Roman Empire

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Not to be confused with Latin Empire or Holy Roman Empire. Roman Empire_sentence_0

For other uses, see Roman Empire (disambiguation). Roman Empire_sentence_1

Roman Empire_table_infobox_0

Roman EmpireRoman Empire_header_cell_0_0_0
CapitalRoman Empire_header_cell_0_1_0 Roman Empire_cell_0_1_1
Common languagesRoman Empire_header_cell_0_2_0 Roman Empire_cell_0_2_1
ReligionRoman Empire_header_cell_0_3_0 Roman Empire_cell_0_3_1
GovernmentRoman Empire_header_cell_0_4_0 Semi-elective, functionally absolute monarchyRoman Empire_cell_0_4_1
EmperorRoman Empire_header_cell_0_5_0 Roman Empire_cell_0_5_1
27 BC – AD 14Roman Empire_header_cell_0_6_0 Augustus (first)Roman Empire_cell_0_6_1
98–117Roman Empire_header_cell_0_7_0 TrajanRoman Empire_cell_0_7_1
270–275Roman Empire_header_cell_0_8_0 AurelianRoman Empire_cell_0_8_1
284–305Roman Empire_header_cell_0_9_0 DiocletianRoman Empire_cell_0_9_1
306–337Roman Empire_header_cell_0_10_0 Constantine IRoman Empire_cell_0_10_1
379–395Roman Empire_header_cell_0_11_0 Theodosius IRoman Empire_cell_0_11_1
474–480Roman Empire_header_cell_0_12_0 Julius NeposRoman Empire_cell_0_12_1
475–476Roman Empire_header_cell_0_13_0 Romulus AugustusRoman Empire_cell_0_13_1
527–565Roman Empire_header_cell_0_14_0 Justinian IRoman Empire_cell_0_14_1
610–641Roman Empire_header_cell_0_15_0 HeracliusRoman Empire_cell_0_15_1
780–797Roman Empire_header_cell_0_16_0 Constantine VIRoman Empire_cell_0_16_1
976–1025Roman Empire_header_cell_0_17_0 Basil IIRoman Empire_cell_0_17_1
1449–1453Roman Empire_header_cell_0_18_0 Constantine XIRoman Empire_cell_0_18_1
LegislatureRoman Empire_header_cell_0_19_0 SenateRoman Empire_cell_0_19_1
Historical eraRoman Empire_header_cell_0_20_0 Classical era to Late Middle AgesRoman Empire_cell_0_20_1
Final War of the

Roman RepublicRoman Empire_header_cell_0_21_0

32–30 BCRoman Empire_cell_0_21_1
Empire establishedRoman Empire_header_cell_0_22_0 30–2 BCRoman Empire_cell_0_22_1

becomes capitalRoman Empire_header_cell_0_23_0

11 May 330Roman Empire_cell_0_23_1
Final East-West divideRoman Empire_header_cell_0_24_0 17 Jan 395Roman Empire_cell_0_24_1
Deposition of Romulus AugustusRoman Empire_header_cell_0_25_0 4 Sep 476Roman Empire_cell_0_25_1
Murder of Julius NeposRoman Empire_header_cell_0_26_0 25 Apr 480Roman Empire_cell_0_26_1
Fourth CrusadeRoman Empire_header_cell_0_27_0 12 Apr 1204Roman Empire_cell_0_27_1
Reconquest of ConstantinopleRoman Empire_header_cell_0_28_0 25 Jul 1261Roman Empire_cell_0_28_1
Fall of ConstantinopleRoman Empire_header_cell_0_29_0 29 May 1453Roman Empire_cell_0_29_1
Fall of TrebizondRoman Empire_header_cell_0_30_0 15 August 1461Roman Empire_cell_0_30_1
AreaRoman Empire_header_cell_0_31_0
25 BCRoman Empire_header_cell_0_32_0 2,750,000 km (1,060,000 sq mi)Roman Empire_cell_0_32_1
117 ADRoman Empire_header_cell_0_33_0 5,000,000 km (1,900,000 sq mi)Roman Empire_cell_0_33_1
390 ADRoman Empire_header_cell_0_34_0 4,400,000 km (1,700,000 sq mi)Roman Empire_cell_0_34_1
PopulationRoman Empire_header_cell_0_35_0
25 BCRoman Empire_header_cell_0_36_0 56,800,000Roman Empire_cell_0_36_1
CurrencyRoman Empire_header_cell_0_37_0 sestertius, aureus, solidus, nomismaRoman Empire_cell_0_37_1
Preceded by

Succeeded by

Roman Republic

Western Roman Empire

Eastern Roman EmpireRoman Empire_cell_0_38_0

Preceded byRoman Empire_cell_0_39_0 Succeeded byRoman Empire_cell_0_39_1
Roman RepublicRoman Empire_cell_0_40_0 Western Roman Empire

Eastern Roman EmpireRoman Empire_cell_0_40_1

Roman Empire_cell_0_41_0 Roman RepublicRoman Empire_cell_0_41_1
Western Roman EmpireRoman Empire_cell_0_42_0 Roman Empire_cell_0_42_1
Eastern Roman EmpireRoman Empire_cell_0_43_0 Roman Empire_cell_0_43_1

The Roman Empire (Latin: Imperium Romanum [ɪmˈpɛri.ũː roːˈmaːnũː; Koinē Greek: Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, romanized: Basileía tōn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican period of ancient Rome. Roman Empire_sentence_2

As a polity it included large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, Northern Africa, and Western Asia ruled by emperors. Roman Empire_sentence_3

From the accession of Caesar Augustus to the military anarchy of the 3rd century, it was a principate with Italy as metropole of the provinces and the city of Rome as sole capital (27 BC – 286 AD). Roman Empire_sentence_4

After the military crisis, the empire was ruled by multiple emperors who shared rule over the Western Roman Empire (based in Milan and later in Ravenna) and over the Eastern Roman Empire (also known as the Byzantine Empire; centred on Nicomedia and Antioch, later based in Constantinople). Roman Empire_sentence_5

Rome remained the nominal capital of both parts until 476 AD, when the imperial insignia were sent to Constantinople, following the capture of Ravenna by the barbarians of Odoacer and the subsequent deposition of Romulus Augustulus. Roman Empire_sentence_6

The fall of the Western Roman Empire to Germanic kings, along with the hellenization of the Eastern Roman Empire into the Byzantine Empire, conventionally marks the end of Ancient Rome and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Roman Empire_sentence_7

The predecessor state of the Roman Empire, the Roman Republic (which had replaced Rome's monarchy in the 6th century BC) became severely destabilized in a series of civil wars and political conflicts. Roman Empire_sentence_8

In the mid-1st century BC, Julius Caesar was appointed as perpetual dictator and then assassinated in 44 BC. Roman Empire_sentence_9

Civil wars and proscriptions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesar's adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC. Roman Empire_sentence_10

The following year Octavian conquered Ptolemaic Egypt, ending the Hellenistic period that had begun with the conquests of Alexander the Great of Macedon in the 4th century BC. Roman Empire_sentence_11

Octavian's power then became unassailable, and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power and the new title Augustus, effectively making him the first Roman emperor. Roman Empire_sentence_12

The first two centuries of the Empire saw a period of unprecedented stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana ("Roman Peace"). Roman Empire_sentence_13

Rome reached its greatest territorial expanse during the reign of Trajan (98–117 AD). Roman Empire_sentence_14

A period of increasing trouble and decline began with the reign of Commodus (177–192). Roman Empire_sentence_15

In the 3rd century the Empire underwent a crisis that threatened its existence, as the Gallic Empire and Palmyrene Empire broke away from the Roman state, and a series of short-lived emperors, often from the legions, led the empire. Roman Empire_sentence_16

The empire was reunified under Aurelian (r. 270–275). Roman Empire_sentence_17

In an effort to stabilize it, Diocletian set up two different imperial courts in the Greek East and Latin West in 286. Roman Empire_sentence_18

Christians rose to positions of power in the 4th century following the Edict of Milan of 313. Roman Empire_sentence_19

Shortly after, the Migration Period, involving large invasions by Germanic peoples and by the Huns of Attila, led to the decline of the Western Roman Empire. Roman Empire_sentence_20

With the fall of Ravenna to the Germanic Herulians and the deposition of Romulus Augustulus in 476 AD by Odoacer, the Western Roman Empire finally collapsed; the Eastern Roman Emperor Zeno formally abolished it in 480 AD. Roman Empire_sentence_21

Nonetheless, some states in the territories of the former Western Roman Empire would later claim to have inherited the supreme power of the emperors of Rome, most notably the Holy Roman Empire. Roman Empire_sentence_22

The Eastern Roman Empire survived for another millennium, until Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks of Sultan Mehmed II in 1453. Roman Empire_sentence_23

Due to the Roman Empire's vast extent and long endurance, the institutions and culture of Rome had a profound and lasting influence on the development of language, religion, art, architecture, philosophy, law, and forms of government in the territory it governed, and far beyond. Roman Empire_sentence_24

