How Did the Ancient Romans Manage to Build Perfectly Straight, Ultra Durable Roads?

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In this video:
The ancient Romans were a people famed for their architectural prowess, something no better demonstrated than by their ability to build almost perfectly straight and incredibly durable roads spanning expansive distances. For example, in Britain alone, the Romans built well over 50,000 miles of roads with the longest ruler-straight stretch spanning over 50 miles. They did all of this in an era without modern surveying tools, construction equipment, or even very accurate maps of precisely where their destination was for many of the areas. So how did they do it?
Want the text version?: www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2019/09/how-did-the-ancient-romans-manage-to-build-perfectly-straight-ultra-durable-roads/
Sources:
www.jstor.org/stable/526811
www.historyrevealed.com/article/international-history/why-did-romans-build-straight-roads
www.ancientpages.com/2017/08/09/ancient-romans-build-many-straight-roads/
www.thevintagenews.com/2015/10/05/do-you-know-why-the-romans-built-straight-roads-now-you-will/
www.romanobritain.org/12_innovations/inv_roads.htm
www.romanobritain.org/12_innovations/inv_roads.htm
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_roads
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve_Tables
www.romae-vitam.com/roman-roads.html
www.historyhit.com/why-were-roman-roads-so-important-and-who-built-them/
www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-beautiful-network-of-ancient-roman-roads
www.ancient.eu/article/758/roman-roads/
books.google.com/books?id=7Nq25uJOP1oC&pg=PA123&lpg=PA123&dq=Cocceius+tunnel++width+and+height&source=bl&ots=WQ1axPxDk2&sig=ACfU3U1n3OMIL9rJHLllKJrpZah2sBwLxQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjJg7CHtqzkAhV3JzQIHaD2CHIQ6AEwA3oECBgQAQ#v=onepage&q=Cocceius%20tunnel%20%20width%20and%20height&f=false
www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2013/07/nero-didnt-fiddle-while-rome-burned/
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_roads#Milestones_and_markers
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milliarium_Aureum
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odometer#History
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antikythera_mechanism
books.google.com/books?id=6iS8BwAAQBAJ&pg=PA39&lpg=PA39&dq=tiberius+traveled+from+rome+to+nero+distance+of+in+24+hours&source=bl&ots=Ei9YkjFyOl&sig=ACfU3U0OZBKl8fhcCbye9FqRUIOph0GM4w&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjPsInkjbHkAhVxHDQIHc2jBRAQ6AEwCnoECDMQAQ#v=onepage&q=tiberius%20traveled%20from%20rome%20to%20nero%20distance%20of%20in%2024%20hours&f=false
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PompeiiStreet.jpg

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  • Thanks again to Brilliant for sponsoring this one! If Brilliant sounds interesting to you, please do go help support Todayifoundout using this link: brilliant.org/todayifoundout Thanks!

    Today I Found OutToday I Found Outหลายเดือนก่อน
    • I can understand having an ad before the video so you can be monetized, but then you have to stick an ad in saying this video is sponsored. So, not only do you get monitized, but then get sponsered too forcing people to watch or have to fast forward. Think I will unsubscribe. So should everyone else, then you can depend on your sponsor.

      Randy FitzpatrickRandy Fitzpatrick28 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • Hi Babish! 🎊

      Cooking My WayCooking My Way29 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • No one cares get off the internet

      Frank CastleFrank Castle29 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • These stories of Nero were fabricated by the Christians... just as christians fabricate their stories (lies) today.

    JacobJacobวันที่ผ่านมา
  • He said that Nero "cut the price of corn." I thought corn did not reach Europe until after Columbus? Was there some kind of corn ancestor that was like maize?

    CJ KellyCJ Kelly3 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • @Michael Wlazlinski Thanks very much, Mr. Wlazinski. Appreciate it.

      CJ KellyCJ Kellyวันที่ผ่านมา
    • No. Corn was a term for grain in general way back then.

