Great Roman Inventions

Updated April 17, 2017

The ancient Romans created many inventions that are still relevant today. From feats of engineering to architecture and household items, they changed the world. Despite limitations in technology, resources, modern science and mathematics, they created impressive inventions.


Roman concrete was a development that gave greater construction opportunities. Concrete is a material made of crushed rocks, called aggregate, and a binding agent that are mixed with water and dried into a solid material. Romans used lime, gypsum, and volcanic dust to bind the material. This invention allowed for buildings to be constructed that could not be made by simply stacking stones and using mortar.

Paddle-wheel Boats

The Romans were the first to develop boats operated by a paddle wheel. These boats use a rotating wheel with slats that moves through the water and pushes the ship along.


Concrete helped the Romans to create new architectural inventions. They created the first solid domes by layering concrete and stone. They invented coliseums for spectator events, as well as aqueducts for transporting clean water to their urban centres.


The Romans invented the first modern candles. Their candles were sticks with a wick in the centre, rather than a wick placed in a container. They made their candles by dipping a wick in liquid tallow, a type of animal fat, repeatedly until enough fat has hardened around the outside. This candle could then be placed in a holder and lit.

The Julian Calendar

Julius Caesar had the Julian Calendar invented to streamline government and understanding. The calendar implemented advances that are still in place today, such as the 365-day year, leap year, and the number of days we currently use in months. The names of our months are also derived from Roman mythology.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Owen Rogers has been a full-time English student since 2008 at the State University of New York at Geneseo. This is his first experience writing in a professional sense.