The Latin language of the Romans evolved into the Romance languages of the medieval and modern world, while Medieval Greek became the language of the Eastern Roman Empire. Roman Empire_sentence_25

The Empire's adoption of Christianity led to the formation of medieval Christendom. Roman Empire_sentence_26

Greek and Roman art had a profound impact on the Italian Renaissance. Roman Empire_sentence_27

Rome's architectural tradition served as the basis for Romanesque, Renaissance and Neoclassical architecture, and also had a strong influence on Islamic architecture. Roman Empire_sentence_28

The corpus of Roman law has its descendants in many legal systems of the world today, such as the Napoleonic Code, while Rome's republican institutions have left an enduring legacy, influencing the Italian city-state republics of the medieval period, as well as the early United States and other modern democratic republics. Roman Empire_sentence_29

History Roman Empire_section_0

Main article: History of the Roman Empire Roman Empire_sentence_30

See also: Campaign history of the Roman military and Roman Kingdom Roman Empire_sentence_31

Transition from Republic to Empire Roman Empire_section_1

Main article: Roman Republic Roman Empire_sentence_32

Rome had begun expanding shortly after the founding of the republic in the 6th century BC, though it did not expand outside the Italian peninsula until the 3rd century BC. Roman Empire_sentence_33

Then, it was an "empire" long before it had an emperor. Roman Empire_sentence_34

The Roman Republic was not a nation-state in the modern sense, but a network of towns left to rule themselves (though with varying degrees of independence from the Roman Senate) and provinces administered by military commanders. Roman Empire_sentence_35

It was ruled, not by emperors, but by annually elected magistrates (Roman Consuls above all) in conjunction with the Senate. Roman Empire_sentence_36

For various reasons, the 1st century BC was a time of political and military upheaval, which ultimately led to rule by emperors. Roman Empire_sentence_37

The consuls' military power rested in the Roman legal concept of imperium, which literally means "command" (though typically in a military sense). Roman Empire_sentence_38

Occasionally, successful consuls were given the honorary title imperator (commander), and this is the origin of the word emperor (and empire) since this title (among others) was always bestowed to the early emperors upon their accession. Roman Empire_sentence_39

Rome suffered a long series of internal conflicts, conspiracies and civil wars from the late second century BC onward, while greatly extending its power beyond Italy. Roman Empire_sentence_40

This was the period of the Crisis of the Roman Republic. Roman Empire_sentence_41

Towards the end of this era, in 44 BC, Julius Caesar was briefly perpetual dictator before being assassinated. Roman Empire_sentence_42

The faction of his assassins was driven from Rome and defeated at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC by an army led by Mark Antony and Caesar's adopted son Octavian. Roman Empire_sentence_43

Antony and Octavian's division of the Roman world between themselves did not last and Octavian's forces defeated those of Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, ending the Final War of the Roman Republic. Roman Empire_sentence_44

In 27 BC the Senate and People of Rome made Octavian princeps ("first citizen") with proconsular imperium, thus beginning the Principate (the first epoch of Roman imperial history, usually dated from 27 BC to 284 AD), and gave him the name "Augustus" ("the venerated"). Roman Empire_sentence_45

Though the old constitutional machinery remained in place, Augustus came to predominate it. Roman Empire_sentence_46

Although the republic stood in name, contemporaries of Augustus knew it was just a veil and that Augustus had all meaningful authority in Rome. Roman Empire_sentence_47

Since his rule ended a century of civil wars and began an unprecedented period of peace and prosperity, he was so loved that he came to hold the power of a monarch de facto if not de jure. Roman Empire_sentence_48

During the years of his rule, a new constitutional order emerged (in part organically and in part by design), so that, upon his death, this new constitutional order operated as before when Tiberius was accepted as the new emperor. Roman Empire_sentence_49

The Pax Romana Roman Empire_section_2

Main article: Pax Romana Roman Empire_sentence_50

The 200 years that began with Augustus's rule is traditionally regarded as the Pax Romana ("Roman Peace"). Roman Empire_sentence_51

During this period, the cohesion of the empire was furthered by a degree of social stability and economic prosperity that Rome had never before experienced. Roman Empire_sentence_52

Uprisings in the provinces were infrequent, but put down "mercilessly and swiftly" when they occurred. Roman Empire_sentence_53

The success of Augustus in establishing principles of dynastic succession was limited by his outliving a number of talented potential heirs. Roman Empire_sentence_54

The Julio-Claudian dynasty lasted for four more emperors—Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero—before it yielded in 69 AD to the strife-torn Year of Four Emperors, from which Vespasian emerged as victor. Roman Empire_sentence_55

Vespasian became the founder of the brief Flavian dynasty, to be followed by the Nerva–Antonine dynasty which produced the "Five Good Emperors": Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and the philosophically-inclined Marcus Aurelius. Roman Empire_sentence_56

Fall in the West and survival in the East Roman Empire_section_3

Main article: Fall of the Western Roman Empire Roman Empire_sentence_57

See also: Barbarian kingdoms and Byzantine Empire Roman Empire_sentence_58

In the view of the Greek historian Dio Cassius, a contemporary observer, the accession of the emperor Commodus in 180 AD marked the descent "from a kingdom of gold to one of rust and iron"—a famous comment which has led some historians, notably Edward Gibbon, to take Commodus' reign as the beginning of the decline of the Roman Empire. Roman Empire_sentence_59

In 212 AD, during the reign of Caracalla, Roman citizenship was granted to all freeborn inhabitants of the empire. Roman Empire_sentence_60

But despite this gesture of universality, the Severan dynasty was tumultuous—an emperor's reign was ended routinely by his murder or execution—and, following its collapse, the Roman Empire was engulfed by the Crisis of the Third Century, a period of invasions, civil strife, economic disorder, and plague. Roman Empire_sentence_61

In defining historical epochs, this crisis is sometimes viewed as marking the transition from Classical Antiquity to Late Antiquity. Roman Empire_sentence_62

Aurelian (reigned 270–275) brought the empire back from the brink and stabilized it. Roman Empire_sentence_63

Diocletian completed the work of fully restoring the empire, but declined the role of princeps and became the first emperor to be addressed regularly as domine, "master" or "lord". Roman Empire_sentence_64

Diocletian's reign also brought the empire's most concerted effort against the perceived threat of Christianity, the "Great Persecution". Roman Empire_sentence_65

Diocletian divided the empire into four regions, each ruled by a separate emperor, the Tetrarchy. Roman Empire_sentence_66

Confident that he fixed the disorders that were plaguing Rome, he abdicated along with his co-emperor, and the Tetrarchy soon collapsed. Roman Empire_sentence_67

Order was eventually restored by Constantine the Great, who became the first emperor to convert to Christianity, and who established Constantinople as the new capital of the eastern empire. Roman Empire_sentence_68

During the decades of the Constantinian and Valentinian dynasties, the empire was divided along an east–west axis, with dual power centres in Constantinople and Rome. Roman Empire_sentence_69

The reign of Julian, who under the influence of his adviser Mardonius attempted to restore Classical Roman and Hellenistic religion, only briefly interrupted the succession of Christian emperors. Roman Empire_sentence_70

Theodosius I, the last emperor to rule over both East and West, died in 395 AD after making Christianity the official religion of the empire. Roman Empire_sentence_71

The Western Roman Empire began to disintegrate in the early 5th century as Germanic migrations and invasions overwhelmed the capacity of the empire to assimilate the migrants and fight off the invaders. Roman Empire_sentence_72

The Romans were successful in fighting off all invaders, most famously Attila, though the empire had assimilated so many Germanic peoples of dubious loyalty to Rome that the empire started to dismember itself. Roman Empire_sentence_73

Most chronologies place the end of the Western Roman Empire in 476, when Romulus Augustulus was forced to abdicate to the Germanic warlord Odoacer. Roman Empire_sentence_74

By placing himself under the rule of the Eastern Emperor, rather than naming a puppet emperor of his own, Odoacer ended the Western Empire. Roman Empire_sentence_75

He did this by sending the imperial regalia to the Eastern Emperor Zeno, in effect declaring Zeno sole emperor, and placing himself as his nominal subordinate. Roman Empire_sentence_76

In reality Italy was now ruled by Odoacer alone. Roman Empire_sentence_77

The Eastern Roman Empire, also called the Byzantine Empire by later historians, continued to exist until the reign of Constantine XI Palaiologos. Roman Empire_sentence_78

The last Roman Emperor, he died in battle on 29 May 1453 against Mehmed II "the Conqueror" and his Ottoman forces in the final stages of the Siege of Constantinople. Roman Empire_sentence_79

Mehmed II would himself also claim the title of caesar or Kayser-i Rum in an attempt to claim a connection to the Roman Empire. Roman Empire_sentence_80

Geography and demography Roman Empire_section_4

Main articles: Demography of the Roman Empire and Borders of the Roman Empire Roman Empire_sentence_81

