Which Is Not Part Of The Legacy Of Ancient Rome


Ancient Rome is famous for its impressive architecture, but there are certain key features of Rome’s ancient architecture that don’t count as part of its legacy. Specifically, there were two architectural techniques not adapted or used by Rome’s inhabitants during the period. First, was the use of steel beams in the construction of large structures; the second was the use of concrete on a massive scale.
Steel beams were a relatively new material during Rome’s golden age, and it was not until some centuries later that steel beams were used in large-scale construction projects. Without the ability to use steel as a form of support or reinforcement, buildings were restricted in their size and complexity. Meanwhile, Rome’s use of concrete was wide-spread but nevertheless limited. Most concrete was still poured into hand-crafted forms, rather than being used as a structural material, while more advanced structural uses of concrete were not seen until after the fall of Rome.
This has serious implications for the legacy of Rome. Its architecture was spectacular and ornate, but it is not as impressive when compared to structures made with contemporary techniques that incorporate concrete and steel.


Rome is perhaps most famously known for its engineering feats, yet there is one engineering accomplishment that is not attributed to the Romans. This is the invention and widespread use of advanced aqueducts, which were constructed by the Romans to transport water from distant sources, usually located in open mountain country, towards towns and cities.
Aqueducts can be complex and difficult to construct, yet the Romans, in spite of their engineering prowess, failed to make use of this particular technique. This is particularly notable considering that other contemporary cultures, such as the Parthian Empire, were constructing and using advanced aqueducts during the same period as the Roman Empire.


Rome was known for its vigorous exploration throughout the Mediterranean Sea and surrounding regions, yet one area the Romans didn’t explore was the northern Atlantic Ocean. In the centuries leading up to and during the time of the Roman Empire, the northern Atlantic remained largely unexplored by European cultures due to its harsh conditions and frequent storms.
The Romans may have known about the region, and perhaps even attempted to explore it, but no physical evidence of Roman presence has been found in the northern Atlantic, indicating that the Romans probably never ventured there.


One of the most widely known aspects of Rome is its religion, yet there is one thing in this area that the Romans did not use: religious toleration. Religious tolerance was relatively unheard of during the period and it was only centuries later during the Reformation that believers started to consider other faiths and respect religious diversity.
The Romans may have respected the beliefs and practices of other cultures within their own Empire, yet this respect did not extend to allowing those other faiths to practice their beliefs within the Roman Empire. Even if they held beliefs in common, different religions were not practiced within the city of Rome itself.


The culture of Rome was diverse and varied, but one aspect of the Roman culture was not present: a rigorous education system. During Rome’s golden age, there was no formal education system, and many of the leaders were educated informally or achieved their successes through apprenticeship-style learning.
In terms of Rome’s legacy, this means that there were several generations of men who did not receive an education and had to rely on their own life experiences and the wisdom of their mentors. Education was not an important part of life for the Romans, and the emphasis was instead on practical skills.

Military Technology

The Roman Army was arguably the most successful war machine in history, yet there was one type of technological advancement they did not use. The Romans did not use gunpowder to any great extent during their period of dominance. This technology, invented by the Chinese centuries earlier, was far ahead of its time and would have given the Romans a significant advantage over their enemies on the battlefield.
Of course, the Romans did have other military inventions that gave them an advantage on the battlefield, such as the use of better armor and tactics. Nonetheless, their lack of knowledge of powder-based weapons meant that the Romans relied heavily on their ability to out-fight and out-last their opponents, rather than relying on superior weaponry.


The Romans had several forms of transportation, from horses to carts, but one type of transportation they did not use was the wheel. Although the wheel was in use in other parts of the world at the time, such as in Mesopotamia, the Romans never adopted this simple, yet effective, device.
This means that, during their time, the Romans simply did not have the capability to transport goods on a large scale, instead having to rely on manual labor and animal transport. This lack of wheel-based transport meant that, while progress was possible, it was more difficult and slower than other cultures that made use of the wheel.


The Romans were skilled and inventive people, yet there is one type of technology they neither developed, nor used during their time: the printing press. The Romans, who were renowned for their recording of information, instead relied on handwritten books and scribes to communicate their ideas and stories.
The printing press, while not used by the Romans, was a vital advancement in medieval Europe and eventually led to the widespread availability of literature and information, contributing to the Renaissance and the Age of Enlightenment. In terms of the legacy of Rome, this means that the ability for others to access knowledge was not as widespread, and ideas were not spread as rapidly or efficiently as it would have been with the aid of a printing press.

Moshe Rideout is a professional writer and historian whose work focuses on the history of Ancient Rome. Moshe is passionate about understanding the complexity of the Roman Empire, from its architecture to its literature, political systems to social structures. He has a Bachelor's degree in classic studies from Rutgers University and is currently pursuing a PhD in classical archaeology at UMass Amherst. When he isn't researching or writing, he enjoys exploring ruins around Europe, drawing inspiration from his travels.

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