FOOD FOR THOUGHT REGARDING ANCIENT ROME
- The ancient Roman mile was 1000 strides of a legionnaire. It translates to .92 of the modern standard mile (4860 feet/1481 meters). Much of the vast road system they built (over 50,000 miles) is still in existence today.
- Romans published the first newspaper (Acta Diurna) and the first bound book (Julius Caesar’s Codex). They were prolific record keepers.
- Do you have a Dodecahedron on your workbench? It’s a small hollowed out bronze object with twelve pentagonal holes. Archeologists believe that it was a Roman engineering tool. However, even though numerous examples have been unearthed, not a single word explaining their purpose has ever been discovered.
- Romans had cement they called pozzuolana. It can still be seen holding buildings like the Coliseum, the Pantheon and the Roman Baths together 2000 years later. The formula was lost with the fall of the Roman Empire in 476AD. The secret was not rediscovered until the year 1414 and not improved on until 1793.
- Ever travel the Silk Road? That’s right, 1200 years before Marco Polo’s famous journey; it was mapped by the Roman, Claudius Ptolemy. The Roman Empire traded with the Han Dynasty in China across this 4000 miles route.
- Our current calendar is from the Roman astronomer Sosigenes, in the First Century BC. He determined the length of the year to be 365 days. His calculation was only off by eleven minutes which was not corrected until the year 1582 with the introduction of the Leap Year.
- The Romans beat Columbus to the punch! They knew that the world was round. Actually they got that fact from the Greek, Pythagoras. He determined the Earth was a sphere in the 5th Century BC. It was an accepted fact by Roman scholars that the Earth was a globe.