Improved Plumbing


Roman philosopher and writer, Pliny the Elder, described Rome’s sewers as an engineering achievement “more stupendous than any”. Rome’s biggest sewer, the Cloaca Maxima, was first dug as a system to carry water from nearby marshland and grew into a complex network of sewers that expanded with the city. The whole system was eventually covered, shutting off the stench and risk of disease, making it Rome’s greatest advancement in sewer construction. The Cloaca Maxima became so vital to Rome’s development it was even granted its own deity: Cloacina, goddess of the sewer.