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Part II – ‘All the colours of the empire’

Watch Dr Matthew Nicholls describe some of the key materials used by the ancient Romans to build their walls and roads.

Before you look at the political, religious and entertainment structures which filled the landscape of Rome, it’s important to understand a little more about the materials and techniques used to build them.

I’ll describe some of the main materials used by the Romans, from local tufa stone to the more carveable travertine, and the strong and practical concrete used to construct walls and vaults. I’ll also highlight another crucial element of Rome’s success: its roads. These were the vital arteries of the city – supporting thousands upon thousands of travellers, carts delivering goods, and pedestrians going about their daily lives.

As you watch the video, you may like to think about:

  • Why Roman roads are so famous.

  • How and why Rome’s leaders used coins to advertise their investment in the city.

Share your thoughts on these points and the rest of the video in the comment area below. Don’t forget to mark the Step as complete before you move on to the next.

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Rome: A Virtual Tour of the Ancient City

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