Introduction As Milani-Santarpia and Vargas-Villalba(2017)1stated: The definition of technologyis the use of knowledge and science to develop tools and methods which allowindividuals and society to solve problems. This is a paper discussing howtechnology in ancient Greece and Rome influenced the economy. In the following,I would like to introduce the technology in both ancient Greece and Rome respectivelyand the relative economic contribution. Technology in Ancient Greece First of all, the Greeks developed watermanagement and the mining. For the water management, according to Stewart &Howell (2003)2, theGreeks created various ways to manage water including groundwater exploitation,flood protection, drainage and irritation.
Buffet and Evrard (1950)3stated that each section of the clay pipes used in Greece in classical timeswas firmly connected to one end. Sediment could be flush with the increasingrate of water flow. This shows that the Greeks were knowledgeable to getpotable water for themselves. With the source of water, the Greeks constructedaqueducts for transporting and suppling water. According to Murray (1984)4,in order to prevent flooding, a stone dam was built in the 5thcentury BC in the city in Western Greece.
The dam could be divided into twoparts: the upper zone and the bottom zone. Blocks were evenly distributed andin regular shape with smaller or even no gaps in the upper zone, while blockswere roughly distributed and in irregular shape with larger gaps in the bottomzone. Small stones were used to fill the large gaps.
Angelakis and Rose (2014)5pointed out that elliptical pipelines were constructed underground for drainagealong the streets in ancient Greek. Rainwater or even the flood could bedrained away. Furthermore, for the mining, according to Economopoulos(1996)6, ores were smelted and cupellated toextract and purify the valuable metals. The enriched ores were taken tovertical furnaces which were using charcoal as the reducing agent. The radiusof the internal furnaces was about half a meter and the height was about fourmeters. Since an extremely high temperature (1000° to 1200° C) would bereached, the internal walls of the furnaces were made up of fire clay.
Amixture of ore and charcoal will be placed from the top of the furnace. Handblowers were presented to pump necessary air in in order to be guaranteed thereactions taking place. The product—a mixture of lead and silver existedeventually at the tap hole of the furnaces. Pure lead and silver were needed sothe ancient Greeks used the cupellation furnaces to separate them. With theheat of burning with wood and pumping air more vigorously in the cupellationfurnaces, lead would be oxidized but leaving the molten silver. This processcould be done at the temperature 900° to 930° C. Although a large amount of metalmixtures was required, only a relatively small quantity of silver wasextracted. The impacts of ancient Greek technology oneconomy The advantage of water management wasfacilitating the productivity of the ancient Greeks.
With the help of pipes ofthe aqueducts, potable water was supplied to different district in Greece. Accordingto Hanemann (2006)7, thecontributions of water supply to economic growth and development is obvious. Extensivenetwork of water supply especially contributed to the agriculture developmentin Greece.
There would be better harvest with stable water supply. An increasein agricultural production benefited the Greek economy since more products couldbe traded and exported to other countries. Other than water supply, the floodprotection also played an important role. The fields of crops could beprotected by the dam and prevented from flood.
The loss of agriculturalproduction was minimized. The economy would not be greatly declined even ifflooding occurred. Therefore, the productivity in agriculture increased becauseof water management in ancient Greek. Moreover, mining helped create currency andproduce valuable products. Economopoulos (1996) 6 stated that most of the silver wasminted into coinages in Athens. Greece could also make profits by exporting thequalitied silver. The presence of currency affected every economic activity.
For example, on exports and imports, the currency could either make importedmerchandises cheaper or more expensive. Cheaper imported merchandisesencouraged more imports and increased the trade deficit. There would be economicgrowth with higher value of net exports.Other thansilver, copper and iron were good raw materials to make products or tools suchas vessel or utensil.
These products could either be exported or for domestic.Therefore, mining undoubtedly contributed to the Greek economy by creatingcurrency and producing products. Technology in Ancient Rome According to Maynard (2005)8, the Romans constructed the roads,bridge and mills. For the road, Labate (2016)9 pointed out that the Via Appiaconnected Rome to Capua was built in 312 BC. Branch roads were accessed by theimportant cities along the path. Road construction was complicated thatinvolved in land excavation and transport of backfill materials.
Beforeflattening the roads, pipes were built underground for water drainage. With thegravelly layers of Roman roads, the roads were able to withstand freezing orfloods but only required little maintenance relatively. For the bridges,according to Labate (2016)9, they were initially built withstone but turned to used concrete since the mid-second century BC. With theaddition of the arches for structural benefits, the concrete bridges werestronger and more durable. Force was enabled equally downward from the top ofthe bridge arch to the ground. So, the Roman arch bridges could carry as manyweights as themselves or even more. For the mills, Labate (2016)9 also stated that Roman mills weremade for agricultural, mining and constructive use.
There were three types ofmills for use in agriculture, including hand-driven mills, animal-driven millsand water-driven mills. The mills kept having improvements that thewater-driven mills finally came in last century BC to save humans and animalsfrom milling drudgery. Watermills generated much greater power than thatprovided by hand-driven mills or animal-driven mills. The one used in miningwas stamp mill.
It was used to crush ores into smaller pieces for facilitatingfurther processing. Otherwise the metal ores would be difficultly smelted. Boththe watermills and stamp mills required the force of water so the aqueductswere often built near agricultural and mining sites. According to Maynard(2005)8, mills used in construction wascalled sawmill. Its function was to cut woods, marbles and stones so as to savelabor. Different from watermills and stamp mills, the waterwheel of thesawmills was linked to a rod connecting some saws. The impacts of ancient Roman technology oneconomy The contribution of roads and bridges wasfacilitating trade.
Bridging rivers or extreme lands allowed the connection ofpeople on the opposite sides. Not only could People travel more easily, but thetrade would also be increased between mines, ports or even cities. Pritchard(1992)10pointed out that when people travelled from other cities, they often consumedthe local products. This would stimulate the local economy. And the increase inimports and exports helped Rome make profits.
Therefore, roads and bridgesbuilt by the Romans contributed to economy. The construction of mills helped increasethe productivity and decrease the reliance on labor. Labate (2016)9 stated that mills played animportant role to Roman economy.
Take the mills used in agriculture forexample. It was initially driven by human labor. But human needed to rest afterdriving a period of time. This encouraged people to improve the mills andfinally designed for animal-driven. Since animals drove faster and requiredless rest, the output and the quality of products were better. However, theRomans still dissatisfied with the animal-driven mills and they made furtherimprovement. The water-driven mills were created.
It worked nonstop, withexcellent quality and output of products. The exist of mills accelerated theprocess in agriculture, mining and construction. Both the efficiency and productivitywere improved at the same time so that the demand of trading was satisfied. Asa result, mills helped promote economic growth in Rome. ConclusionTo sum up, technology in both ancient Greece andRome was very impressive. It was a way to show the ancient intelligence to thedescendant. Undoubtedly, ancient technology had an inestimable influence on theeconomy.
But it did not only favor