What Did the Romans Use to Purify Their Water?

what-did-the-romans-use-to-purify-their-waterIn the old days – centuries, millennia ago – people did not have the privilege of having their water filtered so it would be clean to drink and use in cooking. They drank and used what was available to them. This also rings true to Romans, although they were the first ones to form a civilization. Ancient people used to get water from wells and rivers, which were already contaminated with animal and human remains as well as excrements and other wastes, so imagine the quality of water that they put into their bodies. This is one of the reasons why ancient peoples built aqueducts – ancient waterways whose levels were built as high as possible to avoid contamination from the ground.

Fortunately as years passed and technology progressed, so was the water quality that everyone drinks, uses in cooking and other things where water is necessary. Water purification technology was invented many years ago to remove impurities in water such as dirt, dust and others that may have accumulated in the water over time. One such water purification technology is the water softening system.

Water Softening System

Water softening is the process where essential minerals such as calcium and magnesium are removed to prevent plumbing from being clogged by hardened mineral deposits, as well as to conserve other resources such as soaps and detergents because hard water – or water with an excess amount of minerals – need more than the usual soap and detergent to produce suds.

There are places where the supply in irrigation and drinking water is hard water. This makes it hard to maintain a clean plumbing system because as years pass pipes and waterways produce a build-up of minerals found in hard water and eventually clog them. Hard water also damage appliances using water such as dishwasher and washing machines faster. When you live in an area where there is hard water, you may use a water softening system to preserve your plumbing as well as your appliances.

When choosing which system is best to use in your home, it is imperative to look water softeners that are available in the market so you can look at each system’s pros and cons and the one that will be most beneficial to you. Look up the top ten water softeners on Google and see which one will work best for your needs.

 

Maintenance

Just like any other home appliance, you need to maintain your water softener system so it doesn’t get damaged. If you are using a salt softener, you will have to add salt regularly to make it effective. Salt-free water softeners on the other hand use filters that you will have to replace regularly. These things are important if you want your softener to last for years.

Also read: How Did People Sleep in Roman Times?

How Did People Sleep in Roman Times?

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The National Sleep Foundation based in Arlington, Virginia in the United States released new recommendations on the average number of hours a person should sleep based on age. It says that teenagers from 14-17 should sleep for 8-10 hours; adults aged 26-64 should have 7-9 hours of sleep while older adults 65 and over should sleep for 7-8 hours. This is now. But during the Middle Ages, situations were different. In those days, most people slept in two phases each night. So they have a first and second sleep, according to At Day’s Close: Nights in Past Time, written by Roger Ekirch.

Our ancestors, just like today, have different sleeping patterns.

Rising with the sun

The Romans were the originator of the saying “Carpe diem” that means “seize the day” and they did! Not even the best beds during that era could keep them from carpe-ing the diem! They were the great thinkers, philosophers, inventors, architects, construction workers, conquerors and more. Based on history, Romans did not like to sleep as it hampers the progress of whatever they were doing. For them, they have to attack the daytime, thus most of them rose even before the first rays of the sun show up in the sky.

For the Romans, staying in bed means you are drunk and should be treated with contempt. There were even those who rose up before the sunrise, such as Emperor Vespasian. So we could surmise that the Romans were an industrious lot.

However, it could be said that maybe their bedrooms had something to do with their short sleeping period. Despite being great architects who built beautiful temples, coliseums and massive halls, Roman bedrooms were simple and small. The conditions did not encourage one to stay in it. Their bedrooms were functional, with thick shutters that they close in the evening, leaving the room in total darkness. Their beds did not encourage sleep as well. They were more like sofas, made of wood and typically with hay-filled mattresses. There were no pillows then, although the very rich can afford to have a mattress filled with swan’s down.

Servants and slaves also rose before sunrise and they immediately start their day with cleaning and cooking. For most Romans, the period between 8 and 9 was already mid-morning.

Huddled together in one room

During the Middle Ages, there was barely any distinction between rich and poor during sleep times. With the absence of proper plumbing, electricity and other mod cons, families slept in one room, close to each other to keep warm. Servants slept in the same room as their masters, on straw mats at their masters’ feet. Chamber pots were kept close by, and warmth was generated by fires. Such conditions were not conducive to sleep, as the smoke and the smell wafting from chamber pots and the general filth tend to keep them awake.

