highly symmetrical buildings (based on Platonic geometries -- circle, square, rectangle) were placed onto a complex system of streets. Hence we have the Parthenon

An examination of Roman Demography/population and those that study it.

4062 words - 16 pages knowledge concerning ancient Rome.The one area which has been examined, and discounted, is the use of the water supply as a tool for estimating the population. The difficulties in completing this task are numerous, as the best source, often the only source, for information regarding the Roman water supply is Frontinus' work on the aqueducts. One could not estimate the population based upon the water supply solely, but they could be used to

Great Builders of Rome

763 words - 3 pages Great Builders of Rome The Ancient Roman culture had a direct impact on how we view art, literature, architecture, education and religion. Early Roman civilizations were very sophisticated and idealistic. They build great architectural buildings and performed famous playwrights at these ancient places. Romans were considered to most advanced civilization of their time. With beautiful statues, well designed buildings, and some of

Ancient Greek and Roman Architecture

1240 words - 5 pages Roman Architecture Roman architecture implemented many characteristics of Ancient Greek architecture. The Romans showed the influence of their engineering skills and secular monuments, while Greek architecture exhibited the influence of their gods and ideas of physical perfection. The use of arches, the dome and concrete permitted the ancient Romans to attain extraordinary achievements in the construction of imposing structures for public use

Greek And Roman Influence On Western Civilization

569 words - 2 pages Western civilization is what we call modern society that mainly includes North America and Western Europe. But how did this western way of life come to be? Their are many different ways but mainly through ancient cultures. The two main ones are the Greek and Roman. Greece with their golden age and Rome with its great Empire and Republic and also together. Their are many ways in which western civilization is like the ancient Greek

Similar Essays

Roman Aqueducts Essay

1447 words - 6 pages INTRODUCTION To most people, familiar with pictures of the great bridges and arcades, arches and aqueducts are largely synonymous. The most famous aqueduct builders of ancient times were the Romans. The word "aqueduct" comes from the Latin aqua ("water") and ducere ("to lead"). The typical Roman aqueduct was a surface channel, a conduit that closely followed the surface of the land, instead of being raised on arches or sunk deep beneath it in a

What Is The Design Of Roman Cities?

779 words - 4 pages Cities are built in different ways and one Question I have always wanted to know is what is the design of roman cities. This paper will tell you the answer to this question in form of three other questions. How did they build their cities? Why did they build them this way? and Do we still build cities this way? When the Romans built their cities they always added aqueducts. They also made almost everything out of concrete and started using

What Influences Did Rome Have On Modern Society? This Essay Explains How They Were Living In A Primitive Era And Managed To Overcome It All Through Technological Advances.

1314 words - 5 pages , they were rarely locatednear major cities. As a result, it would be impractical for this water to be manually transported. Romanengineers were faced with a dilemma: how to get the water to the cities more efficiently. Their solutionwas the aqueducts. However, contrary to popular public opinion, the Romans did not invent theaqueducts. Aqueducts were used in ancient Egypt, Persia, and India , and although extremely wellengineered , their designs were

The Aqueduct Essay

805 words - 4 pages looking. In order to keep the water moving, the Roman had to use gravity to keep constant downhill motion. When the water reached Rome, it was kept in large reservoirs called castella (cisterns). From these enormous reservoirs, the rest of the water was distributed throughout the city through lead pipes. The water was used for public fountains and baths as well as for private use (if a fee was paid). At its height, the aqueducts could