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Ancient Rome: History Facts for Students

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❶The Romans lived in Rome, a city in the centre of the country of Italy.

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There was a belief that if you kept fit, you would be more able to combat an illness. Rather than spend money on a doctor, many Romans spent money on keeping fit. The Romans did believe that illnesses had a natural cause and that bad health could be caused by bad water and sewage. Hence their desire to improve the public health system in the Roman Empire so that everyone in their empire benefited. Those who worked for the Romans needed good health as did their soldiers. In this sense, the Romans were the first civilisation to introduce a programme of public health for everyone regardless of wealth.

Roman cities, villas and forts were built in what were considered healthy places. The Romans knew not only where to build but also where not to build: The Romans became practised at draining marshes to rid areas of malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

Julius Caesar drained the Codetan Swamp and planted a forest in its place. The Romans paid especial attention to the health of their soldiers as without these soldiers, the Roman Empire could collapse. Great emphasis was placed on soldiers having access to clean water and being able to keep fit. Commanders ordered their junior officers not to set up a camp too near a swamp and the drinking of swamp water was especially discouraged.

Soldiers were moved around as it was believed that if they stayed too long in one place, they would start to suffer from the illnesses that might have existed in that area. Cities, towns and forts were built near springs. However, as Roman cities and towns grew, they needed to bring in water from further afield. As the population grew, so did the need for clean water. Trying to shift large volumes of water underground in pipes was not possible as lead pipes would be too weak and bronze pipes would be too expensive.

The Romans could not make cast iron pipes as the techniques for doing this were not known to them. If water could not be brought via pipes, the Romans decided to bring it overland in what were conduits. When the water got to the city, it was fed off into smaller bronze or ceramic pipes. To get the water to flow at an even and slow pace, conduits were built on a slight slope.

Valleys were crossed by using aqueducts. One of the most famous of these is the Pont du Gard aqueduct at Nimes in southern France. Where possible, the Romans did take water through tunnels but the hills needed to be relatively small for this to be successful. Rome, as the capital of the empire, had to have an impressive water supply.

The aqueducts that fed Rome carried an estimated million litres of water a day. Frontinus was clearly proud of his work but scathing of other well known engineering works: Personal hygiene was also a major issue in the day-to-day life of Romans. Their famous baths played an important part in this. The baths were used by both rich and poor. Most Roman settlements contained a public bath of some sort. This extremely low price was to ensure that no-one did not bathe because it was too expensive.

From the writings of Seneca, we know that the Romans spent large sums of money building their baths. When they were very young they were abandoned by the banks of the River Tiber and left to fend for themselves. Luckily for them they were found by a she-wolf who took pity on them fed them with her milk. The boys were later found by a shepherd who raised them. The boys grew up to be very strong and clever and they decided to build a town on the spot where the Shepherd had found them.

They named their town Rome. In August 55 B. He took with him two Roman legions. After winning several battles against the Celtic tribes Britons in south-east England he returned to France.

The following summer in 54 B. Caesar came to Britain again landing at Walmer near Deal in Kent. This time he brought with him no fewer than five legions 30, foot soldiers and 2, cavalrymen horse riders. This time the Romans crossed the River Thames.

After more fighting, the British tribes promised to pay tribute to Rome and were then left in peace for nearly a century. Third and final invasion. Nearly one hundred years later, in 43 A. General Aulus Plautius led four legions with 25, men, plus an equal number of auxiliary soldiers. They crossed the Channel in three divisions, landing at Richborough, Dover, and Lympne. Click here for more information on the map of Kent in Roman times. The biggest battle was fought on the banks of the River Medway, close to Rochester.

It went on for two days before the Celtic tribes retreated. Many tribes tried to resist the Romans. It took about four years for the invaders to finally gain control over southern England, and another 30 years for them to conquer all of the West Country and the mountains and valleys of Wales.

The battle for Yorkshire and the remainder of northern England was still underway in AD The first Roman city was Camulodunum also called Colonia Vitricencis. We know it by the name of Colchester. It was the seat of Roman power and governance of Brittania until sacked during the Boudiccan revolt.

London was then established as a seat of governance, and only became important after the Camulodunum event. Why did the Romans invade Britain? Why the Romans came to Britain is not quite certain. Two reasons have been suggested:. How long did the Romans stay in Britain?

That is almost four hundred years four centuries. What lanuage did the Romans speak? The Romans spoke a form of Latin known as vulgar Latin. It was quite different from the Classical Latin that we learn today. Why did the Romans leave Britain? Their homes in Italy were being attacked by fierce tribes and every soldier was needed.

What did the Romans call London? The River Thames was quick way to transport goods between Britain and the Continent.

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