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

  • Published on Sep 15, 2019
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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?
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Comments • 1 701

  • Today I Found Out
    Today I Found Out  Month ago +73

    Thanks again to Brilliant for sponsoring this one! If Brilliant sounds interesting to you, please do go help support Todayifoundout using this link: Thanks!

    • Randy Fitzpatrick
      Randy Fitzpatrick Month ago

      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.

    • Cooking My Way
      Cooking My Way Month ago

      Hi Babish! 🎊

    • Frank Castle
      Frank Castle Month ago

      No one cares get off the internet

  • Wade Guidry
    Wade Guidry 23 minutes ago

    "On a long and Roman highway,
    East of Omaha"
    "You can listen to the Nero,
    Fiddle out as one long song....."

    NEHEMIAH ISRAEL 15 hours ago

    By using slaves..

  • welshgit
    welshgit Day ago

    The CD-ROM burning software by a German company is called "Nero" because "Nero, burning Rom" (Rom is German for "Rome")

  • Doc Lewis
    Doc Lewis 2 days ago

    Why do we assume that there were no smart people in Ancient times? Seems we forget that there are always a few people who are simply good at doing certain things even without being taught how to do them. My father taught himself how to draw, paint, and play several different musical instruments. I'd imagine there are people who can figure out how to make roads, sewers, waterways, etc.

  • Chris BigBad
    Chris BigBad 3 days ago

    have you actually started to say "et cetera"? nice!

  • andyman aus
    andyman aus 3 days ago

    How did the Romans make perfect roads so quickly? Their road workers actually worked.

  • Jacob
    Jacob 6 days ago

    These stories of Nero were fabricated by the Christians... just as christians fabricate their stories (lies) today.

    • Jacob
      Jacob 4 days ago

      Please! Keep your anus problems to yourself.

    • scythelord
      scythelord 4 days ago

      Someone is butthurt.

  • CJ Kelly
    CJ Kelly 8 days ago

    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 Kelly
      CJ Kelly 7 days ago

      @Michael Wlazlinski Thanks very much, Mr. Wlazinski. Appreciate it.

    • Michael Wlazlinski
      Michael Wlazlinski 7 days ago

      No. Corn was a term for grain in general way back then.

  • Brad Cupitt
    Brad Cupitt 9 days ago

    How did the romans make roads 2000yo? Basically the same way we do today lol

  • Faithless Hound
    Faithless Hound 9 days ago

    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.

  • Robert Mills
    Robert Mills 9 days ago

    Wait! Are we just gonna gloss over the Marie Antoinette thing??? I need more info!

  • A Fig
    A Fig 9 days ago

    Cult + Time = Religion

  • Ryan Boscoe
    Ryan Boscoe 10 days ago

    I doubt they started building a road not knowing which way to go

  • buffypython
    buffypython 10 days ago

    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.

  • haza bazza
    haza bazza 11 days ago +2

    Serious question Simon...can you recall everything you talk about?

  • TraitorVek
    TraitorVek 11 days ago

    #OrangeManBad in #Roman #Europe

  • K Mitchell
    K Mitchell 11 days ago +1

    @14:36 "...cut the price of corn...."

    Romans had corn? Am I hearing him incorrectly?

    • K Mitchell
      K Mitchell 9 days ago

      @Faithless Hound Hahah dead on, I'm an American! Thanks mate I never knew!

    • Faithless Hound
      Faithless Hound 9 days ago

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

  • Darth Star Killer
    Darth Star Killer 14 days ago

    I’m not saying it was aliens...... but it was aliens

  • A K
    A K 15 days ago

    You forgot to mention the distance between brothels.

  • Hoodii
    Hoodii 16 days ago +1

    "what's your favourite song?"
    "1, 000, 000 paces"

  • Dovar
    Dovar 17 days ago +1

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

  • Colin Koblanski
    Colin Koblanski 18 days ago

    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.

  • A Jim Fan
    A Jim Fan 19 days ago

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

  • Matthew Rowell
    Matthew Rowell 19 days ago

    They found the top OCD people and set them to the task. Problem solved.

  • Digital Demonic Davros

    Simon, are you our reptilian overlord from the Roman empire?

  • IlIlIlIlIlIl
    IlIlIlIlIlIl 20 days ago +1

    Alle Wege führen nach Rom =)

  • Naomi Ericsson
    Naomi Ericsson 20 days ago

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

  • Peter Turner
    Peter Turner 20 days ago

    "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.

  • eurosonly
    eurosonly 21 day ago

    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.

  • blackbarnz
    blackbarnz 21 day ago

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

  • bigbenisdaman
    bigbenisdaman 21 day ago

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

  • Arch. RSL
    Arch. RSL 22 days ago

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

  • 10 Minutes to Roulette Fortune

    String.....................lots and lots of string.

  • TheChipmunk2008
    TheChipmunk2008 22 days ago

    What the hell is a switch back? (asking as an English speaker)

    • TheChipmunk2008
      TheChipmunk2008 21 day ago

      @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!)

    • Helen Scott
      Helen Scott 22 days ago +1

      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.

  • StormCaller5
    StormCaller5 22 days ago

    Soooo, apparently fake news has existed for a LONG time.

  • Rob H
    Rob H 22 days ago

    Simple answer: They didn't have Minnesotan winters.

    CFITOMAHAWK2 22 days ago +1

    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..

  • Limmeh
    Limmeh 22 days ago

    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..

  • LaughingSeraphim
    LaughingSeraphim 22 days ago

    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.

  • Perry Poehlmann
    Perry Poehlmann 23 days ago

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

  • Joseph Izzo
    Joseph Izzo 23 days ago

    Same people that brought you the Colosseum (sp?)

  • nzoomed
    nzoomed 23 days ago

    lol, so toll roads are nothing new?!

  • voleN
    voleN 23 days ago

    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!

  • Patt Adams
    Patt Adams 23 days ago

    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.

  • AliveC4T
    AliveC4T 23 days ago

    Some say Nero was fiddling himself when the Rome burned.

  • Paleo Con
    Paleo Con 23 days ago

    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.

  • Cero Miedic
    Cero Miedic 24 days ago

    200 miles in 24 hours is 16.6666666667mph

  • BlackBeltMonkeySong
    BlackBeltMonkeySong 24 days ago +1

    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.

  • Bruno Pereira
    Bruno Pereira 24 days ago

    *Viae Publicae*
    Libertarians: 🖕😠🖕
    *Via Privatae*
    Libertarians: 👈😎👈

  • Ronaldreganfan
    Ronaldreganfan 24 days ago

    They did it by , I don’t know ........... slave labor !

  • william pomerleau
    william pomerleau 24 days ago

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

    • william pomerleau
      william pomerleau 20 days ago +1

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

    • Charles Dewitt
      Charles Dewitt 20 days ago

      Back before the Colombian exchange the word "corn" was often used to refer to grain.

  • Marius Adrian
    Marius Adrian 25 days ago

    Less traffic, less weight on each vehicle, lower travel speeds.

  • Sam Haslam
    Sam Haslam 25 days ago

    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. 👍😊

  • hkistreet
    hkistreet 25 days ago

    How long would a road last that's been built by commenters on RU-clip?

  • 0MindSwept0
    0MindSwept0 25 days ago

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

  • Rachel Randant
    Rachel Randant 25 days ago

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

  • Toy Maker
    Toy Maker 26 days ago

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

  • johnny dollar
    johnny dollar 27 days ago

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

  • Scott9084
    Scott9084 27 days ago +1

    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.

    • CurryKingWurst
      CurryKingWurst 26 days ago +1

      Corn doesn't refer to maize in that context.