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Topic Subject:Roman engineering
Prefect Marty
Pleb
posted 12-01-11 18:05 ET (US)         
How Roman engineers made the necessary calculations while building their roads, aquaducts, walls... I canīt believe they made those complicated buildings and mechanical tools just by accident. I mean, they were only using roman numbers, and they are terribly impractical in maths.
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Senseisan
Pleb
posted 12-01-11 22:49 ET (US)     1 / 3       
Can seem strange nowadays , but all buildings and other structures were build whithout any calculation , only whith rule-and-compass tips and a 13 knots rope ...
As were build the cathedrals !
Herod0tus
Pleb
posted 12-02-11 07:08 ET (US)     2 / 3       
Sorry to disagree but this does not seem entirely reasonable. I think indeed they used mathematics:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_abacus

http://www.gap-system.org/~history/Printonly/Vitruvius.html
Eswen
Pleb
posted 12-02-11 09:59 ET (US)     3 / 3       
Mathematics doesn't mean algebra per se, but is a complex subject which can be structured in many ways, like geometry or arithmetic. You can draw two perpendicular lines, without knowing the angle between them is 90 degrees. That, doesn't mean you can't build vertical walls ... So they probably used some kind of *primitive* mathematics to assist the construction.
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