Roman aqueducts essay

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Roman aqueducts essay

Roman Aqueducts Pont du Gard, The groma was a device for plotting right angles in the field. It worked well as long as the wind didn't blow.

The chorobates was a tool Roman aqueducts essay to get a horizontal reference by sighting along the top. A modern writer, who tried it, doubts its usefulness. This article contains material published in Mechanical Engineering Magazine Sept. Copyright American Society of Mechanical Engineers At first glance, the most strikng feature of a Roman aqueuct is the mathematical precision of the arches.

Roman aqueducts essay

These structures are beautiful, and the Romans have written about their beauty, but aesthetics were only secondary.

Aqueducts were built for a utilitarian purpose. They supplied the water that is the lifeblood of any civilization. Without an abundant source, Rome, which in its prime in antiquity was a city of somewhere between a half-million and a million, could not have existed.

These structures were too Roman aqueducts essay to be the work of amateurs. Rome had a very professional corps of engineers who made a lasting contribution to Western civilization by building them. The place of engineering in history can be judged by the traditional date for the beginning of the Dark Ages, Marchwhen the king of the Ostrogoths cut the last aqueduct supplying water to Rome and proved conclusively that the Western empire was finished.

Pont du Gard, the aqueduct spanning the Gardon River north of Nimes, France, is one of the best surviving examples of Roman aqueduct construction. It transported water from a spring 20 km from the city center and only In a straight line, this would have been a slope of a yard and a half per mile, but the route was far from straight.

Because of the circuitous route, the channel's actual length was more than 50 km. A 21st-century engineer can't help but ask, how did they do it? The structure was built 2, years before GPS or laser surveying equipment. It had long been thought that particular aqueduct was built around 20 B.

He worked upon direct orders from Caesar Augustus and was, in fact, Augustus's top aide in areas other than architecture. Later studies now date it to about 50 A. If we study these structures, we find that the Roman understanding of hydraulics was well advanced.

We also find that surveying and construction depended on the primitive-not to be mistaken for crude-process of breaking every geometric problem into a series of orthogonal blocks of manageable human size and repeating the process as many times as needed to cover the horizontal and vertical extent of the terrain.

This applied to site surveying as well as to the lofting of the structure. Zero and degree angles are fairly easy to lay out.

Anything in between is another problem. The precise measurement of angles other than right angles was rarely done and, in the absence of trigonometry, would have been pointless. This breaking of the problem into rectangles- or prisms in the three-dimensional case-can be thought of as mesh generation on a geological scale.

Hero of Alexandria, around the first century A. The steps by which he reduces the geometry of an irregular landscape to a series of orthogonal constructions look familiar to those of us who worked infinite element analysis during the days when we were hard put to program a computer to generate anything other than a square mesh.

The greatest part of our knowledge regarding Roman surveying instruments-along with information about a wealth of other ancient technology-comes from the writings of Marcus Vitruvius Pollio in the first century B.

Among other topics, he discussed surveying in his 10 surviving books on architecture.

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Plane mapping was accomplished with orthogonal grids that were laid out using an instrument that resembled a Tibetan prayer wheel. In that device, called a groma, a cross-shaped frame was mounted horizontally on a vertical column.The aqueducts of the Romans may be divided into three general groups, according to the materials of which they are constructed.

This classification is the more convenient in that it conforms very nearly to their chronological arrangement. The erection of the famous ancient Aqueducts by the Romans, some of which operate today, ranks the country high in terms of its engineering capabilities.

In its simplest definition, an aqueduct refers to a sophisticated water system invented by Romans. Articles: Aqueducts, Roman aqueducts• An aqueduct is a water supply or channel used to transport water • The word comes from Latin roots aqua (water) and ducere (to lead)• The Romans built many aqueducts to bring drinking water to large cities and small ones too throughout the empire• The city of Rome had 11 aqueducts.

The Roman aqueducts not only provided drinking water for the Romans but indoor sewer systems that carried water away from the city and also supplied the bath houses with ample water, where the inhabitants of ancient Rome spent so much of their leisure time.

Roman aqueducts were dependable, strong and lasting. The aqueducts in the third century accomplished supporting a population of millions of people.

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The water transported through the aqueducts had a huge impact on the civilization the economy. The Romans aqueducts saved the roman cities from bad pollution, sickness and diseases caused by dirty water/5(2).

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