Roman Achievements

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Roman Achievements

Where would the world be today without the founding of the Roman Household and the idea of paterfamilias, advances in science and medicine, and the many changes in Christianity and marriage practices? It is hard to imagine what our society would be like without a "head" of the household, medicine for illness, science for technology, and Christianity along with marriage practices.

The Romans made many advances in science and medicine. Archimedes of Syracuse founded the formulas of spheres and cylinders, the actual number of pi which is used mostly for a circle's circumference, as well as other discoveries in astronomy and engineering (Osheim and Roberts 138). Archimedes also invented the water snail which was "a screw like device to raise water for irrigation…which made it possible to irrigate previously barren land" (Osheim and Roberts 138).

The idea of astronomy first came from advances in mathematics (Osheim and Roberts 138). The Romans used to believe that the sun revolved around the earth, when in 275 B.C., Aristarchus of Samos made the hypothesis that the earth really revolves around the sun, and then in 135 B.C., Hipparchus of Nicaea proved this hypothesis correct (Osheim and Roberts 138). Many other medical advances were made around this time, such as cross-fertilization and the first dissection of a human. The scientists would practice dissecting on criminals that were condemned to death (Osheim and Roberts 138).

One of the "leading scientific beneficiaries was Herophilus of Chalcedon, a practicing physician in Alexandria," for he found that the brain was the center of the nervous system, as well as the first dissection of the human, and the discovery of the ovaries (Osheim and Roberts 139). Scientific discoveries helped the army with technology. They were able to build engines and bombs for war, ways of transportation, and many other industrial wonders.

In many cultures, the father is usually the "head" of the household, and the Romans emphasized this in their families, setting some standards by which we still live by today. "The familia was the basic unit of Roman society…the Roman household was an authoritarian institution governed by a male" (Osheim and Roberts 159). The oldest male in the family, usually the father, but sometimes the grandfather was known as the paterfamilias, which had supreme power within the household (Osheim and Roberts 160). The paterfamilias could do whatever he wanted with his wife, the children, his property, slaves, etc.

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