Further information: Classical demography Roman Empire_sentence_82

The Roman Empire was one of the largest in history, with contiguous territories throughout Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. Roman Empire_sentence_83

The Latin phrase imperium sine fine ("empire without end") expressed the ideology that neither time nor space limited the Empire. Roman Empire_sentence_84

In Vergil's epic poem the Aeneid, limitless empire is said to be granted to the Romans by their supreme deity Jupiter. Roman Empire_sentence_85

This claim of universal dominion was renewed and perpetuated when the Empire came under Christian rule in the 4th century. Roman Empire_sentence_86

In addition to annexing large regions in their quest for empire-building, the Romans were also very large sculptors of their environment who directly altered their geography. Roman Empire_sentence_87

For instance, entire forests were cut down to provide enough wood resources for an expanding empire. Roman Empire_sentence_88

In his book Critias, Plato described that deforestation: where there was once "an abundance of wood in the mountains," he could now only see "the mere skeleton of the land." Roman Empire_sentence_89

In reality, Roman expansion was mostly accomplished under the Republic, though parts of northern Europe were conquered in the 1st century AD, when Roman control in Europe, Africa, and Asia was strengthened. Roman Empire_sentence_90

During the reign of Augustus, a "global map of the known world" was displayed for the first time in public at Rome, coinciding with the composition of the most comprehensive work on political geography that survives from antiquity, the Geography of the Pontic Greek writer Strabo. Roman Empire_sentence_91

When Augustus died, the commemorative account of his achievements (Res Gestae) prominently featured the geographical cataloguing of peoples and places within the Empire. Roman Empire_sentence_92

Geography, the census, and the meticulous keeping of written records were central concerns of Roman Imperial administration. Roman Empire_sentence_93

The Empire reached its largest expanse under Trajan (reigned 98–117), encompassing an area of 5 million square kilometres. Roman Empire_sentence_94

The traditional population estimate of 55–60 million inhabitants accounted for between one-sixth and one-fourth of the world's total population and made it the largest population of any unified political entity in the West until the mid-19th century. Roman Empire_sentence_95

Recent demographic studies have argued for a population peak ranging from 70 million to more than 100 million. Roman Empire_sentence_96

Each of the three largest cities in the Empire—Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch—was almost twice the size of any European city at the beginning of the 17th century. Roman Empire_sentence_97

As the historian Christopher Kelly has described it: Roman Empire_sentence_98

Trajan's successor Hadrian adopted a policy of maintaining rather than expanding the empire. Roman Empire_sentence_99

Borders (fines) were marked, and the frontiers (limites) patrolled. Roman Empire_sentence_100

The most heavily fortified borders were the most unstable. Roman Empire_sentence_101

Hadrian's Wall, which separated the Roman world from what was perceived as an ever-present barbarian threat, is the primary surviving monument of this effort. Roman Empire_sentence_102

Languages Roman Empire_section_5

Society Roman Empire_section_6

Further information: Ancient Roman society Roman Empire_sentence_103

The Roman Empire was remarkably multicultural, with "a rather astonishing cohesive capacity" to create a sense of shared identity while encompassing diverse peoples within its political system over a long span of time. Roman Empire_sentence_104

The Roman attention to creating public monuments and communal spaces open to all—such as forums, amphitheatres, racetracks and baths—helped foster a sense of "Romanness". Roman Empire_sentence_105

Roman society had multiple, overlapping social hierarchies that modern concepts of "class" in English may not represent accurately. Roman Empire_sentence_106

The two decades of civil war from which Augustus rose to sole power left traditional society in Rome in a state of confusion and upheaval, but did not effect an immediate redistribution of wealth and social power. Roman Empire_sentence_107

From the perspective of the lower classes, a peak was merely added to the social pyramid. Roman Empire_sentence_108

Personal relationships—patronage, friendship (amicitia), family, marriage—continued to influence the workings of politics and government, as they had in the Republic. Roman Empire_sentence_109

By the time of Nero, however, it was not unusual to find a former slave who was richer than a freeborn citizen, or an equestrian who exercised greater power than a senator. Roman Empire_sentence_110

The blurring or diffusion of the Republic's more rigid hierarchies led to increased social mobility under the Empire, both upward and downward, to an extent that exceeded that of all other well-documented ancient societies. Roman Empire_sentence_111

Women, freedmen, and slaves had opportunities to profit and exercise influence in ways previously less available to them. Roman Empire_sentence_112

Social life in the Empire, particularly for those whose personal resources were limited, was further fostered by a proliferation of voluntary associations and confraternities (collegia and sodalitates) formed for various purposes: professional and trade guilds, veterans' groups, religious sodalities, drinking and dining clubs, performing arts troupes, and burial societies. Roman Empire_sentence_113

Legal status Roman Empire_section_7

Main articles: Status in Roman legal system and Roman citizenship Roman Empire_sentence_114

According to the jurist Gaius, the essential distinction in the Roman "law of persons" was that all human beings were either free (liberi) or slaves (servi). Roman Empire_sentence_115

The legal status of free persons might be further defined by their citizenship. Roman Empire_sentence_116

Most citizens held limited rights (such as the ius Latinum, "Latin right"), but were entitled to legal protections and privileges not enjoyed by those who lacked citizenship. Roman Empire_sentence_117

Free people not considered citizens, but living within the Roman world, held status as peregrini, non-Romans. Roman Empire_sentence_118

In 212 AD, by means of the edict known as the Constitutio Antoniniana, the emperor Caracalla extended citizenship to all freeborn inhabitants of the empire. Roman Empire_sentence_119

This legal egalitarianism would have required a far-reaching revision of existing laws that had distinguished between citizens and non-citizens. Roman Empire_sentence_120

Women in Roman law Roman Empire_section_8

Main article: Women in ancient Rome Roman Empire_sentence_121

Freeborn Roman women were considered citizens throughout the Republic and Empire, but did not vote, hold political office, or serve in the military. Roman Empire_sentence_122

A mother's citizen status determined that of her children, as indicated by the phrase ex duobus civibus Romanis natos ("children born of two Roman citizens"). Roman Empire_sentence_123

A Roman woman kept her own family name (nomen) for life. Roman Empire_sentence_124

Children most often took the father's name, but in the Imperial period sometimes made their mother's name part of theirs, or even used it instead. Roman Empire_sentence_125

The archaic form of manus marriage in which the woman had been subject to her husband's authority was largely abandoned by the Imperial era, and a married woman retained ownership of any property she brought into the marriage. Roman Empire_sentence_126

Technically she remained under her father's legal authority, even though she moved into her husband's home, but when her father died she became legally emancipated. Roman Empire_sentence_127

This arrangement was one of the factors in the degree of independence Roman women enjoyed relative to those of many other ancient cultures and up to the modern period: although she had to answer to her father in legal matters, she was free of his direct scrutiny in her daily life, and her husband had no legal power over her. Roman Empire_sentence_128

Although it was a point of pride to be a "one-man woman" (univira) who had married only once, there was little stigma attached to divorce, nor to speedy remarriage after the loss of a husband through death or divorce. Roman Empire_sentence_129

Girls had equal inheritance rights with boys if their father died without leaving a will. Roman Empire_sentence_130

A Roman mother's right to own property and to dispose of it as she saw fit, including setting the terms of her own will, gave her enormous influence over her sons even when they were adults. Roman Empire_sentence_131

As part of the Augustan programme to restore traditional morality and social order, moral legislation attempted to regulate the conduct of men and women as a means of promoting "family values". Roman Empire_sentence_132

Adultery, which had been a private family matter under the Republic, was criminalized, and defined broadly as an illicit sex act (stuprum) that occurred between a male citizen and a married woman, or between a married woman and any man other than her husband. Roman Empire_sentence_133

Childbearing was encouraged by the state: a woman who had given birth to three children was granted symbolic honours and greater legal freedom (the ius trium liberorum). Roman Empire_sentence_134

Because of their legal status as citizens and the degree to which they could become emancipated, women could own property, enter contracts, and engage in business, including shipping, manufacturing, and lending money. Roman Empire_sentence_135

Inscriptions throughout the Empire honour women as benefactors in funding public works, an indication they could acquire and dispose of considerable fortunes; for instance, the Arch of the Sergii was funded by Salvia Postuma, a female member of the family honoured, and the largest building in the forum at Pompeii was funded by Eumachia, a priestess of Venus. Roman Empire_sentence_136

Slaves and the law Roman Empire_section_9

Main article: Slavery in ancient Rome Roman Empire_sentence_137

At the time of Augustus, as many as 35% of the people in Italy were slaves, making Rome one of five historical "slave societies" in which slaves constituted at least a fifth of the population and played a major role in the economy. Roman Empire_sentence_138

Slavery was a complex institution that supported traditional Roman social structures as well as contributing economic utility. Roman Empire_sentence_139

