Good morning everyone!
It's been a few days since I posted and here's a bit of why...
|Rome Aqueduct - Wikimedia Commons|
Enough of weather, and I'm not going near politics since that's something that's also taking up some of my precious day's reading time. Politics in the UK, and also in Europe, is a definite hot potato right now. They say there is more than one way to skin a cat and what is needed now are sensible options being taken up by blinkered voters and incompetent governmental leaders in the UK.
So, I'll return to my title topic What Did The Ancient Romans Ever Do For Us? and explain why it's been a great reason for me being too busy to post on here.
I posted on my regular slot yesterday (18th Oct) at Writing Wranglers and Warriors Blog about What Did The Ancient Romans Ever Do For Us? but here I'll expand my notes a little further!
That phrase in bold above might bring to mind many different scenarios. For me growing up watching
television in the 1960s and 1970s, the first image would be of an irreverently
funny show called Monty Python’s Flying Circus. The weekly show itself had many
spin offs, one of which was a definitely irreverent feature film "The Life of Brian". In the film, a
character (John Cleese) derisively asks “What have the Romans ever done for us?” The answers from those assembled reply: err…sanitation, medicine, education, wine,
public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system via aqueducts, public
health…and our peace.
It's a very funny film though not to everyone's taste as it challenges some established theories of religion, dogma and the like...
Ancient Rome was an amazing place. It is a city that I’m learning more about every day during my FutureLearn Course -
A virtual Tour of the . Ancient
|Aqua Claudia by Pietro Sassi - Wikimedia Commons|
It’s only Week 2 of my course and I’ve already learned about some of the list above. It’s incredible to think of how inventive the original engineers of
were back in 312 B.C. when the first short aqueduct of 16 km (c. 10 miles), the
Aqua Appia, brought a constantly
running supply of fresh water into the city of . The Aqua
Appia was an underground channel but by 140 B.C. the Aqua Marcia (55 miles) had a about 6 miles of its total running
over arches. By the first century A.D. there were around 11 aqueducts feeding
the city’s 1 million inhabitants with fresh water. Rome
This site has information on another ancient Roman aqueduct built in the first century A.D.
The Ancient Romans didn’t only appreciate the fresh water coming into their city for drinking purposes. They also used it for:
- continuous flushing out of their communal lavatories
- supplying water to their communal bathhouses
- for other domestic, trade and industry reasons
- for sluicing down their streets and sewers
- and for feeding the many fountains around the city.
The famous Trevi Fountain in
is still partially fed from the Aqua Virgo
which was initially constructed in 19 B.C. during the time of the Emperor
Augustus. The Aqua Virgo brought in
the fresh water from hills and streams some 18 km (11 miles) away from the city
and was used as a source for 400 years till it fell into disuse around the time
of the Fall of Rome in approx 397 A.D. during the ensuing 1000 years, some attempts were made to restore the aqueduct
but it wasn’t till 1453 that it was properly restored to feed a fountain on the site of
the present Trevi Fountain. Rome
By 1762 a fabulous new baroque fountain was created, the one we can view today in
known as the Trevi Fountain. The Trevi is famous for various reasons, one of
which is the 1954 film “Three coins in the Fountain” that title song sung by
Frank Sinatra, though he got no credit for it.
This site has some info on where the name Trevi probably originates from and gives details of the fantastic sculptures around the Trevi fountain.
BTW - I’ve also learned about the sewers of
but I'll leave that topic for another day! Rome
The architecture of the buildings of the Roman Forum are now holding my attention much more, although I confess to being fascinated that had the Ancient Romans settled in my part of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, my surroundings might have been very different from they are now.
|Aqua Claudia -Wikimedia Commons|
The longest unbroken stretch of an ancient above-ground aqueduct near Rome is the Aqua Claudia.
I'm off now to do a bit more of my FutureLearn Rome course and some very neglected writing.