How To Build a Roman Road (Viae)

"Omnes viae Romam ducunt."

This edible version of a Roman road can be constructed by students in their own individual cups. It is handier to make at co-ops and the like, but if you'd like your students to make a full dessert for your family, instructions are below.

It is true that the Romans were known for their road construction.
Here is a fun and tasty way to learn about this.  You will need:
a 9 x 13 inch dish that you have greased with butter or Pam
1 2/3 cup Graham cracker crumbs mixed with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/3 cup melted butter
1 large package chocolate pudding, cooled and 1/2 package of chocolate chips stirred in
1 tub of whipped cream cheese with 1/3 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla stirred in
a bowl of whipped cream (we used whipping cream whipped with 1/3 cup powdered sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice but Reddi-whip whipped cream would work fine.)
Social Tea Biscuits or another 1-layer, thin rectangular shaped cookies (homemade sugar would work fine.)

The Roman Roads were made with a layer of sand called Pavimentum on the bottom.
We laid the graham cracker crust on the bottom of the pan for this.

The next layer of the Roman road was called Statument, which was stone and mortar mixed together. Often they were 4-5 inch black stone.
We used the chocolate pudding with chocolate chips stirred in; the chips are the stones and the pudding is the mortar.
This is put on top of the graham cracker crust.
The next layer of the Roman road was called rudus, and was concrete.
This was sometimes laid in two layers.
We spooned on the cream cheese mixture for one of these layers and the whipped cream on top for the second layer.
On top of the Roman road was the summum dorsum, or the paving stones. These were very large slabs of stone laid as close together as possible.
We laid the Social Tea Biscuits for the paving stones.

Now you have a Roman road,
and dessert!

The roads in Rome were marked with milestones that told how far it was to the next city. They measured these miles by something called a "hodometer" which was a circle held by arms that let the circle move freely. There was a mark on a part of the circle, and there was a mark on the holding arms. The mark in the circle and in the holding arms were lined up and the hodometer was held against the road and allowed to roll. When the circle part rolled around full circle and the marks line up again, it made its measurement. To simulate this you can use a pizza cutter for your hodometer. How many cycles is your Roman road from one end to the other?

Another great Roman building project is this Aqueduct at Adventures in Homeschooling.
Another great book is Augustus Caesar's World

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