What have the Romans ever done for us?

Maybe the Romans can  fairly claim the credit for spreading the aqueduct from Portugal to the Middle East, but the voussoir arch, typical of Roman aqueduct construction, did not originate with them.

The first known voussoir arches were constructed by the Etruscans who occupied the regions north of Rome (including Tuscany, western Umbria and northern Latium) from before 700 BC to 264 BC, when they were absorbed in the Roman Empire.

There are at least two surviving Etruscan arches in Perugia, the most well known being the Augustus or Etruscan Arch, dating from the 3rd century BC.

Arch of Augustas, Perugia

Arch of Augustus, Etruscan Arch

The other is the Porta Marzia, also dating from the 3rd Century BC.

Porta Marzia

Porta Marzia

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1 Response to What have the Romans ever done for us?

  1. Georg says:

    Hi Doug,
    well, hmmm, though I like classical music, I definitely prefer the original scene in the movie “Life of Brian”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExWfh6sGyso . John Cleese has become a cultural icon in Germany, at least in those parts where the British troops resided after WW II. Nevertheless, thanks for the link! I did not know that Eric Idle turned this scene into a classical chorus… Another scene from “Life of Brain” picks up the “Yankee go home” slogan and mixes it with the pain many pupils experience when learning the Latin language: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIAdHEwiAy8. The Monty Python movie is mentioned only on the German page: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ami_–_go_home!

    Another famous remains of the Etruscan culture in Italy are their cities of tombs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerveteri .


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