日期:2015-07-23 20:53


7.Roman Arches
Arches have existed for roughly 4,000 years, but the ancient Romans were the first to effectively harness their power in the construction of bridges, monuments and buildings. The ingenious design of the arch allowed the weight of buildings to be evenly distributed along various supports, preventing massive Roman structures like the Colosseum from crumbling under their own weight. Roman engineers improved on arches by flattening their shape to create what is known as a segmental arch and repeating them at various intervals to build stronger supports that could span large gaps when used in bridges and aqueducts. Along with columns, domes and vaulted ceilings, the arch became one of the defining characteristics of the Roman architectural style.


6.Roads and Highways


At its height, the Roman empire encompassed nearly 1.7 million square miles and included most of southern Europe. To ensure effective administration of this sprawling domain, the Romans built the most sophisticated system of roads the ancient world had ever seen. These Roman roads—many of which are still in use today—were constructed with a combination of dirt, gravel and bricks made from granite or hardened volcanic lava. Roman engineers adhered to strict standards when designing their highways, creating arrow-straight roads that curved to allow for water drainage. The Romans built over 50,000 miles of road by 200 A.D., primarily in the service of military conquest. Highways allowed the Roman legion to travel as far as 25 miles per day, and a complex network of post houses meant that messages and other intelligence could be relayed with astonishing speed. These roads were often managed in the same way as modern highways. Stone mile markers and signs informed travelers of the distance to their destination, while special complements of soldiers acted as a kind of highway patrol.

5.Bound Books


For most of human history, literature took the form of unwieldy clay tablets and scrolls. The Romans streamlined the medium by creating the codex, a stack of bound pages that is recognized as the earliest incarnation of the book. The first codices were made of bound wax tablets, but these were later replaced by animal skin parchment that more clearly resembled pages. Ancient historians note that Julius Caesar created an early version of a codex by stacking pages of papyrus to form a primitive notebook, but bound codices did not become popular in Rome until the first century or thereabouts. Early Christians became some of the first to adopt the new technology, using it extensively to produce copies of the Bible.
在人类历史的大多数时期,文学作品都采用在笨拙的泥板和卷轴上创作的形式。罗马人通过创造法典(被认为是最早的书的原型),使这种形式得以简化。首部法典由蜡质的纸制成,随后就被动物的皮毛羊皮纸所取代,因而能更清晰的显示纸页。古历史学家指出,尤利乌斯•凯撒(Julius Caesar)创造了早期的莎草纸页形式的法典版本,但这种纸质法典直到公元一世纪左右才被推广。早期的基督教徒成了首批利用此项革新的民众,他们运用此技术大批量的印制圣经。



Ancient Rome was the wellspring for many modern government programs, including measures that subsidized food, education and other expenses for the needy. These entitlement programs date back to 122 B.C., when the tribune Gaius Gracchus instituted lex frumentaria, a law that ordered Rome's government to supply its citizens with allotments of cheaply priced grain. This early form of welfare continued under Trajan, who implemented a program known as "alimenta" to help feed, clothe and educate orphans and poor children. Other items including corn, oil, wine, bread and pork were eventually added to the list of price-controlled goods, which may have been collected with tokens called "tesserae." These generous handouts helped Roman emperors win favor with the public, but some historians have argued that they also contributed to Rome's economic decline.
现代政府的很多福利事业,其雏形都起源于古罗马,包括为救助贫困居民所制定的发放粮食补贴标准、教育经费以及其他费用补贴的发放标准。这些福利项目可以追溯到公元前122年,当时的保民官盖约·格拉古(Gaius Gracchus)设立《粮食法》(lex frumentaria),要求国家政府实现罗马公民低价购进谷物的需求。罗马皇帝图拉真(Trajan)在位期间,保留了这些福利项目,还实行一项"供给"(alimenta)福利,用以养育贫苦无靠的孤儿,确保他们衣食无忧,还可以接受教育。同时,为了控制物价,颁发了一种"代币券"(tesserae),包括玉米,粮油,酒品,面包和猪肉在内的物品价格都得以控制。图拉真皇帝这些慷慨的行为深受罗马民众爱戴,但有些历史学家认为,正是他如此慷慨的行为才导致了罗马经济的衰落。

审校:省略珺 编辑:橘子