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Technology In Ancient Rome And Egypt

2385 words - 10 pages

Technology application of antiquity was so advanced in some areas that only in the last several centuries has modern technology overtaken what existed several millennia ago . The massive building projects of the Giza Plateau and throughout Egypt required heavy lifting and precision surveying technology that did not exist even 100 years ago . The military equipment of ancient Rome, such as artillery machinery, was still state of the art 200 years ago . Neither Rome nor Egypt invented much new technology , but rather applied existing technology in new ways. Application of technology expanded to meet the priorities of these two civilizations and innovative application of new technology came through exchange of differing ideas and strong motivation.
An analysis of ancient Egyptian and Roman civilizations shows how advanced technology application met state priorities. Egypt’s high value for mortuary monuments and temples drove massive building projects and the technology to enable them . The strength of Rome existed because of a relentless military campaign to expand the empire supported by broad technology. This analysis will limit coverage of technology to specific areas: building for Egypt and military for Rome. These areas match the main priorities for each civilization. The time period focus for Egypt is the 1,000-year period of the Old and Middle Kingdoms (2575 to 1640 BC) with an isolationist foreign policy prior to the Hyksos when external exchange of ideas was limited . The time period focus for Rome is the period from about 500 BC to about 50 BC when the empire was expanding rapidly and each new conquest brought new ideas and technology into the empire. The paper presents key Roman military technology and motivations, key Egyptian building technology and motivations, a contrast analysis of technology application and motivations between the two civilizations, and the conclusion.
Roman technology was not Roman at all but instead sourced from the breadth of the individual regions, which comprised the Roman Empire . The beauty and endurance of Roman art, sculptors, and architecture are testament to the broad impact that technology played throughout Roman civilization. Nevertheless, the military brought the safety and security necessary for an expanding empire and stable society that allowed any focus on the other areas . Roman military technology enabled transport, attack, and defense. Roman roads were primarily for efficient transport of legionnaires and equipment to the various parts of the empire. The high technology used to construct these roads makes many Roman roads still serviceable today . These roads allowed high-speed transport of artillery and other military equipment to battle. Roman artillery ranged from large catapults that were used to destroy walls, smaller Greek developed catapults called polybolos that hurled iron “shrapnel” at troops , to medium sized rapid-fire guns that could fire arrows as rapidly as a handle could be...

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