Two-phase sleeping patterns

Based on the research of Professor Kirsch, people during Roman times did not sleep for one 8-hour stretch, but actually in two phases, involving some 12-hour period. In the first phase, people slept for up to 4 hours. When they woke up, most of them just stayed in their rooms. Some of them prayed, others read, while others pursue more carnal activities. Others got out of the house and visited neighbours who were also awake. About two hours later, they went back to their beds and slept a further 6 hours.

Before the advent of the industrial revolution, numerous groups of people also slept for shorter hours. Sleep scientist Jerome Siegel of the University of California did a study among the three traditional tribes that follow their forefathers’ traditions – the Tsimane (Bolivia), San (Namibia) and Hadza (Tanzania). Observing the 94 participants for more than 3 years, the scientist found that the average hours of actual sleep each night was between 5.7 and 7.1 hours. Lighting a small fire extended their wakeful state by about 3 hours. The researchers found that the sleeping habits of ancient societies are related to temperature instead of the absence of natural light. They normally go to sleep when the temperature starts to fall and they sleep for an extra hour when the weather is cold. Still they rise before the sun comes up.

Looking at these facts, the situation today is not much different from the days gone by. Should you sleep straight for 7 to 8 hours or do you train yourself to sleep in two phases? It’s your choice. What matters is to respect your sleeping hours to give your body and mind the time to rest, relax and recharge.

Also see: The Rise of the Holy Roman Empire

The Rise Of The Holy Roman Empire

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Holy Roman Empire followed the principle that the monarch is the guardian of papacy. It has given birth to the political framework of many modern states like Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, Czech Republic, parts of Demark, Poland, France and Italy. These countries were the geographical expressions of the Empire and they did not inhabit the present borders. The past of Europe is shaped by these countries than the Empire which is now known as the Middle Ages of Germany. The transnational character of the Empire is affected by the 18th century observers.

roman1In the words of Voltaire, the French Philosopher commented that it was not Holy, Roman or an Empire. The fall of 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars only went to prove that the empire has just outlived its role and was considered redundant after the emergence of nation states. The divisions in Europe clearly shoes that these states followed similar trends and it is evident in their historical writing and map making. The demarcations were marked with solid colors, these frontiers either increased or decreased with the acquisitions or surrender.

roman2The glorious past of discovering institutions, passing new laws, forging treaties and evaluating measure and weight was chronicled by the historians. The historical writings became more economic or social but did not change the fundamentals but instead added folk to the nation states. The Holy Roman Empire saw its end because it did not follow the historical path. For instance, the first emperor Charlemagne fitted the framework of a being a powerful ruler. He expanded the empire from France to North West Europe, Italy and central Germany. These successions went on to convince the Pope Leo III that Frankish King would be an effective protector than the Byzantine emperor. Meanwhile, Leo made use of the temporary interregnum and transferred the imperial title to Charlemagne.

Read More : The Growth Of Art In Ancient Rome

The Governance Of Rome & How It Is Relevant Even Today?

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Rome was earlier governed by the kings. The Ancient Rome evolves it own governments that governs the Romans. The Roman society used its forceful army to capture other nations and turn them into salves. When it concerns its own people, the Rome was democratic. The Romans had the privilege to elect their officials. The hierarchy of the Roman official system comprised of consuls and below them were two officials. The consuls changed every year, if they meet the expectations of the citizens. They will not be reelected if they do not perform well. In the true sense proficiency was rewarded and incompetency is punished.

romeThe consuls take the advice of the Senate in most cases. The role of the Senate is to legislate new laws, issues related to finance affecting the state and many more. The senate held 600 men and these were represented from noble and rich families. They held the power to decide what was good or bad for the nation. The Roman laws lay in their hands. As the Roman Empire grew and became a powerful city, the top position became lucrative. With this more ambitious men became part of the government. These men opined it would be good for the nation, if one man held the power, and this person was called the emperor.

Despite the consuls being elected by the citizens, the Senate was not a democratic body. Since the Senate was from influential families, the decisions were mostly pro-rich. The people in the lower social class did not have the guts to question the system. The commoners generally believed that the rich were meant to rule and the poor to listen. During the period of the Senate, Rome becomes the power center in Europe and Mediterranean. The Rome was a republic between 509 and 27 BC and it was the period of great power.

Read More : The Culinary Skills Of The Romans

Top 10 Books On Ancient Rome

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This list of books was selected by writer Lindsey Davis, a British author whose work depend mainly on the Roman Empire and culture. This writer has given a list of books which the author relies on to get facts about Rome for her works. The books are listed below.