In urban settings, slaves might be professionals such as teachers, physicians, chefs, and accountants, in addition to the majority of slaves who provided trained or unskilled labour in households or workplaces. Roman Empire_sentence_140

Agriculture and industry, such as milling and mining, relied on the exploitation of slaves. Roman Empire_sentence_141

Outside Italy, slaves made up on average an estimated 10 to 20% of the population, sparse in Roman Egypt but more concentrated in some Greek areas. Roman Empire_sentence_142

Expanding Roman ownership of arable land and industries would have affected preexisting practices of slavery in the provinces. Roman Empire_sentence_143

Although the institution of slavery has often been regarded as waning in the 3rd and 4th centuries, it remained an integral part of Roman society until the 5th century. Roman Empire_sentence_144

Slavery ceased gradually in the 6th and 7th centuries along with the decline of urban centres in the West and the disintegration of the complex Imperial economy that had created the demand for it. Roman Empire_sentence_145

Laws pertaining to slavery were "extremely intricate". Roman Empire_sentence_146

Under Roman law, slaves were considered property and had no legal personhood. Roman Empire_sentence_147

They could be subjected to forms of corporal punishment not normally exercised on citizens, sexual exploitation, torture, and summary execution. Roman Empire_sentence_148

A slave could not as a matter of law be raped since rape could be committed only against people who were free; a slave's rapist had to be prosecuted by the owner for property damage under the Aquilian Law. Roman Empire_sentence_149

Slaves had no right to the form of legal marriage called conubium, but their unions were sometimes recognized, and if both were freed they could marry. Roman Empire_sentence_150

Following the Servile Wars of the Republic, legislation under Augustus and his successors shows a driving concern for controlling the threat of rebellions through limiting the size of work groups, and for hunting down fugitive slaves. Roman Empire_sentence_151

Technically, a slave could not own property, but a slave who conducted business might be given access to an individual account or fund (peculium) that he could use as if it were his own. Roman Empire_sentence_152

The terms of this account varied depending on the degree of trust and co-operation between owner and slave: a slave with an aptitude for business could be given considerable leeway to generate profit and might be allowed to bequeath the peculium he managed to other slaves of his household. Roman Empire_sentence_153

Within a household or workplace, a hierarchy of slaves might exist, with one slave in effect acting as the master of other slaves. Roman Empire_sentence_154

Over time slaves gained increased legal protection, including the right to file complaints against their masters. Roman Empire_sentence_155

A bill of sale might contain a clause stipulating that the slave could not be employed for prostitution, as prostitutes in ancient Rome were often slaves. Roman Empire_sentence_156

The burgeoning trade in eunuch slaves in the late 1st century AD prompted legislation that prohibited the castration of a slave against his will "for lust or gain." Roman Empire_sentence_157

Roman slavery was not based on race. Roman Empire_sentence_158

Slaves were drawn from all over Europe and the Mediterranean, including Gaul, Hispania, Germany, Britannia, the Balkans, Greece... Generally, slaves in Italy were indigenous Italians, with a minority of foreigners (including both slaves and freedmen) born outside of Italy estimated at 5% of the total in the capital at its peak, where their number was largest. Roman Empire_sentence_159

Those from outside of Europe were predominantly of Greek descent, while the Jewish ones never fully assimilated into Roman society, remaining an identifiable minority. Roman Empire_sentence_160

These slaves (especially the foreigners) had higher mortality rates and lower birth rates than natives, and were sometimes even subjected to mass expulsions. Roman Empire_sentence_161

The average recorded age at death for the slaves of the city of Rome was extraordinarily low: seventeen and a half years (17.2 for males; 17.9 for females). Roman Empire_sentence_162

During the period of Republican expansionism when slavery had become pervasive, war captives were a main source of slaves. Roman Empire_sentence_163

The range of ethnicities among slaves to some extent reflected that of the armies Rome defeated in war, and the conquest of Greece brought a number of highly skilled and educated slaves into Rome. Roman Empire_sentence_164

Slaves were also traded in markets and sometimes sold by pirates. Roman Empire_sentence_165

Infant abandonment and self-enslavement among the poor were other sources. Roman Empire_sentence_166

Vernae, by contrast, were "homegrown" slaves born to female slaves within the urban household or on a country estate or farm. Roman Empire_sentence_167

Although they had no special legal status, an owner who mistreated or failed to care for his vernae faced social disapproval, as they were considered part of his familia, the family household, and in some cases might actually be the children of free males in the family. Roman Empire_sentence_168

Talented slaves with a knack for business might accumulate a large enough peculium to justify their freedom, or be manumitted for services rendered. Roman Empire_sentence_169

Manumission had become frequent enough that in 2 BC a law (Lex Fufia Caninia) limited the number of slaves an owner was allowed to free in his will. Roman Empire_sentence_170

Freedmen Roman Empire_section_10

Rome differed from Greek city-states in allowing freed slaves to become citizens. Roman Empire_sentence_171

After manumission, a slave who had belonged to a Roman citizen enjoyed not only passive freedom from ownership, but active political freedom (libertas), including the right to vote. Roman Empire_sentence_172

A slave who had acquired libertas was a libertus ("freed person," feminine liberta) in relation to his former master, who then became his patron (patronus): the two parties continued to have customary and legal obligations to each other. Roman Empire_sentence_173

As a social class generally, freed slaves were libertini, though later writers used the terms libertus and libertinus interchangeably. Roman Empire_sentence_174

A libertinus was not entitled to hold public office or the highest state priesthoods, but he could play a priestly role in the cult of the emperor. Roman Empire_sentence_175

He could not marry a woman from a family of senatorial rank, nor achieve legitimate senatorial rank himself, but during the early Empire, freedmen held key positions in the government bureaucracy, so much so that Hadrian limited their participation by law. Roman Empire_sentence_176

Any future children of a freedman would be born free, with full rights of citizenship. Roman Empire_sentence_177

The rise of successful freedmen—through either political influence in imperial service or wealth—is a characteristic of early Imperial society. Roman Empire_sentence_178

The prosperity of a high-achieving group of freedmen is attested by , and by their ownership of some of the most lavish houses at Pompeii, such as the House of the Vettii. Roman Empire_sentence_179

The excesses of nouveau riche freedmen were satirized in the character of Trimalchio in the Satyricon by Petronius, who wrote in the time of Nero. Roman Empire_sentence_180

Such individuals, while exceptional, are indicative of the upward social mobility possible in the Empire. Roman Empire_sentence_181

Census rank Roman Empire_section_11

See also: Senate of the Roman Empire, Equestrian order, and Decurion (administrative) Roman Empire_sentence_182

The Latin word ordo (plural ordines) refers to a social distinction that is translated variously into English as "class, order, rank," none of which is exact. Roman Empire_sentence_183

One purpose of the Roman census was to determine the ordo to which an individual belonged. Roman Empire_sentence_184

The two highest ordines in Rome were the senatorial and equestrian. Roman Empire_sentence_185

Outside Rome, the decurions, also known as curiales (Greek bouleutai), were the top governing ordo of an individual city. Roman Empire_sentence_186

"Senator" was not itself an elected office in ancient Rome; an individual gained admission to the Senate after he had been elected to and served at least one term as an executive magistrate. Roman Empire_sentence_187

A senator also had to meet a minimum property requirement of 1 million sestertii, as determined by the census. Roman Empire_sentence_188

Nero made large gifts of money to a number of senators from old families who had become too impoverished to qualify. Roman Empire_sentence_189

Not all men who qualified for the ordo senatorius chose to take a Senate seat, which required legal domicile at Rome. Roman Empire_sentence_190

Emperors often filled vacancies in the 600-member body by appointment. Roman Empire_sentence_191

A senator's son belonged to the ordo senatorius, but he had to qualify on his own merits for admission to the Senate itself. Roman Empire_sentence_192

A senator could be removed for violating moral standards: he was prohibited, for instance, from marrying a freedwoman or fighting in the arena. Roman Empire_sentence_193

In the time of Nero, senators were still primarily from Rome and other parts of Italy, with some from the Iberian peninsula and southern France; men from the Greek-speaking provinces of the East began to be added under Vespasian. Roman Empire_sentence_194

The first senator from the most eastern province, Cappadocia, was admitted under Marcus Aurelius. Roman Empire_sentence_195

By the time of the Severan dynasty (193–235), Italians made up less than half the Senate. Roman Empire_sentence_196

During the 3rd century, domicile at Rome became impractical, and inscriptions attest to senators who were active in politics and munificence in their homeland (patria). Roman Empire_sentence_197

Senators had an aura of prestige and were the traditional governing class who rose through the cursus honorum, the political career track, but equestrians of the Empire often possessed greater wealth and political power. Roman Empire_sentence_198

Membership in the equestrian order was based on property; in Rome's early days, equites or knights had been distinguished by their ability to serve as mounted warriors (the "public horse"), but cavalry service was a separate function in the Empire. Roman Empire_sentence_199

A census valuation of 400,000 sesterces and three generations of free birth qualified a man as an equestrian. Roman Empire_sentence_200

