It is true that the Romans were the technological and engineering geniuses of their day, but it is equally true that the Jews who dispersed into the furthest limits of the Roman Empire and beyond adapted themselves to the societies they lived amongst, and rose to the highest levels that the system would allow them to achieve. And yes, there were Jewish scientists well before "relatively recently". while much of Europe was languishing in medieval superstition and ignorance, Jews were at the forefront of science, mathematics, astronomy, and philosophy. One example, Abraham bar Hiya who lived in the 11th century in Barcelona and Provence. During the 15th century, Rabbi Abraham Zacuto invented the modern astrolabe and developed the "Almanach Perpetuum" used by Portuguese sea captains. His inventions were vital tools in the hands of the early explorers of the New World. 18th century Frederich William Herschel, of Jewish origin, is one of the most important astronomers of all time.
Russia: U.S. plan to provide air cover for Syrian rebels undermines Damascus fight on ISIS (Reuters)
from the article: Report: Nixon feared Israeli nukes would spur arms race