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Roman Surveyors

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Dave Karoly
(@dave-karoly)
10,000+ posts Member

I wonder if Roman Surveyors posted on Internet forums about which brand of Groma worked best on crooked roads?

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Topic starter Posted : November 24, 2021 7:34 pm
jim.cox
(@jimcox)
1,000+ posts Supporter

"crooked roads"? But Dave, Roman roads are straight, as every English schoolboy knows.

If you were laying out a Roman road somewhere in far flung reaches of the Empire - Londinium to Eboracum say - you'd want to know which way to go.

But I don't think the declination in Rome matters to you much - least ways not on a day to day basis 🙂 Oh, and that Groma is probably military issue...

 

Raises a question though - are there any Italian surveyors here yet?

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Posted : November 24, 2021 7:53 pm
Brad Ott liked
Dave Lindell
(@dave-lindell)
1,000+ posts Supporter

I heard Model No.XXXVII was the best one.

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Posted : November 24, 2021 7:54 pm

jim.cox
(@jimcox)
1,000+ posts Supporter

I think we need to add a question about "have you ever used a Groma?" to the "old school skills" list.

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Posted : November 24, 2021 8:42 pm
FL/GA
(@flga-2-2)
5,000+ posts Supporter

Groma
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groma_(surveying)

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Posted : November 25, 2021 6:07 am
John Putnam
(@john-putnam)
1,000+ posts Member
Posted by: @dave-lindell

I heard Model No.XXXVII was the best one.

But does it work well in heavy canopy or rain?

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Posted : November 25, 2021 6:20 am
FL/GA, Dave Karoly, Brad Ott and 2 people liked

Bill93
(@bill93)
5,000+ posts Member

@john-putnam 

Probably ok with those, but look out for wind.

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Posted : November 25, 2021 6:32 am
FL/GA and Grant Brady liked
cf.67
(@cf-67)
200+ posts Member

Interesting fact: When travelers in ancient Rome met at the junction of 3 roads, it was customary to stop and exchange the news. Three roads - Tri Via - trivia!

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Posted : November 25, 2021 6:35 am
Brad Ott and jim.cox liked
Nate The Surveyor
(@nate-the-surveyor)
5,000+ posts Member

There's a story floating about the internet, about the width of the space shuttle, Roman roads, and chariot widths.

It probably goes somewhere here. 

N

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Posted : November 25, 2021 6:51 am

paden cash
(@paden-cash)
10,000+ posts Supporter

I've read several stories about the construction of the Roman aqueducts and tunnels that herald their ability to maintain the accuracy required to build 25 km. long gravity segments with just "sticks and string".  To me it's not really that impressive.  They just understood the art of construction surveying.

What I did think was impressive was their ability to build tunnels by hand.  But if one reads a little deeper it comes to light there were lots of mistakes. Tunnel excavation attempted from both ends missed each other so badly that in at least one instance they wound up with two tunnels.  I also read their tunneling technique involved a vertical pilot shaft every thirty meters or so to maintain control...a good idea when labor costs weren't of any concern. 😉

Still more impressive to me was their vertical control.  No long-line gravity project was ever constructed without it.  I think they did pretty good given their circumstances.  No telling how long they would have lasted if they had only been warned about using lead in their tableware....

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Posted : November 25, 2021 7:50 am
R.J. Schneider
(@rj-schneider)
1,000+ posts Member
Posted by: @dave-karoly

I wonder if Roman Surveyors posted on Internet forums about which brand of Groma worked best on crooked roads?

Probably a lot about irate land owners, where they planned a highway.

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Posted : November 25, 2021 9:01 am
Dave Karoly
(@dave-karoly)
10,000+ posts Member

The southern Italy surveyors would box the Groma when 4 raindrops hit their helmet, they used it in the rain once but it quit working. The Northern Italy surveyors use their Groma in the rain all the time and it’s never been a problem.

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Topic starter Posted : November 25, 2021 9:07 am

holy cow
(@holy-cow)
10,000+ posts Member

Those Romans working in the world's second oldest profession had traveled extensively, discovering regions with quite desirable numbers of those working in the world's oldest profession.  Thus, became the need for better and faster roadways to get number two to number one on a more frequent basis.  Some of the work by number two may have been shoddy, but, as the worker's in the world's third oldest profession (lawyers) had not become common, there was little to fear by being a bit shoddy.

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Posted : November 25, 2021 9:18 am
FL/GA
(@flga-2-2)
5,000+ posts Supporter

@paden-cash 

I think the aqueducts were impressive, vertical control had to have been a bitch, but I didn't read about tunnel construction. I'm amazed at anything the Romans and Egyptians built without a total station, which was everything. 😎

frontpage2015

 

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Posted : November 25, 2021 9:21 am
holy cow
(@holy-cow)
10,000+ posts Member

Water flows downhill.  Slowly when nearly level.  Faster as the slope increases.

Just like Betty Crocker instructions:  Add water as needed

Simplest level known to mankind.

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Posted : November 25, 2021 9:24 am
FL/GA and paden cash liked

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