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Contributions of the Ancient Romans

The ancient Romans are known for many things in history, including their politics, art, and the Julian calendar. They were also celebrated for their architectural styles, including impressive arches, columns, domes, frescoes, and mosaics. In this article, you will encounter a host of achievements that have been attributed to the ancient Romans, such as the abacus.

Circus

The history of the ‘big top’ has roots that trace back to ancient Roman times. Circuses for the Romans were known as the first racetracks. It was here that the excitement of the chariot race unfolded. Either two or four horses pulled each chariot. However, the Romans also held special races that included six or even eight horses per team. The number of horses per chariot enhanced the difficulty of the race since having more horses meant that it was harder to gain control over the team. In history, Circus Maximus was a memorable attraction , earning honors for being the largest circus ever built. This site was positioned in the center of Rome.

Abacus

Mathematicians have the ancient Romans to thank for the first calculator in history. It was called the abacus and it was used to count various things. It came in pretty handy for merchants and is still used today by the Chinese. Made out of wood, the abacus possesses seven long and seven shorter rods or bars. The first set of rods had four perforated beads attached. The beads on the shorter bars signified fives, five units, five tens, and such. The rod O and corresponding short rod was used to suggest ounces and the short quarter rods denoted fractions of an ounce.

Concrete

When the Romans needed a durable material for constructing their buildings, they came up with the idea of concrete. The first pouring of concrete consisted of a mixture of cement, mortar, and stones (or rubble). They used the concrete when making two small low brick walls and leaving space in between for the mixture. The ancient Romans repeated this process until the wall was as high as the builder wanted it to be. If you wanted a high structure, you needed to use smaller stones.

Gladiators and Amphitheaters

Gladiators are a popular part of ancient Roman culture that has spawned numerous movies and books. The concept of fighting to the death has attracted many and the place where such contests took place was in an amphitheatre. Sometimes, gladiators were paid volunteers, but in other cases, they were simply prisoners, criminals, and slaves. There were four different kinds of gladiators to be on the lookout for, including the Thracian, who fought with a small round shield and small sword. The most recognizable of amphitheaters was the Colosseum, which was known for its massive size. Up to 50,000 people could fit inside to watch the battle of the gladiators.