      Michael WlazlinskiMichael Wlazlinski2 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • How did the romans make roads 2000yo? Basically the same way we do today lol

    Brad CupittBrad Cupitt4 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • This thing about building a perfectly straight road up and down a mountain instead of around it sounds pretty obsessional, and as if decision-making took place at the centre, not on the ground: typical of a military more than an engineering mind-set. It was also something a conquering army could do, when they weren't bothered about who owned or cultivated the land, or whether it was inhabited or sacred. The local ruler couldn't ignore all that.

    Faithless HoundFaithless Hound4 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Wait! Are we just gonna gloss over the Marie Antoinette thing??? I need more info!

    Robert MillsRobert Mills4 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Cult + Time = Religion

    A FigA Fig4 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • I doubt they started building a road not knowing which way to go

    Ryan BoscoeRyan Boscoe4 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • 13:14 I looked it up because I thought it sounded dubious that Paul the Apostle would've written to Seneca or vice versa &, at least judging by the Wikipedia article on Seneca the Younger, that letter was a fake one created by Christians in the 4th century.

    buffypythonbuffypython5 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Serious question Simon...can you recall everything you talk about?

    haza bazzahaza bazza6 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • TraitorVekTraitorVek6 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • @14:36 "...cut the price of corn...." Romans had corn? Am I hearing him incorrectly?

    K MitchellK Mitchell6 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • @Faithless Hound Hahah dead on, I'm an American! Thanks mate I never knew!

      K MitchellK Mitchell4 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • No. "Corn" doesn't mean in English what it does in 'Murcan. It means grain, usually wheat.

      Faithless HoundFaithless Hound4 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • I’m not saying it was aliens...... but it was aliens

    Darth Star KillerDarth Star Killer9 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • You forgot to mention the distance between brothels.

    A KA K10 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • "what's your favourite song?" "1, 000, 000 paces"

    HoodiiHoodii11 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • In monarchy the state is private and usually all private properties are much better built and maintained, than public ones.

    DovarDovar12 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Who says thenRomans built them in the first place? Could they have been built by the Tartarians? @ Newearth and When the Survivors of Atlantis wake up series channel by Sylvi Ivanova. Or try John Levi 's channel.

    Colin KoblanskiColin Koblanski13 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • So it's not like they needed a master's degree in quantum mechanics to do it then. :P

    A Jim FanA Jim Fan14 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • They found the top OCD people and set them to the task. Problem solved.

    Matthew RowellMatthew Rowell14 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Simon, are you our reptilian overlord from the Roman empire?

    Digital Demonic DavrosDigital Demonic Davros15 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Alle Wege führen nach Rom =)

    IlIlIlIlIlIlIlIlIlIlIlIl15 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • How did he cut the price of corn? Corn wasn't introduced to Europe at that time

    Naomi EricssonNaomi Ericsson15 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • "Boris" - no sorry, "Donald" - no try again " - "Nero was painted as a man who was difficult for the masses to trust". what goes around comes around, I suppose.

    Peter TurnerPeter Turner15 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Nero software was also named after nero as it allowed the user to burn cds from their computer which their operating system did not allow natively.

    eurosonlyeurosonly16 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Decimated has a whole different meaning when discussing ancient Rome. Best not to use it, unless describing a violent beating perpetuated by ten men.

    blackbarnzblackbarnz16 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Romans made roads to last 2000 years +, and today we can't get a road to last 5 years w/o potholes everywhere.

    bigbenisdamanbigbenisdaman16 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Roman roads are straight? That's hate speech! (Yes that sounded every bit as ridiculous as it sounded).

    Arch. RSLArch. RSL16 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • String.....................lots and lots of string.

    10 Minutes to Roulette Fortune10 Minutes to Roulette Fortune17 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • What the hell is a switch back? (asking as an English speaker)

    TheChipmunk2008TheChipmunk200817 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • @Helen Scott Ah thank you, i always thought that was a series of hairpin bends... thanks :) (I suspect this is different dialects at play yet again!)