1. Daily Life in Ancient Rome by JérômeCarcopino
This book was published in 1939. It shows Rome as a teeming, noisy metropolis where the rich and poor lived together.

2. A Topographical Dictionary of Rome by Samuel Ball Platner and Thomas Ashby
This book was published in 1929 and this serves as the knowledge of our idea about Roman streets, temples and theatres. But since the book was based mostly on the archeological discovery, it is good to be a little cautious as there have been recent discoveries made.

3. Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum by Paul Roberts
This book is about the eruption of Vesuvius and the sudden death of a mass of people. The book’s illustrations are also complimented on being wonderful.

4. Shopping in Ancient Rome by Claire Holleran
This book is scholarly and is about the Roman retail trade.

5. Gardens of the Roman World by Patrick Bowe
This book is amazingly illustrated and describes the leisurely gardens of Ancient Rome with their cooling streams, ponds and birds.

6. Doctors and Diseases in the Roman Empire by Ralph Jackson
This is a book describes about the medical practices that were seen in the ancient Rome and is definitely not for the squeamish.

7. Ancient inventions by Peter and Nick Thorpe
This book is also about the gruesome medical practices that were seen in ancient Rome. Describes portions and contraptions used in various treatments.

8. The Mysterious Fayum Portraits; Faces from Ancient Egypt by EuphrosyneDoxiades
This book is about the painted portraits of the Egyptian Romans.

9. Orgy-Planner Wanted: Odd Jobs and Curious Careers in the Ancient World by Vicki Leon
This book describes about the odd jobs that existed during the Roman era.

10. How to Win an Election by Quintus Tullius Cicero (translated by Philip Freeman)
As the title suggests, this book is all about the political practices of the ancient Rome.

Read More : Highly Decorated Bronze Roman Belt Excavated From Leicester

Significance Of Women In Ancient Rome

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Roman women were given equal rights to men. They enjoy equal opportunities in education, trade and business. Some of the higher strata women also went on to graduate. Despite the forward thinking of the Romans in giving equal status to women, they did not consider it important to give women the right to vote. Yet women were able to alter the political scene by influencing their male relatives or friends. Roman women made great name in trade and business and they even had the right to possess property. women1Though, salve women were not given a high stratus in the society. They were abused, tortured and treated badly by their masters.

In the family women held equal rights to their brothers. They were treated equal to their sons. Roman family was headed by the father and hence it is a patriarchal society. Daughters were given the right to receive the share in the property if the father dies without producing a will. The family name of the women does not change even after marriage. This goes to show that they remain loyal to their pater familias despite a difference of opinion with their husbands. Women enjoy equal legal rights. Legal action or Divorce is common among women ill-treated by their husbands. They can challenge the decision of the family head denying her right in the property.

The Growth Of Art In Ancient Rome

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The establishment of Roman Republic in 509 Ad after the overthrow of the Etruscan kings has an important association with the earliest Roman art. The two main divisions of roman art are divided based on the periods; they are the art of the Roman Empire and art of the Republic. Art does not mean only paintings. Roman art includes painting, architecture, mosaic work and sculpture. Gem engraving, ivory carvings, metal-work and glass works were considered minor art forms of Rome.

Roman art did not portray only the aristocracy, senators or emperors; it included all the people of Rome, like the slaves, soldiers, freedmen and middleclass businessmen. It also depicted the provinces in Rome. Even though there are a huge numbers of art and paintings of Rome like paintings, decorative arts, buildings and sculpture, very few of the artists’ names were recorded. This makes it obvious that the monuments of Rome were for the needs of their patron and not to express their artistic talents.

The traditional view of the Roman art is that they are copied from the Greek precedents; most of the Greek sculptures that are known today are the marble copies of Rome. However, recent analysis of the Roman art has indicated that their art is a highly creative pastiche relying mostly on the Greek art but it also depicts native Italy, Etruscan tradition and Egyptian culture.

The large number of Roman art’s Greek inspiration shows that the high esteem the Roman artists had for the Greek art. This was thought to be because of the higher and rarer quality of the Greek art. The many of the art forms used by Romans, like the free-standing sculpture, high and low relief, mosaic, coin art, cameo, metalwork, fine jewelry, metal work, perspective drawing, genre and portrait painting, caricature, landscape painting, and trompe l’oeil painting, were all refined and developed by ancient Greek artists.