Rome is a city of World Firsts. Want to impress people with your knowledge of Rome – perhaps the most important city the world has ever seen – then these 18 Interesting World Firsts of Rome will wow your friends.
- The First Apartment Buildings – 40,000 of them up to 5 stories high! Apartments outnumbered single family homes by 20:1
- Trajan’s Market was the First Shopping Mall and was 4 stories tall and had 150 shops and offices.
- Monte Testaccio was the world’s First Landfill Site and was more than 115 feet tall and held 53 million pieces of trash.
- Rome was also the First to enjoy Running Water and was available for wealthy homes with owners paying an ancient utility tax based on pipe size and usage.
- The Hypocaust of Rome was the world’s First Central Heating System which funneled warm gas and air below floors.
- Rome was the First To Employ Street Cleaners, Traffic Wardens, Firemen & even Funeral Directors who buried Romans outside of the city walls.
- Rome was also the city to have the First Postal Service and even Daily Newspaper.
- Romans enjoyed the world’s First Public Welfare System which could dispense free grain to up to 300,000 families each year.
- Roman engineers perfected the First Concrete which enabled them to build their large structures.
- Rome was the First City To Boast 1 million Residents by 1AD. It would be 1800 years before another city (London) that surpassed that number.
- Rome’s Pantheon was the First and Largest Concrete Domed Building for more than 18 centuries.
- Circus Maximus was the world’s First and Biggest Sports Arena that held 5 times more spectators than Yankee Stadium.
- Rome had the First and Best Water Supply Systems in the Ancient World
- 11 aqueducts brought more than 200 million gallons of water into the city every day!
- There were 1300 public drinking fountains and 144 public toilets.
- Rome had 850 private baths and 11 public ones, the largest of which covered 32 acres.
- Despite this there was still enough water left over to fill the Coliseum and other venues for epic naval battles.
- All of this water eventually flowed into the Cloaca Maxima the world’s First Sewage System which is still used today.