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  II: A Revolution in Daily Life

  III: An Architectural Revolution

  IV: A Scientific Revolution

I. A Technological Revolution

The acquisition and spread of glassblowing techniques, as of the mid I century B.C., constitute the moment from which common glass could be produced quickly, in large quantities and at a relatively low cost, thus becoming a material within the reach of many. The Romans occupy a special place in this story, not only for having given a decisive boost to the spread of this new material, but also for having definitively developed its various means of use. The Roman glassblowers, who learnt the basic notions from Middle-eastern craftsmen settled in Italy, became the artisans of a production without equal, and destined to remain so for many centuries. The introduction of glassblowing, the use of dyes and of various kinds of furnaces, combined with production techniques borrowed from metallurgy and other age-old arts. Balm-holders, decorated vases, plates, lachrymatories, cinerary urns, ampullae, amphorae, glasses, wall mosaics, windows and an endless series of artefacts produced in the early decades of our era, show the level of unsurpassed technical perfection attained by Roman craftsmen, as well as the surprising capacity to experiment with the use of glass in every field of the arts.

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