      TheChipmunk2008TheChipmunk200816 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • TheChipmunk2008 The road is built in diagonals, swapping moving from one direction for a small distance, then changing to an opposing diagonal. So the road is a series of z’s across the face of a steep hill or mountain.

      Helen ScottHelen Scott17 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Soooo, apparently fake news has existed for a LONG time.

    StormCaller5StormCaller517 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Simple answer: They didn't have Minnesotan winters.

    Rob HRob H17 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • The Babylons have aqueducts too. Even to supply water to The Gardens Of Babylon Parks... More Italian lies are been uncovered lately.. And Columbus was not "The Great Navigatore".. He was lost and stumbled on the New World he foolish say was "part of India".. LOL.. Only idiots still believe so much Gumba Bullshit..

    CFITOMAHAWK2CFITOMAHAWK217 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • No wonder we went into the dark ages when Rome fell, and it seems as if they still outmatch us in some things many centuries later..

    LimmehLimmeh17 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Take like, five pencils. Place on at the start, on at finish. Line up the other three between them. The more pencils, the straighter the line.

    LaughingSeraphimLaughingSeraphim17 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Cement, Concrete? What? First recordrd cement and concrete was 1824...

    Perry PoehlmannPerry Poehlmann17 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Same people that brought you the Colosseum (sp?)

    Joseph IzzoJoseph Izzo17 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • lol, so toll roads are nothing new?!

    nzoomednzoomed18 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Alright Simon. After a couple years watching this channel and Biographics and TopTenz I've finally subscribed. I finally remembered too. Appreciate all thr useless trivia you've given me. Cheers!

    voleNvoleN18 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Funny you used the word decimated to talk about rome burning since decimation was a roman practice of killing 1/10 of an army as opposed to, well most of it. This phrase then might be in fact accurate as opposed to our current interpretation. Also there some new evidence that rather than targeting Christian's directly he was targeting all unwelcome cults and primarily the cult of Isis. Since Jews were targeted as there had been problems with them in the empire for years it believed that Christian were rappped up in this since they were likely indistinguishable from Jews by the Romans at that point.

    Patt AdamsPatt Adams18 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Some say Nero was fiddling himself when the Rome burned.

    AliveC4TAliveC4T18 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Around the 14 minute mark, you state that Nero cut the price of corn or provided corn to Roman residents. I assume you are using corn in the older European meaning of grains in general since maize is a new world crop and would not have been present in Rome.

    Paleo ConPaleo Con18 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • 200 miles in 24 hours is 16.6666666667mph

    Cero MiedicCero Miedic18 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • The Christians were heavily invested in retelling the history of the early Roman empire, as one of persecution. There's significant evidence that stories of widespread persecution were greatly exaggerated. But it made the Christians feel like victims, and what do victims to, but lash out and attack their oppressors. The massive, systematic, and near total destruction of the classical world was accomplished by centuries of Christian persecution, starting from Constantine. These facts are important in light of talking about the apocryphal Nero fiddling while Rome burned.

    BlackBeltMonkeySongBlackBeltMonkeySong18 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • *Viae Publicae* Libertarians: 🖕😠🖕 *Via Privatae* Libertarians: 👈😎👈

    Bruno PereiraBruno Pereira19 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • They did it by , I don’t know ........... slave labor !

    RonaldreganfanRonaldreganfan19 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Nero probably didn't cut the price of corn.. new world food and all...

    william pomerleauwilliam pomerleau19 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • @Charles Dewitt hey thanks for that, i'm only an egg. always new they were cereals, but that does make sense.

      william pomerleauwilliam pomerleau15 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • Back before the Colombian exchange the word "corn" was often used to refer to grain.