The census of 28 BC uncovered large numbers of men who qualified, and in 14 AD, a thousand equestrians were registered at Cadiz and Padua alone. Roman Empire_sentence_201

Equestrians rose through a military career track (tres militiae) to become highly placed prefects and procurators within the Imperial administration. Roman Empire_sentence_202

The rise of provincial men to the senatorial and equestrian orders is an aspect of social mobility in the first three centuries of the Empire. Roman Empire_sentence_203

Roman aristocracy was based on competition, and unlike later European nobility, a Roman family could not maintain its position merely through hereditary succession or having title to lands. Roman Empire_sentence_204

Admission to the higher ordines brought distinction and privileges, but also a number of responsibilities. Roman Empire_sentence_205

In antiquity, a city depended on its leading citizens to fund public works, events, and services (munera), rather than on tax revenues, which primarily supported the military. Roman Empire_sentence_206

Maintaining one's rank required massive personal expenditures. Roman Empire_sentence_207

Decurions were so vital for the functioning of cities that in the later Empire, as the ranks of the town councils became depleted, those who had risen to the Senate were encouraged by the central government to give up their seats and return to their hometowns, in an effort to sustain civic life. Roman Empire_sentence_208

In the later Empire, the dignitas ("worth, esteem") that attended on senatorial or equestrian rank was refined further with titles such as vir illustris, "illustrious man". Roman Empire_sentence_209

The appellation clarissimus (Greek lamprotatos) was used to designate the dignitas of certain senators and their immediate family, including women. Roman Empire_sentence_210

"Grades" of equestrian status proliferated. Roman Empire_sentence_211

Those in Imperial service were ranked by pay grade (sexagenarius, 60,000 sesterces per annum; centenarius, 100,000; ducenarius, 200,000). Roman Empire_sentence_212

The title eminentissimus, "most eminent" (Greek exochôtatos) was reserved for equestrians who had been Praetorian prefects. Roman Empire_sentence_213

The higher equestrian officials in general were perfectissimi, "most distinguished" (Greek diasêmotatoi), the lower merely egregii, "outstanding" (Greek kratistos). Roman Empire_sentence_214

Unequal justice Roman Empire_section_12

As the republican principle of citizens' equality under the law faded, the symbolic and social privileges of the upper classes led to an informal division of Roman society into those who had acquired greater honours (honestiores) and those who were humbler folk (humiliores). Roman Empire_sentence_215

In general, honestiores were the members of the three higher "orders," along with certain military officers. Roman Empire_sentence_216

The granting of universal citizenship in 212 seems to have increased the competitive urge among the upper classes to have their superiority over other citizens affirmed, particularly within the justice system. Roman Empire_sentence_217

Sentencing depended on the judgment of the presiding official as to the relative "worth" (dignitas) of the defendant: an honestior could pay a fine when convicted of a crime for which an humilior might receive a scourging. Roman Empire_sentence_218

Execution, which had been an infrequent legal penalty for free men under the Republic even in a capital case, could be quick and relatively painless for the Imperial citizen considered "more honourable", while those deemed inferior might suffer the kinds of torture and prolonged death previously reserved for slaves, such as crucifixion and condemnation to the beasts as a spectacle in the arena. Roman Empire_sentence_219

In the early Empire, those who converted to Christianity could lose their standing as honestiores, especially if they declined to fulfill the religious aspects of their civic responsibilities, and thus became subject to punishments that created the conditions of martyrdom. Roman Empire_sentence_220

Government and military Roman Empire_section_13

Main article: Constitution of the Roman Empire Roman Empire_sentence_221

The three major elements of the Imperial Roman state were the central government, the military, and provincial government. Roman Empire_sentence_222

The military established control of a territory through war, but after a city or people was brought under treaty, the military mission turned to policing: protecting Roman citizens (after 212 AD, all freeborn inhabitants of the Empire), the agricultural fields that fed them, and religious sites. Roman Empire_sentence_223

Without modern instruments of either mass communication or mass destruction, the Romans lacked sufficient manpower or resources to impose their rule through force alone. Roman Empire_sentence_224

Cooperation with local power elites was necessary to maintain order, collect information, and extract revenue. Roman Empire_sentence_225

The Romans often exploited internal political divisions by supporting one faction over another: in the view of Plutarch, "it was discord between factions within cities that led to the loss of self-governance". Roman Empire_sentence_226

Communities with demonstrated loyalty to Rome retained their own laws, could collect their own taxes locally, and in exceptional cases were exempt from Roman taxation. Roman Empire_sentence_227

Legal privileges and relative independence were an incentive to remain in good standing with Rome. Roman Empire_sentence_228

Roman government was thus limited, but efficient in its use of the resources available to it. Roman Empire_sentence_229

Central government Roman Empire_section_14

See also: Roman emperor and Senate of the Roman Empire Roman Empire_sentence_230

The dominance of the emperor was based on the consolidation of certain powers from several republican offices, including the inviolability of the tribunes of the people and the authority of the censors to manipulate the hierarchy of Roman society. Roman Empire_sentence_231

The emperor also made himself the central religious authority as Pontifex Maximus, and centralized the right to declare war, ratify treaties, and negotiate with foreign leaders. Roman Empire_sentence_232

While these functions were clearly defined during the Principate, the emperor's powers over time became less constitutional and more monarchical, culminating in the Dominate. Roman Empire_sentence_233

The emperor was the ultimate authority in policy- and decision-making, but in the early Principate he was expected to be accessible to individuals from all walks of life, and to deal personally with official business and petitions. Roman Empire_sentence_234

A bureaucracy formed around him only gradually. Roman Empire_sentence_235

The Julio-Claudian emperors relied on an informal body of advisors that included not only senators and equestrians, but trusted slaves and freedmen. Roman Empire_sentence_236

After Nero, the unofficial influence of the latter was regarded with suspicion, and the emperor's council (consilium) became subject to official appointment for the sake of greater transparency. Roman Empire_sentence_237

Though the senate took a lead in policy discussions until the end of the Antonine dynasty, equestrians played an increasingly important role in the consilium. Roman Empire_sentence_238

The women of the emperor's family often intervened directly in his decisions. Roman Empire_sentence_239

Plotina exercised influence on both her husband Trajan and his successor Hadrian. Roman Empire_sentence_240

Her influence was advertised by having her letters on official matters published, as a sign that the emperor was reasonable in his exercise of authority and listened to his people. Roman Empire_sentence_241

Access to the emperor by others might be gained at the daily reception (salutatio), a development of the traditional homage a client paid to his patron; public banquets hosted at the palace; and religious ceremonies. Roman Empire_sentence_242

The common people who lacked this access could manifest their general approval or displeasure as a group at the games held in large venues. Roman Empire_sentence_243

By the 4th century, as urban centres decayed, the Christian emperors became remote figureheads who issued general rulings, no longer responding to individual petitions. Roman Empire_sentence_244

Although the senate could do little short of assassination and open rebellion to contravene the will of the emperor, it survived the Augustan restoration and the turbulent Year of Four Emperors to retain its symbolic political centrality during the Principate. Roman Empire_sentence_245

The senate legitimated the emperor's rule, and the emperor needed the experience of senators as legates (legati) to serve as generals, diplomats, and administrators. Roman Empire_sentence_246

A successful career required competence as an administrator and remaining in favour with the emperor, or over time perhaps multiple emperors. Roman Empire_sentence_247

The practical source of an emperor's power and authority was the military. Roman Empire_sentence_248

The legionaries were paid by the Imperial treasury, and swore an annual military oath of loyalty to the emperor (sacramentum). Roman Empire_sentence_249

The death of an emperor led to a crucial period of uncertainty and crisis. Roman Empire_sentence_250

Most emperors indicated their choice of successor, usually a close family member or adopted heir. Roman Empire_sentence_251

The new emperor had to seek a swift acknowledgement of his status and authority to stabilize the political landscape. Roman Empire_sentence_252

No emperor could hope to survive, much less to reign, without the allegiance and loyalty of the Praetorian Guard and of the legions. Roman Empire_sentence_253

To secure their loyalty, several emperors paid the donativum, a monetary reward. Roman Empire_sentence_254

In theory, the Senate was entitled to choose the new emperor, but did so mindful of acclamation by the army or Praetorians. Roman Empire_sentence_255

Military Roman Empire_section_15

Main articles: Imperial Roman army and Structural history of the Roman military Roman Empire_sentence_256

After the Punic Wars, the Imperial Roman army was composed of professional soldiers who volunteered for 20 years of active duty and five as reserves. Roman Empire_sentence_257

The transition to a professional military had begun during the late Republic, and was one of the many profound shifts away from republicanism, under which an army of conscripts had exercised their responsibilities as citizens in defending the homeland in a campaign against a specific threat. Roman Empire_sentence_258

For Imperial Rome, the military was a full-time career in itself. Roman Empire_sentence_259

