## Top V Thoughts of Torkitus, Roman Engineer

This week, we will introduce another engineer from the past: Torkitus, Roman Engineer. Torkitus lived in the first century BC, when the Roman Empire was forming out of the Roman Republic.

These are the top V (5) thoughts of Torkitus, as a travels around Rome:

I.  I must remind the aqueduct contractor that water flows down grade, so looking at my design drawings backwards is no excuse.

II.  Why does that beautiful woman care more about the triceps on that soldier than my triangulations of the perfect location for the latrine?

III. I hope the emperor does not find out about that 1.4% increase in the cost of the arch bridge and have me wrestling lions again.

IV.  I could build a huge open stadium, a coliseum, and construct it so it could last C (100) years. That would be something!

V.  I should develop an entire system of weights and measures based on the number X (10), but with my luck, the entire world would adopt it except for the Roman Empire, the strongest country in the world.

## Torkitus Walks Around Rome

This week, we will introduce another engineer from the past: Torkitus, Roman Engineer. Torkitus lived in the first century BC, when the Roman Empire was forming out of the Roman Republic.

As Torkitus walked around Rome, he discovered many people with difficulties that could be figured out if only he had his abacus. One person needed to calculate the fastest way to Carthage or Smyrna. Another needed to figure out how much water to purchase for his entire household for the week. And another person needed help on the water/cement ratio of the concrete he was installing for his private road. (Concrete roads were all the rage.)

Torkitus solved all their problems by first solving his. He created a smaller version of the abacus and then, as engineers have a tendency to do, sewed a piece of cloth on the chest area of his tunic, and placed the abacus in it with a piece of thin copper sheeting in front to keep the abacus from harm from the hits the soldiers would give him as they walked by. In other words, Torkitus created his own pocket protector.

Torkitus was considered a geek. But he was a geek who was much in demand. So goes the engineer throughout history.

## IV

A number of weeks ago, we introduced Tork, Caveman Engineer. He was the first engineer in history – make that pre-history. Later, we introduced Torkus, Medieval Engineer, who lived in the difficult time of the Dark Ages and tried as he could to make the world a better place to live, as engineers are made to do. This week, we will introduce yet another engineer from the past: Torkitus, Roman Engineer. Torkitus lived in the first century BC, when the Roman Empire was forming out of the Roman Republic.

The number important to Torkitus was IV, or to us non-Romans, 4. This was not an engineering term, but one that made Torkitus realize that contracting out engineering services was sometimes a good thing to do.

Torkitus was the best known, most well-respected engineer of his day, so much so that he was hired as the emperor’s chief engineer. But, the emperor had high demands on Torkitus. He gave him IV main tasks: I – build an aqueduct system that would bring water to the cities, from the mountain springs, and include indoor plumbing in that project; II – construct a road system that could support inter-region commerce and the movement of troops; III – design and build building with arches and columns; and IV – devise and construct defense and weapons for the military.

“Oh, that’s all?” Torkitus mused to himself, knowing that any one of the tasks would consume him. So he did what any understaffed government employee would do – he hired consultants. These engineers were all gifted and had to bid for the contracts, and, as Torkitus read the names of the winning engineers, he stated, “These are the engineers for whom the contracts shall be let – Marcus, Anthonium, Maximus, and you, Brutus.” (Not the best three words to end the meeting on.)

Torkitus then managed the major areas and the Roman empire flourished. All of this thanks to the engineer, Torkitus. His success was Rome’s success, which was good, because failure meant torture and a miserable death.

## Torkitus – Roman Engineer

A number of weeks ago, we introduced Tork, Caveman Engineer. He was the first engineer in history – make that pre-history. Later, we introduced Torkus, Medieval Engineer, who lived in the difficult time of the Dark Ages and tried as he could to make the world a better place to live, as engineers are made to do. This week, we will introduce yet another engineer from the past: Torkitus, Roman Engineer. Torkitus lived in the first century BC, when the Roman Empire was forming out of the Roman Republic.
Torkitus grew up calculating his odds of getting a beautiful women, or any woman, to be his wife. Roman culture highly prized two things: strength, in order to be a good soldier for the empire; and oratory skills, in order to be able to debate points of culture, history, arts, etc. before a group of people. At this time, brains (which Torkitus had) and braun (which he did not) frequently were not found in the same person. As for oratory skills, Torkitus was an engineer. ‘Nuff said.

Torkitus, viewing a beautiful woman in his city, figured out his chances of gaining her attention as:

P = (0.5*S + 0.5*PS) * 100

where,

P = the percent chance that he will gain this woman’s attention and approval

S = Strength factor, from 0 to 1, how he compared to his male contemporaries

PS = Public Speaking, or oratory, skills, from 0 to 1

Needless to say, Torkitus’ odds, as he calculated, were not good. His equation told him he had between a 1.6 and 1.7% chance of marrying that woman. The interesting things is that engineers have been using equations like this, and far more complicated, often coded into computer programs, to this day in calculating the same thing – what are the odds of this girl I know to desire to date him (the engineer), with more a complicated equation for the odds of getting married.

And, as it is today, it was with Torkitus. Many engineers get married, as Torkitus did. They do not take into account in their equation the desire of the woman to have a stable, intelligent, consistent – albeit unromantic – man to marry.

Similar equation. Same wrong assumptions. Torkitus was definitely an engineer.