The influence of the ancient Roman civilization can still be seen in our society today. Here are some highlights.
Romans borrowed what they knew from the Greeks and then made it their own. They used columns, curved roofs, and large-scale arches in their construction to bear more weight and to increase the size of the structures they were able to build. By doing so, they were able to build increasingly large bridges and aqueducts, improving travel and transportation.
They were also able to use this knowledge to build large places for people to gather for entertainment, such as the Colosseum. This oval shape with tiered seating still exists in many sporting arenas today because it is capable of housing many people effectively.
The Romans figured out how to use volcanic ash and rock to create cement, which was remarkably strong in construction. They also determined that, when it was submerged underwater, the concrete would become incredibly strong; the seawater reacted with the volcanic ash to create crystals, filling in any cracks in the concrete. This, again, helped create bridges and other structures that improved travel in ancient Roman civilizations.
The ancient Romans constructed over 74,000 miles of roads by first laying down gravel and then paving them with huge rock slabs. Because it was so expansive, the saying emerged that "All roads lead to Rome." An ability to move people efficiently from one place to another not only helped trade but also strengthened Rome's military presence.
Techniques developed by the ancient Romans are still used by farmers today: crop rotation, pruning, seed selection, and the use of manure as fertilizer. They also learned to use mills to process grains, which greatly improved the efficiency of the harvest.
In the ancient Roman justice system, citizens accused of crimes were first taken to a preliminary hearing. If enough evidence of a crime was presented, a high-ranking Roman citizen would try the case, and witnesses and evidence would be evaluated. Roman laws became the foundation of many of the world's current legal practices because they were effective in examining crime from the least-biased lens possible.
. . . and Beyond
The Romans were certainly world leaders in many other areas—including art, language, and poetry—and the influence of their contributions still permeates the world today.