The Romans expanded their war machine by "organizing the communities that they conquered in Italy into a system that generated huge reservoirs of manpower for their army... Their main demand of all defeated enemies was they provide men for the Roman army every year." Roman Empire_sentence_260

The primary mission of the Roman military of the early empire was to preserve the Pax Romana. Roman Empire_sentence_261

The three major divisions of the military were: Roman Empire_sentence_262

Roman Empire_unordered_list_0

  • the garrison at Rome, which includes both the Praetorians and the vigiles who functioned as police and firefighters;Roman Empire_item_0_0
  • the provincial army, comprising the Roman legions and the auxiliaries provided by the provinces (auxilia);Roman Empire_item_0_1
  • the navy.Roman Empire_item_0_2

The pervasiveness of military garrisons throughout the Empire was a major influence in the process of cultural exchange and assimilation known as "Romanization," particularly in regard to politics, the economy, and religion. Roman Empire_sentence_263

Knowledge of the Roman military comes from a wide range of sources: Greek and Roman literary texts; coins with military themes; papyri preserving military documents; monuments such as Trajan's Column and triumphal arches, which feature artistic depictions of both fighting men and military machines; the archeology of military burials, battle sites, and camps; and inscriptions, including military diplomas, epitaphs, and dedications. Roman Empire_sentence_264

Through his military reforms, which included consolidating or disbanding units of questionable loyalty, Augustus changed and regularized the legion, down to the hobnail pattern on the soles of army boots. Roman Empire_sentence_265

A legion was organized into ten cohorts, each of which comprised six centuries, with a century further made up of ten squads (contubernia); the exact size of the Imperial legion, which is most likely to have been determined by logistics, has been estimated to range from 4,800 to 5,280. Roman Empire_sentence_266

In 9 AD, Germanic tribes wiped out three full legions in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. Roman Empire_sentence_267

This disastrous event reduced the number of the legions to 25. Roman Empire_sentence_268

The total of the legions would later be increased again and for the next 300 years always be a little above or below 30. Roman Empire_sentence_269

The army had about 300,000 soldiers in the 1st century, and under 400,000 in the 2nd, "significantly smaller" than the collective armed forces of the territories it conquered. Roman Empire_sentence_270

No more than 2% of adult males living in the Empire served in the Imperial army. Roman Empire_sentence_271

Augustus also created the Praetorian Guard: nine cohorts, ostensibly to maintain the public peace, which were garrisoned in Italy. Roman Empire_sentence_272

Better paid than the legionaries, the Praetorians served only sixteen years. Roman Empire_sentence_273

The auxilia were recruited from among the non-citizens. Roman Empire_sentence_274

Organized in smaller units of roughly cohort strength, they were paid less than the legionaries, and after 25 years of service were rewarded with Roman citizenship, also extended to their sons. Roman Empire_sentence_275

According to Tacitus there were roughly as many auxiliaries as there were legionaries. Roman Empire_sentence_276

The auxilia thus amounted to around 125,000 men, implying approximately 250 auxiliary regiments. Roman Empire_sentence_277

The Roman cavalry of the earliest Empire were primarily from Celtic, Hispanic or Germanic areas. Roman Empire_sentence_278

Several aspects of training and equipment, such as the four-horned saddle, derived from the Celts, as noted by Arrian and indicated by archeology. Roman Empire_sentence_279

The Roman navy (Latin: classis, "fleet") not only aided in the supply and transport of the legions, but also helped in the protection of the frontiers along the rivers Rhine and Danube. Roman Empire_sentence_280

Another of its duties was the protection of the crucial maritime trade routes against the threat of pirates. Roman Empire_sentence_281

It patrolled the whole of the Mediterranean, parts of the North Atlantic coasts, and the Black Sea. Roman Empire_sentence_282

Nevertheless, the army was considered the senior and more prestigious branch. Roman Empire_sentence_283

Provincial government Roman Empire_section_16

An annexed territory became a province in a three-step process: making a register of cities, taking a census of the population, and surveying the land. Roman Empire_sentence_284

Further government recordkeeping included births and deaths, real estate transactions, taxes, and juridical proceedings. Roman Empire_sentence_285

In the 1st and 2nd centuries, the central government sent out around 160 officials each year to govern outside Italy. Roman Empire_sentence_286

Among these officials were the "Roman governors", as they are called in English: either magistrates elected at Rome who in the name of the Roman people governed senatorial provinces; or governors, usually of equestrian rank, who held their imperium on behalf of the emperor in provinces excluded from senatorial control, most notably Roman Egypt. Roman Empire_sentence_287

A governor had to make himself accessible to the people he governed, but he could delegate various duties. Roman Empire_sentence_288

His staff, however, was minimal: his official attendants (apparitores), including lictors, heralds, messengers, scribes, and bodyguards; legates, both civil and military, usually of equestrian rank; and friends, ranging in age and experience, who accompanied him unofficially. Roman Empire_sentence_289

Other officials were appointed as supervisors of government finances. Roman Empire_sentence_290

Separating fiscal responsibility from justice and administration was a reform of the Imperial era. Roman Empire_sentence_291

Under the Republic, provincial governors and tax farmers could exploit local populations for personal gain more freely. Roman Empire_sentence_292

Equestrian procurators, whose authority was originally "extra-judicial and extra-constitutional," managed both state-owned property and the vast personal property of the emperor (res privata). Roman Empire_sentence_293

Because Roman government officials were few in number, a provincial who needed help with a legal dispute or criminal case might seek out any Roman perceived to have some official capacity, such as a procurator or a military officer, including centurions down to the lowly stationarii or military police. Roman Empire_sentence_294

Roman law Roman Empire_section_17

Main article: Roman law Roman Empire_sentence_295

Roman courts held original jurisdiction over cases involving Roman citizens throughout the empire, but there were too few judicial functionaries to impose Roman law uniformly in the provinces. Roman Empire_sentence_296

Most parts of the Eastern empire already had well-established law codes and juridical procedures. Roman Empire_sentence_297

In general, it was Roman policy to respect the mos regionis ("regional tradition" or "law of the land") and to regard local laws as a source of legal precedent and social stability. Roman Empire_sentence_298

The compatibility of Roman and local law was thought to reflect an underlying ius gentium, the "law of nations" or international law regarded as common and customary among all human communities. Roman Empire_sentence_299

If the particulars of provincial law conflicted with Roman law or custom, Roman courts heard appeals, and the emperor held final authority to render a decision. Roman Empire_sentence_300

In the West, law had been administered on a highly localized or tribal basis, and private property rights may have been a novelty of the Roman era, particularly among Celtic peoples. Roman Empire_sentence_301

Roman law facilitated the acquisition of wealth by a pro-Roman elite who found their new privileges as citizens to be advantageous. Roman Empire_sentence_302

The extension of universal citizenship to all free inhabitants of the Empire in 212 required the uniform application of Roman law, replacing the local law codes that had applied to non-citizens. Roman Empire_sentence_303

Diocletian's efforts to stabilize the Empire after the Crisis of the Third Century included two major compilations of law in four years, the Codex Gregorianus and the Codex Hermogenianus, to guide provincial administrators in setting consistent legal standards. Roman Empire_sentence_304

The pervasive exercise of Roman law throughout Western Europe led to its enormous influence on the Western legal tradition, reflected by the continued use of Latin legal terminology in modern law. Roman Empire_sentence_305

Taxation Roman Empire_section_18

Taxation under the Empire amounted to about 5% of the Empire's gross product. Roman Empire_sentence_306

The typical tax rate paid by individuals ranged from 2 to 5%. Roman Empire_sentence_307

The tax code was "bewildering" in its complicated system of direct and indirect taxes, some paid in cash and some in kind. Roman Empire_sentence_308

Taxes might be specific to a province, or kinds of properties such as fisheries or salt evaporation ponds; they might be in effect for a limited time. Roman Empire_sentence_309

Tax collection was justified by the need to maintain the military, and taxpayers sometimes got a refund if the army captured a surplus of booty. Roman Empire_sentence_310

In-kind taxes were accepted from less-monetized areas, particularly those who could supply grain or goods to army camps. Roman Empire_sentence_311

The primary source of direct tax revenue was individuals, who paid a poll tax and a tax on their land, construed as a tax on its produce or productive capacity. Roman Empire_sentence_312

Supplemental forms could be filed by those eligible for certain exemptions; for example, Egyptian farmers could register fields as fallow and tax-exempt depending on flood patterns of the Nile. Roman Empire_sentence_313

Tax obligations were determined by the census, which required each head of household to appear before the presiding official and provide a head count of his household, as well as an accounting of property he owned that was suitable for agriculture or habitation. Roman Empire_sentence_314

A major source of indirect-tax revenue was the portoria, customs and tolls on imports and exports, including among provinces. Roman Empire_sentence_315

Special taxes were levied on the slave trade. Roman Empire_sentence_316

Towards the end of his reign, Augustus instituted a 4% tax on the sale of slaves, which Nero shifted from the purchaser to the dealers, who responded by raising their prices. Roman Empire_sentence_317