      Charles DewittCharles Dewitt15 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Less traffic, less weight on each vehicle, lower travel speeds.

    Marius AdrianMarius Adrian19 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • The images you've sourced are superb, but rather small onscreen. Perhaps full screen them and VO the images. Jumping from inset to full screen, as and when you're making a particular point that correlates with the image. Just a suggestion! Otherwise, superb, as ever. Fascinating insight. Thank you for sharing your great work. 👍😊

    Sam HaslamSam Haslam19 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • How long would a road last that's been built by commenters on TH-vision?

    hkistreethkistreet20 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • I guess Nero wasn’t the only one falsely charged by people just trying to make him look bad o.o

    0MindSwept00MindSwept020 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Is it possible that “Nero played the fiddle while Rome burned” metaphorically, like as in Roman Empire failed while he was screwing around?

    Rachel RandantRachel Randant20 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • I don't think that's the fiddle they're talkin about. The only instrument he was fiddling was his meat string.

    Toy MakerToy Maker21 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Having seen Roman artifacts over much of your-rope, I must give respect to Romans for Empire-ing like a boss.

    johnny dollarjohnny dollar21 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • At about 10:40 , we hear that Nero "cut the price of corn, as well as provided food directly." Much as the fiddle wasn't invented until the 11th century, thought the discovery of corn happened when European explorers found the Indians growing it in America a millennia later.

    Scott9084Scott908422 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • Corn doesn't refer to maize in that context.

      CurryKingWurstCurryKingWurst21 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Somebody teach the New Mexico DOT how to do these!

    BubbaSteve GarciaBubbaSteve Garcia22 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Don't judge, until you walk 1000 paces in their sandals

    Kyouko ToshinoKyouko Toshino22 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • *_I love history~i live just couple of hundred feet from an 8th century Catholic Church. Was in use til recently when we got a bigger, granite Church._*

    AUDE SAPEREAUDE SAPERE22 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • The Romans forgot to add on parking bays. The statement made that a mile is a thousand paces is rubbish . Since when is a pace 1,6 metres long ?

    Michael LawsonMichael Lawson22 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • I haven’t watched the video.i never read the comments. Now to answer the question in the title. Maybe the roads lasted because chariots were light and slow. Maybe the roads were never salted or graded.

    Scott VincentScott Vincent22 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • The myth that Nero fiddled while Rome burned is dramatized in the movie Quo Vadis.

    h lynn keithh lynn keith22 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Worst video you have ever done. I love your channels. Road part was good. Nero part was pointless

    Gerardo GutierrezGerardo Gutierrez22 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Game of cones in Rome et tu Brutus?

    Nelson SwanbergNelson Swanberg23 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Another vid I didn't know I( needed to see.

    ehrldawgehrldawg23 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • He is great, but really cuts away at his legitimacy every time he uses imperial units. Its the age of science man, get on the 10s bandwagon and stop embarrassing scientists.

    JinJin23 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • At a guess: The legions and being clever... ?

    chacha23 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • So that's what the Romans did for us?

    colin Patersoncolin Paterson23 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • The Romans did not build most of what is attributed to them, there are aquaducts in south America and Russia, places where the Romans never were and the design and materials are the same, stop believing the bullsh#$ we are taught in govt school. By the way I am an expert in Masonry and concrete, you are being told strait out lies! Believe what you want ,I know!

    james Warinnerjames Warinner23 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Thank you

    matrix49Amatrix49A23 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • I was not aware that the Roman soldiers were called Legionnaires. I thought those were French soldiers. I believe that Roman soldiers were called Legionaries.

    Adam WrightAdam Wright24 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • what is that neon light? i'm always thinking wall street journal...

    rillloudmotherrillloudmother24 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • S W Stands for Simon Whistler.

      CurryKingWurstCurryKingWurst21 วันที่ผ่านมา
How Did the Ancient Romans Manage to Build Perfectly Straight, Ultra Durable Roads?