According to Beniger (2009), the worst tragedy that people go through is living and dying
without taking note of the transformation that is taking place around them. It is therefore
important to understand the history of the world even as people continue to live. The World has
gone through several revolutions that have been part of the transformation that is being witnessed
in the world today. Technological advancement is still going on as many researchers come up
with ways of making work easier. This paper assesses the history of information and
communication technology in Rome and how it has impacted the society today. Information and
communication technology stresses the role of unified communication in making the lives of the
people in the society.
The history of information and communication technology in Rome
The Roman Empire was one of the most advanced civilizations of antiquity. Some of the
inventions and discoveries were however forgotten during the turbulent eras of the early Middle
Ages and late antiquity. Some of the technologies improved during the middle-aged and the
modern era., Most of the technologies that were used by the Romans were borrowed from the
Greeks, Celts, Etruscans, and others. It shows how the proximity of a country or a society to
technological savvy neighbors helps a given county to also advance in technology. Development
in ICT involves many types of infrastructure and services that range from telecommunications
that include media services, voice, and data to the specific applications that include banking,
health, and education. It can also be used in e-government which involves running a government
HOW TECHNOLOGY MADE LIFE EASIER IN ANCIENT ROME 3
using the modern technology. ICT has a rich history as far as its development in Rome is
concerned (Malamud, 2009).
Information communication technology in Rome started with the introduction of ink and the pen.
The pens containing metal nibs were used in the country, but they were not popular. They were
widely known in the 19 th century. The discovery of the pen and ink made it easy for people to
communicate in Rome through letter writing. The invention of typewriters led to the
development of the writing industry such that the people in Rome could print the letters and then
send them to the recipients. The first commercial typewriters were introduced in the year 1874,
but they became common in the mid-1880s. It became an indispensable tool that was used in all
types of writing except the cases where the personal handwritten correspondence was required. It
became a good tool for communication that was widely used by the Romans. The events show an
improvement of technology from the time of ancient Rome to the modern Rome (Malamud,
The ancient Rome was built by several innovations that made work easier and also increased the
strength of the products that were made. One of them included aqueducts. The Romans had
many amenities that made their life simpler which included fountains, public toilets, ornate
public births, and an underground sewerage system. The aquatic innovations could not be
possible without the Roman Aqueduct. The technology involved the use of engineering marvels
that used gravity to transport water along lead, stone and concrete pipes and channeled into and
out of the city centers. The technology was essential in maintaining the sanitation of the urban
centers in the ancient Rome. The aqueducts prevented from depending on the nearby water
sources. The innovation of concrete was also essential in the Ancient Rome because it helped in
building very strong structures that would withstand the test of time. Some of the structures that
HOW TECHNOLOGY MADE LIFE EASIER IN ANCIENT ROME 4
were built using concrete are still available today. Many of the ancient structures including the
Colosseum, Pantheon and Roman Forum are still standing as a result of the marvelous concrete
innovations. The concrete, though strong was considered weaker compared to the one that is
used in the modern days but was able to make structures that could last for centuries. The
aesthetic value of the modern concrete is higher compared to that of the one that was used in the
ancient Roman Empire. The ancient concrete was made using voltaic ash and slaked lime to
create a sticky paste, the paste was then mixed with volcanic rocks and could endure chemical
decay, and that is why some building that was built using the concrete is still strong to date.
Pozzolana used in the concrete helped in quick setting even when it was submerged under water
which is the reason why the construction of bridges, piers, baths, and harbors (Malamud, 2009).
Newspapers are an innovation that made the process of communication to be efficient. People
were able to read about the events that took place in various parts of the country. The newspaper
enabled the Romans to make their contribution to the public discourse by using official texts that
give details about the legal, military and civil issues. The early newspapers were written on
stone or metal and were then posted in the most trafficked areas of Rome. The newspapers were
also known as Acta Diurna, and there is a popular belief that they appeared around 131 B.C.
They contained gladiatorial bouts, Roman military victories, the death and birth notices, list of
games as well as other stories that the people could be interested in following (Malamud, 2009).
The innovations of roads and highways were important in making the process of moving from
one place to the other to be much easier. The people were also able to transport products from
one to the other easily. Some of the roads are still in use today, showing how some of the
projects that were accomplished in the earlier years are still benefiting the people in the modern
age. The constructors of the roads and highways in the ancient Rome used a combination of
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gravel, dirt, and bricks that were made from hardened volcanic larva and granite. The engineers
building the roads paid attention to the details to the extent that they created straight arrow roads
that had slight curvatures to help in draining the water coming from rainfall. The other
technologies that they came up with include the construction of the Roman Arches that helped in
the even distribution of the building’s weight (Malamud, 2009). The bound books were
important especially in the promotion of education because the book could hold more
information that could be easily carried from one place to the other. The Romans also come up
with the battlefield surgery that helped the soldiers when they were injured in war. It was also an
important technology that helped in the improvement of the healthcare of the people in the
country (Adkins and Adkins, 2014).
Technology has improved the lives of both the ancient and the modern Romans. Some of the
innovations that were made in the older days are still in use today, and most of them acted as a
baseline on which the new technologies were built. The essence of innovation puts the people on
toes since they have to come up with ways in which they can make their lives easier and look for
several ways that they can use in making their lives easier. The use of technology can solve
various problems in the society hence the tech-savvy people will always have ways of doing
Beniger, J. R. (2009). The control revolution: Technological and economic origins of the
information society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Malamud, M. (2009). Ancient Rome and Modern America. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Adkins, L., & Adkins, R. A. (2014). Handbook to life in ancient Rome. Infobase Publishing.