An owner who manumitted a slave paid a "freedom tax", calculated at 5% of value. Roman Empire_sentence_318

An inheritance tax of 5% was assessed when Roman citizens above a certain net worth left property to anyone but members of their immediate family. Roman Empire_sentence_319

Revenues from the estate tax and from a 1% sales tax on auctions went towards the veterans' pension fund (aerarium militare). Roman Empire_sentence_320

Low taxes helped the Roman aristocracy increase their wealth, which equalled or exceeded the revenues of the central government. Roman Empire_sentence_321

An emperor sometimes replenished his treasury by confiscating the estates of the "super-rich", but in the later period, the resistance of the wealthy to paying taxes was one of the factors contributing to the collapse of the Empire. Roman Empire_sentence_322

Economy Roman Empire_section_19

Main article: Roman economy Roman Empire_sentence_323

Moses Finley was the chief proponent of the primitivist view that the Roman economy was "underdeveloped and underachieving," characterized by subsistence agriculture; urban centres that consumed more than they produced in terms of trade and industry; low-status artisans; slowly developing technology; and a "lack of economic rationality." Roman Empire_sentence_324

Current views are more complex. Roman Empire_sentence_325

Territorial conquests permitted a large-scale reorganization of land use that resulted in agricultural surplus and specialization, particularly in north Africa. Roman Empire_sentence_326

Some cities were known for particular industries or commercial activities, and the scale of building in urban areas indicates a significant construction industry. Roman Empire_sentence_327

Papyri preserve complex accounting methods that suggest elements of economic rationalism, and the Empire was highly monetized. Roman Empire_sentence_328

Although the means of communication and transport were limited in antiquity, transportation in the 1st and 2nd centuries expanded greatly, and trade routes connected regional economies. Roman Empire_sentence_329

The supply contracts for the army, which pervaded every part of the Empire, drew on local suppliers near the base (castrum), throughout the province, and across provincial borders. Roman Empire_sentence_330

The Empire is perhaps best thought of as a network of regional economies, based on a form of "political capitalism" in which the state monitored and regulated commerce to assure its own revenues. Roman Empire_sentence_331

Economic growth, though not comparable to modern economies, was greater than that of most other societies prior to industrialization. Roman Empire_sentence_332

Socially, economic dynamism opened up one of the avenues of social mobility in the Roman Empire. Roman Empire_sentence_333

Social advancement was thus not dependent solely on birth, patronage, good luck, or even extraordinary ability. Roman Empire_sentence_334

Although aristocratic values permeated traditional elite society, a strong tendency towards plutocracy is indicated by the wealth requirements for census rank. Roman Empire_sentence_335

Prestige could be obtained through investing one's wealth in ways that advertised it appropriately: grand country estates or townhouses, durable luxury items such as jewels and silverware, public entertainments, funerary monuments for family members or coworkers, and religious dedications such as altars. Roman Empire_sentence_336

Guilds (collegia) and corporations (corpora) provided support for individuals to succeed through networking, sharing sound business practices, and a willingness to work. Roman Empire_sentence_337

Currency and banking Roman Empire_section_20

See also: Roman currency and Roman finance Roman Empire_sentence_338

The early Empire was monetized to a near-universal extent, in the sense of using money as a way to express prices and debts. Roman Empire_sentence_339

The sestertius (plural sestertii, English "sesterces", symbolized as HS) was the basic unit of reckoning value into the 4th century, though the silver denarius, worth four sesterces, was used also for accounting beginning in the Severan dynasty. Roman Empire_sentence_340

The smallest coin commonly circulated was the bronze as (plural asses), one-fourth sestertius. Roman Empire_sentence_341

Bullion and ingots seem not to have counted as pecunia, "money," and were used only on the frontiers for transacting business or buying property. Roman Empire_sentence_342

Romans in the 1st and 2nd centuries counted coins, rather than weighing them—an indication that the coin was valued on its face, not for its metal content. Roman Empire_sentence_343

This tendency towards fiat money led eventually to the debasement of Roman coinage, with consequences in the later Empire. Roman Empire_sentence_344

The standardization of money throughout the Empire promoted trade and market integration. Roman Empire_sentence_345

The high amount of metal coinage in circulation increased the money supply for trading or saving. Roman Empire_sentence_346

Roman Empire_table_general_1

Currency denominationsRoman Empire_table_caption_1
211 BCRoman Empire_header_cell_1_0_0 14 ADRoman Empire_header_cell_1_0_1 286-296 ADRoman Empire_header_cell_1_0_2
Denarius = 10 assesRoman Empire_cell_1_1_0 Aureus = 25 denariiRoman Empire_cell_1_1_1 Aurei = 60 per pound of goldRoman Empire_cell_1_1_2
Sesterce = 5 assesRoman Empire_cell_1_2_0 Denarii = 16 assesRoman Empire_cell_1_2_1 Silver coins (contemporary name unknown) = 96 to a pound of silverRoman Empire_cell_1_2_2
Sestertius = 2.5 assesRoman Empire_cell_1_3_0 Sesterces = 4 assesRoman Empire_cell_1_3_1 Bronze coins (contemporary name unknown) = value unknownRoman Empire_cell_1_3_2
Asses = 1Roman Empire_cell_1_4_0 Asses = 1Roman Empire_cell_1_4_1 Roman Empire_cell_1_4_2

Rome had no central bank, and regulation of the banking system was minimal. Roman Empire_sentence_347

Banks of classical antiquity typically kept less in reserves than the full total of customers' deposits. Roman Empire_sentence_348

A typical bank had fairly limited capital, and often only one principal, though a bank might have as many as six to fifteen principals. Roman Empire_sentence_349

Seneca assumes that anyone involved in commerce needs access to credit. Roman Empire_sentence_350

A professional deposit banker (argentarius, coactor argentarius, or later nummularius) received and held deposits for a fixed or indefinite term, and lent money to third parties. Roman Empire_sentence_351

The senatorial elite were involved heavily in private lending, both as creditors and borrowers, making loans from their personal fortunes on the basis of social connections. Roman Empire_sentence_352

The holder of a debt could use it as a means of payment by transferring it to another party, without cash changing hands. Roman Empire_sentence_353

Although it has sometimes been thought that ancient Rome lacked "paper" or documentary transactions, the system of banks throughout the Empire also permitted the exchange of very large sums without the physical transfer of coins, in part because of the risks of moving large amounts of cash, particularly by sea. Roman Empire_sentence_354

Only one serious credit shortage is known to have occurred in the early Empire, a credit crisis in 33 AD that put a number of senators at risk; the central government rescued the market through a loan of 100 million HS made by the emperor Tiberius to the banks (mensae). Roman Empire_sentence_355

Generally, available capital exceeded the amount needed by borrowers. Roman Empire_sentence_356

The central government itself did not borrow money, and without public debt had to fund deficits from cash reserves. Roman Empire_sentence_357

Emperors of the Antonine and Severan dynasties overall debased the currency, particularly the denarius, under the pressures of meeting military payrolls. Roman Empire_sentence_358

Sudden inflation during the reign of Commodus damaged the credit market. Roman Empire_sentence_359

In the mid-200s, the supply of specie contracted sharply. Roman Empire_sentence_360

Conditions during the Crisis of the Third Century—such as reductions in long-distance trade, disruption of mining operations, and the physical transfer of gold coinage outside the empire by invading enemies—greatly diminished the money supply and the banking sector by the year 300. Roman Empire_sentence_361

Although Roman coinage had long been fiat money or fiduciary currency, general economic anxieties came to a head under Aurelian, and bankers lost confidence in coins legitimately issued by the central government. Roman Empire_sentence_362

Despite Diocletian's introduction of the gold solidus and monetary reforms, the credit market of the Empire never recovered its former robustness. Roman Empire_sentence_363

Mining and metallurgy Roman Empire_section_21

Main article: Roman metallurgy Roman Empire_sentence_364

See also: Mining in Roman Britain Roman Empire_sentence_365

The main mining regions of the Empire were the Iberian Peninsula (gold, silver, copper, tin, lead); Gaul (gold, silver, iron); Britain (mainly iron, lead, tin), the Danubian provinces (gold, iron); Macedonia and Thrace (gold, silver); and Asia Minor (gold, silver, iron, tin). Roman Empire_sentence_366

Intensive large-scale mining—of alluvial deposits, and by means of open-cast mining and underground mining—took place from the reign of Augustus up to the early 3rd century AD, when the instability of the Empire disrupted production. Roman Empire_sentence_367

The gold mines of Dacia, for instance, were no longer available for Roman exploitation after the province was surrendered in 271. Roman Empire_sentence_368

Mining seems to have resumed to some extent during the 4th century. Roman Empire_sentence_369

Hydraulic mining, which Pliny referred to as ruina montium ("ruin of the mountains"), allowed base and precious metals to be extracted on a proto-industrial scale. Roman Empire_sentence_370

