The Romans aqueducts play an important role when it comes to the field of architecture-in Romans society. They are considered as the most public structures without the pretence of good-looking entablatures or columns to have ever existed in the Romans society. Romans aqueducts depict a highly complicated piece of Romans engineering. It describes a range of Romans hydraulic hi-tech skills to deliver a modest amount of water to the reservoirs supplying the baths. The Romans aqueducts are divided into three groups and the groups are mostly determined by the type of materials used in constructing them (Chanson, 2000).
The most primitive of the Romans aqueducts was built fully of cut stone during the republican era-144 B.C. It was named Aqua Marci built by Quintus Marci Us Rex hence the reason why it is called after his name. It is considered as one of the oldest and most excellent example of Romans aqueducts. The commonly used material of constructing Romans aqueducts was stones. These primitive Romans aqueducts were built with less accuracy and care meaning that they were prone to frequent damages therefore needed repair regularly. They were not strong enough to last over a sensible period of time and this led to a lot of resources going to waste-required intensive maintenance. During the era of emperor Claudius led to the construction of the greatest of all the Romans aqueducts to have been constructed. It was more durable and could get water from faraway distant. The construction of Romans aqueducts continued to evolve as time went by. During the era of Augustus- smaller aqueducts were built using stones that were laid in courses .This led to the construction of beautiful Romans aqueducts due to the systematic prototype that was adopted in constructing them. This custom of the use of stones did not last long and it gave birth to a new era where bricks were used in the construction of Romans aqueducts (Owens, 1991). This new era emerged under Nero, where Romans aqueducts were built of the bricks-this new era came into existence between 50 and 70 A.D. A good example of Romans aqueducts built with the use of bricks is known to many as Aqua Neroniana; built to put into words the anio novus and aqua claudi from the porta maggiore to the temple of Claudius on the Caelian mount. This period is also referred to many as the most excellent for brickwork. The use of bricks became so common to the extent of the use bricks to repair the older Romans aqueducts. The last great aqueduct was built during the era of Alexander Severus. These aqueducts were more durable and technologically advanced as compared to the earlier aqueducts (Howard Crosby Butler, 1901).
Most of the Romans aqueducts were constructed without the use of mortar, but they say that even the knife blade could not find an empty space to insert through. This means that despite the use of mortar to join the stones; these constructors were more highly developed an accomplished. They were able to come up with more powerful and strong aqueducts. The secret to their success in constructing these aqueducts –they used blocks of stone that were uniform in size-average 0.60m. X 0.60 x 1.24 m. The width of the wall was 0.47m so as to make the aqueducts both strong and durable. When it came to constructing joints-they made sure that the joints between the courses were evenly cut and laid dry. But, at the end of the blocks, a perpendicular groove, of semi-circular section, 0.12m. In diameter was cut (Owens, 1991). After constructing two blocks that were in position, a cylindrical bore was formed between them that were filled with very fine cement that formed a most effectual pin when hard thereby offering protection against earthquake shock (Howard Crosby Butler, 1901).
Aqua Claudia is said to be the last Romans aqueducts and its construction begun during the reign of Caligula-38 A.D. The major objective of the construction of Romans aqueducts-Aqua Claudia- was to meet the high demand of water by increasing water supply particularly in the higher part of the regal city. The materials used in the construction of the Claudia differ from that used in the construction of the Marcia. We find the use of peperino with yellow and red tufa in smaller proportions in the construction of Aqua Claudia. The courses of stones used were irregular, and the surface seems never to have been dressed, and the joints were not closely made. The courses were laid dry and were of unequal height, averaging about 0.67 m. This clearly describes why regular maintenance was mandatory for the wellbeing of Aqua Claudia one of the aqueducts found in Italy (Howard Crosby Butler, 1901).
The Romans aqueducts helped in alleviating the problem of water in Roman cities. These aqueducts could bring water from great distances. The ancient city of roman had to construct aqueducts so as to satisfy the public with the provision of water. This impacted the life of the city dwellers-society-positively since the problem of water scarcity was solved by the presence of aqueducts. The remains of these Romans aqueducts conserve some of the most ideal specimens of stonework known (Owens, 1991).
Howard Crosby Butler, the roman aqueducts as monuments of architecture: American journal of Archaelogy, Vol.5, No.2 (Apr.-Jun., 1901), PP.175-199.Archaelogy Institute of America.
H. Chanson, Hydraulics of Roman Aqueducts: Steep Chutes, and Drop shafts: American journal of Archaelogy, Vol.104, No.1 (Jan., 2000), pp.47-72.Archaeology Institute of America.
E.J. Owens, The Kremna Aqueduct and Water Supply in Roman Cities: Cambridge University press, Rome & Greece, second series.Vol.38, No.1 (Apr., 1991), pp.41-58.