The Roman Empire

Read Complete Research Material

The Roman Empire

The Roman Empire


This paper assignment is based upon connections between different kinds of books about ancient Rome. The books that were mainly used for this paper were books from Holland, Galinsky and Kelly. These books cover a different era of ancient Roman history.

Economic, political and social condition of Roman Empire

Agriculture on the Mediterranean or Tyrhennian coast the region Latium had a typically Mediterranean climate, dry with scrubby vegetation. Higher elevations were cooler; the Apennines and foothills sheltered the lowlands, providing a milder climate. Away from the coast were thick forests of oak, sycamore, elm, and chestnut for timber. The eruption of volcanoes in the southern regions of Latium left the soil fertile for farming. There was plenty of pastureland for sheep and goats to graze.

In the second century BCE, the practice of agriculture among the Romans began to shift away from its centuries-long basis on modest landholdings owned by patricians and the more prosperous plebeians and even smaller farms worked by peasants. Earlier even aristocratic landowners took a personal interest in their farms. Cincinnatus, the fifth-century BCE Roman consul who left his farm to lead the forces that defeated the Aequi and Volsci returned home without further ado to take up farming again as soon as the fighting was done, was the ideal. At the time, of the first Punic War Regulus was disinclined to stay in Africa because the steward (a freedman) who looked after his property had run away and his wife had difficulties managing the estate by herself. The patrimony must have been fairly small to be so affected by the loss of the services of a single individual.

This condition began to change after widespread land confiscations that followed the Second Punic War made large areas of public land available for purchase. Much larger landholdings became more common, and the different farms were geared to commercial production. In addition, the almost constant warfare over time depopulated the Italian countryside as small farmers and laborers were drafted into the army; even those whose service was completed often moved to the cities, disinclined to resume an agrarian existence. As a result, land was increasingly in the hands of large estate holders, who depended on slave labor (the byproduct of war). Land was a major focus of investment among the aristocracy, who poured the spoils of their wars into developing their estates until Italy became widely farmed.

During the fourth century, Rome struggled with ongoing wars, both civil and foreign, and a growing sense that the empire was two independent states. In the east, the emperors tightened their control over the central government. They also spent money improving the military, which helped keep the region's economy strong. Cities and towns in the east generally did well, while many western cities experienced continued economic decline, a trend that had started in the third century. The increasing focus on the east meant less money was spent in the west, and the west faced greater military ...
Related Ads