What Happened to the Roman Apartment Buildings?

It is both a sad and a happy fact of engineering history that disasters have been powerful instruments of change. Designers learn from failure. Industrial society did not invent grand works of engineering, and it was not the first to know design failure. What it did do was develop powerful techniques for learning from the experience of past disasters. It is extremely rare today for an apartment house in North America, Europe, or Japan to fall down. Ancient Rome had large apartment buildings too, but while its public baths, bridges and aqueducts have lasted for two thousand years, its big residential blocks collapsed with appalling regularity. Not one is left in modern Rome, even as ruin.


Unlike the structures that survived to today, they must have all collapsed under poor engineering.

Folksonomies: engineering

Roman Apartment Buildings (0.918085 (negative:-0.616470)), large apartment buildings (0.819920 (neutral:0.000000)), big residential blocks (0.756086 (negative:-0.611028)), apartment house (0.673483 (positive:0.460554)), appalling regularity (0.660524 (negative:-0.611028)), past disasters (0.641147 (negative:-0.200613)), powerful instruments (0.637953 (negative:-0.768039)), design failure (0.633381 (negative:-0.336885)), poor engineering (0.625535 (negative:-0.557626)), happy fact (0.624627 (negative:-0.768040)), powerful techniques (0.623848 (negative:-0.200613)), modern Rome (0.619649 (negative:-0.325022)), Ancient Rome (0.610537 (neutral:0.000000)), Industrial society (0.609507 (neutral:0.000000)), public baths (0.609220 (neutral:0.000000)), grand works (0.608764 (neutral:0.000000)), engineering history (0.606101 (negative:-0.768039)), North America (0.597664 (positive:0.460554)), aqueducts (0.461367 (negative:-0.297280)), ruin (0.456813 (negative:-0.596494)), structures (0.438594 (neutral:0.000000)), bridges (0.437930 (negative:-0.297280)), Designers (0.437557 (negative:-0.353792)), change (0.436101 (negative:-0.768040)), experience (0.433885 (negative:-0.200613))

Rome:City (0.832546 (negative:-0.325022))

Ancient Rome (0.955919): dbpedia | freebase | yago
House (0.680558): dbpedia | freebase
Apartment (0.663128): dbpedia | freebase
Roman Empire (0.551441): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Real estate (0.543367): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Rome (0.502271): website | dbpedia | freebase | yago | geonames
North America (0.486034): geo | dbpedia | freebase | yago
Europe (0.470856): dbpedia | freebase | yago

 Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Tenner , Edward (1997-09-02), Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences, Vintage, Retrieved on 2012-06-11
  • Source Material [books.google.com]
  • Folksonomies: