History of Technology 2: Roman Roads

What's the big deal with roads? Like, they all lead to Rome? Not everyone wants to go to Rome. You heard it here first: roads are overrated.

LanguageEnglish Language
TechnologyHistory of Technology

Transcript

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instead the Romans built an awesome network of paved road to keep

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their empire connected and under their control no other empire came close to

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Rome's Road building skills in fact Roman roads were so awesome that some [People taking photographs of roman roads]

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are still around today and we bet those road's have some ego.

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So how did the Romans pull it off well first they would raise a mount of dirt

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so that the road would be above the surrounding land no point in building a [A road and rain begins to fall]

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nice new road if the first rain turned it into a swamp unless that was what

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you're known for in which case like why then the Romans dug several feet into

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the center of the dirt pile and filled it with crushed rock this was also to [Romans pile road with crushed rock]

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help with the rain as the gravel allowed rainwater to filter down through it the

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Romans last major trick was a real doozy they figured out how to make concrete

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yep pretty cool they paved every major road with a mix of concrete and gravel [Concrete being processed]

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this beat the heck out of having to carve out big paving stones..Well, Roman

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Road building slaves were probably thankful for this, but they probably

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would have been a little more thankful to you know not be slaves... Though the

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Roman Empire had fifty thousand miles of Kings Road at its peak but why did the

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Romans spend so much time building these beauties well here a few of the reasons [Romans building new roads]

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first of all bureaucracy needs roads and Empire's need bureaucrats the Roman

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Empire was big and kept getting bigger like a pro bodybuilder drowning the old

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chickens at every meal while maintaining such a huge empire required an army of [Roman army marching in the woods]

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bureaucrats tax collectors messengers judges city officials, the works.. Were

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they expected to get around on dirt roads no way those bureaucrats couldn't [Judge approaches dirty road and stops]

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show up to do their bureaucrating all dusty

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could they? Well besides bureaucrats great empires also need armies and it's not

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like all those other people's across the Mediterranean world were going to

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conquer themselves it usually took a little head-chopping for the Romans to [Roman soldiers beheading people]

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convince them to you know be part of the Roman Empire a good option...Rome had a

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large and highly professional army and good roads also made it a fast army

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this helps them keep their subjects in check any rebellion in Roman dudes could

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be there in a jiff and complete the head chop and quickly and effectively.. We're [Roman soldiers march in and chop mans head off]

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sure they got five-star reviews on Yelp Rome's roads also help to make it filthy

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rich well the easier transportation was easier trade was and the easier it was to gain [Tax man asking man for money]

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and collect taxes and the more money flowing into Rome the easier it was to

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build fancy marble buildings and statues of naked people pro-tip; statues of

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naked people are the number one sign that you've made it in life but last but

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not least Rome needed roads to help deliver the mail good communication is [Mail van driving down a cobbled road]

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essential in keeping the Empire running smoothly

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and in the days before email good roads were a total necessity come rain sleet

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snow or barbarians the Romans needed to you know get their mail all junk mail

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course was met with instant beheading and what can we say the Caesars

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hated getting coupons [Monster beheads Caesar]