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Curiosities of ancient Rome (Architecture)

The world of ancient Romans abounded in a number of amazing curiosities and information. The source of knowledge about the life of the Romans are mainly works left to us by ancient writers or discoveries. The Romans left behind a lot of strange information and facts that are sometimes hard to believe.

Inner garden in a Roman house

Inner garden (hortus) in a Roman house (so-called Casa della Nave Europa) in Pompeii. The preserved columns that surrounded the greenery and created the peristyle (internal courtyard) are visible.

Inner garden in a Roman house

The highest! The biggest! The heaviest!

What are we talking about? Of course, probably the largest monolith ever brought and placed in Rome. The obelisk of the Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose III, which was ordered to be placed on the Circus Maximus by Emperor Constantius II.

Obelisk of the Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose III

Rome’s water supply network

In the ancient port of Arles on the Rhône, in 2014, French researchers made an astonishing discovery. They found a Roman water supply network – eight threads of lead pipes laid across the Rhône bed, at a depth of 12 meters. Each section of pipe laid on the bottom is approximately 200 meters long. These sections consist of 3-meter-long sections.

Aqueduct Pont du Gard

Unique columns in Roman architecture

Almost everyone knows the Ionian, Doric and Corinthian orders. However, there are numerous examples of columns not adhering to any of these Greek styles in the architecture of ancient Rome. Aside from simple modifications and evolutions of the Hellenic originals, one can also find some very distinct forms that can surprise them with their uniqueness.

Colosseum

Impressive fortifications of Dacians

Dacians were a people living in what is now Romania and part of Hungary. To this day, we can admire the remains of buildings and fortresses they built in the Orăștie mountains, which are part of the Carpathians. They prove how well-developed the Dacians were.

Remains of buildings in Sarmizegetusa Regia

Ancient building of Saepta Iulia

The ancient building Saepta Iulia on the Field of Mars was a place where in ancient Rome citizens cast their votes in the so-called tribute commissions (comitiatributa), deciding on the election of lower officials (aediles, quaestors)1 or sometimes the adoption of laws.

Saepta Julia on the plan of ancient Rome (scale 1:400), from the beginning of the 4th century CE, made by the French architect Paul Bigot

Long Roman roads

By the end of the 2nd century CE (for over 5 centuries), Roman engineers built about 48,500 Roman miles (71,700 km) paved roads. Less than 100 years later, the inventory of Emperor Diocletian showed the existence of 372 roads in the area of ​​the empire with a total length of 53,000 Roman miles (over 78.3 thousand km).

Roman road

Romans pioneered sewage system

Romans were pioneers with the sewage system. They were the first to use underground water to discharge waste. The first sewerage system in Rome is believed to have been built between 800 and 735 BCE.

Cloaca Maxima

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