The total annual iron output is estimated at 82,500 tonnes. Roman Empire_sentence_371

Copper was produced at an annual rate of 15,000 t, and lead at 80,000 t, both production levels unmatched until the Industrial Revolution; Hispania alone had a 40% share in world lead production. Roman Empire_sentence_372

The high lead output was a by-product of extensive silver mining which reached 200 t per annum. Roman Empire_sentence_373

At its peak around the mid-2nd century AD, the Roman silver stock is estimated at 10,000 t, five to ten times larger than the combined silver mass of medieval Europe and the Caliphate around 800 AD. Roman Empire_sentence_374

As an indication of the scale of Roman metal production, lead pollution in the Greenland ice sheet quadrupled over its prehistoric levels during the Imperial era and dropped again thereafter. Roman Empire_sentence_375

Transportation and communication Roman Empire_section_22

See also: Cursus publicus Roman Empire_sentence_376

The Roman Empire completely encircled the Mediterranean, which they called "our sea" (mare nostrum). Roman Empire_sentence_377

Roman sailing vessels navigated the Mediterranean as well as the major rivers of the Empire, including the Guadalquivir, Ebro, Rhône, Rhine, Tiber and Nile. Roman Empire_sentence_378

Transport by water was preferred where possible, and moving commodities by land was more difficult. Roman Empire_sentence_379

Vehicles, wheels, and ships indicate the existence of a great number of skilled woodworkers. Roman Empire_sentence_380

Land transport utilized the advanced system of Roman roads, which were called "viae". Roman Empire_sentence_381

These roads were primarily built for military purposes, but also served commercial ends. Roman Empire_sentence_382

The in-kind taxes paid by communities included the provision of personnel, animals, or vehicles for the cursus publicus, the state mail and transport service established by Augustus. Roman Empire_sentence_383

Relay stations were located along the roads every seven to twelve Roman miles, and tended to grow into a village or trading post. Roman Empire_sentence_384

A mansio (plural mansiones) was a privately run service station franchised by the imperial bureaucracy for the cursus publicus. Roman Empire_sentence_385

The support staff at such a facility included muleteers, secretaries, blacksmiths, cartwrights, a veterinarian, and a few military police and couriers. Roman Empire_sentence_386

The distance between mansiones was determined by how far a wagon could travel in a day. Roman Empire_sentence_387

Mules were the animal most often used for pulling carts, travelling about 4 mph. Roman Empire_sentence_388

As an example of the pace of communication, it took a messenger a minimum of nine days to travel to Rome from Mainz in the province of Germania Superior, even on a matter of urgency. Roman Empire_sentence_389

In addition to the mansiones, some taverns offered accommodations as well as food and drink; one recorded tab for a stay showed charges for wine, bread, mule feed, and the services of a prostitute. Roman Empire_sentence_390

Trade and commodities Roman Empire_section_23

See also: Roman commerce, Indo-Roman trade and relations, and Sino-Roman relations Roman Empire_sentence_391

Roman provinces traded among themselves, but trade extended outside the frontiers to regions as far away as China and India. Roman Empire_sentence_392

The main commodity was grain. Roman Empire_sentence_393

Chinese trade was mostly conducted overland through middle men along the Silk Road; Indian trade, however, also occurred by sea from Egyptian ports on the Red Sea. Roman Empire_sentence_394

Along these trade paths, the horse, upon which Roman expansion and commerce depended, was one of the main channels through which disease spread. Roman Empire_sentence_395

Also in transit for trade were olive oil, various foodstuffs, garum (fish sauce), slaves, ore and manufactured metal objects, fibres and textiles, timber, pottery, glassware, marble, papyrus, spices and materia medica, ivory, pearls, and gemstones. Roman Empire_sentence_396

Though most provinces were capable of producing wine, regional varietals were desirable and wine was a central item of trade. Roman Empire_sentence_397

Shortages of vin ordinaire were rare. Roman Empire_sentence_398

The major suppliers for the city of Rome were the west coast of Italy, southern Gaul, the Tarraconensis region of Hispania, and Crete. Roman Empire_sentence_399

Alexandria, the second-largest city, imported wine from Laodicea in Syria and the Aegean. Roman Empire_sentence_400

At the retail level, taverns or specialty wine shops (vinaria) sold wine by the jug for carryout and by the drink on premises, with price ranges reflecting quality. Roman Empire_sentence_401

Labour and occupations Roman Empire_section_24

Inscriptions record 268 different occupations in the city of Rome, and 85 in Pompeii. Roman Empire_sentence_402

Professional associations or trade guilds (collegia) are attested for a wide range of occupations, including fishermen (piscatores), salt merchants (salinatores), olive oil dealers (olivarii), entertainers (scaenici), cattle dealers (pecuarii), goldsmiths (aurifices), teamsters (asinarii or muliones), and stonecutters (lapidarii). Roman Empire_sentence_403

These are sometimes quite specialized: one collegium at Rome was strictly limited to craftsmen who worked in ivory and citrus wood. Roman Empire_sentence_404

Work performed by slaves falls into five general categories: domestic, with epitaphs recording at least 55 different household jobs; imperial or public service; urban crafts and services; agriculture; and mining. Roman Empire_sentence_405

Convicts provided much of the labour in the mines or quarries, where conditions were notoriously brutal. Roman Empire_sentence_406

In practice, there was little division of labour between slave and free, and most workers were illiterate and without special skills. Roman Empire_sentence_407

The greatest number of common labourers were employed in agriculture: in the Italian system of industrial farming (latifundia), these may have been mostly slaves, but throughout the Empire, slave farm labour was probably less important than other forms of dependent labour by people who were technically not enslaved. Roman Empire_sentence_408

Textile and clothing production was a major source of employment. Roman Empire_sentence_409

Both textiles and finished garments were traded among the peoples of the Empire, whose products were often named for them or a particular town, rather like a fashion "label". Roman Empire_sentence_410

Better ready-to-wear was exported by businessmen (negotiatores or mercatores) who were often well-to-do residents of the production centres. Roman Empire_sentence_411

Finished garments might be retailed by their sales agents, who travelled to potential customers, or by vestiarii, clothing dealers who were mostly freedmen; or they might be peddled by itinerant merchants. Roman Empire_sentence_412

In Egypt, textile producers could run prosperous small businesses employing apprentices, free workers earning wages, and slaves. Roman Empire_sentence_413

The fullers (fullones) and dye workers (coloratores) had their own guilds. Roman Empire_sentence_414

Centonarii were guild workers who specialized in textile production and the recycling of old clothes into pieced goods. Roman Empire_sentence_415

GDP and income distribution Roman Empire_section_25

Further information: Roman economy § Gross domestic product Roman Empire_sentence_416

Economic historians vary in their calculations of the gross domestic product of the Roman economy during the Principate. Roman Empire_sentence_417

In the sample years of 14, 100, and 150 AD, estimates of per capita GDP range from 166 to 380 HS. Roman Empire_sentence_418

The GDP per capita of Italy is estimated as 40 to 66% higher than in the rest of the Empire, due to tax transfers from the provinces and the concentration of elite income in the heartland. Roman Empire_sentence_419

In regard to Italy, "there can be little doubt that the lower classes of Pompeii, Herculaneum and other provincial towns of the Roman Empire enjoyed a high standard of living not equaled again in Western Europe until the 19th century AD". Roman Empire_sentence_420

In the Scheidel–Friesen economic model, the total annual income generated by the Empire is placed at nearly 20 billion HS, with about 5% extracted by central and local government. Roman Empire_sentence_421

Households in the top 1.5% of income distribution captured about 20% of income. Roman Empire_sentence_422

Another 20% went to about 10% of the population who can be characterized as a non-elite middle. Roman Empire_sentence_423

The remaining "vast majority" produced more than half of the total income, but lived near subsistence. Roman Empire_sentence_424

The elite were 1.2–1.7% and the middling "who enjoyed modest, comfortable levels of existence but not extreme wealth amounted to 6–12% (...) while the vast majority lived around subsistence". Roman Empire_sentence_425

Architecture and engineering Roman Empire_section_26

Main articles: Ancient Roman architecture, Roman engineering, and Roman technology Roman Empire_sentence_426

The chief Roman contributions to architecture were the arch, vault and the dome. Roman Empire_sentence_427

Even after more than 2,000 years some Roman structures still stand, due in part to sophisticated methods of making cements and concrete. Roman Empire_sentence_428

Roman roads are considered the most advanced roads built until the early 19th century. Roman Empire_sentence_429

The system of roadways facilitated military policing, communications, and trade. Roman Empire_sentence_430

The roads were resistant to floods and other environmental hazards. Roman Empire_sentence_431

Even after the collapse of the central government, some roads remained usable for more than a thousand years. Roman Empire_sentence_432

Roman bridges were among the first large and lasting bridges, built from stone with the arch as the basic structure. Roman Empire_sentence_433

Most utilized concrete as well. Roman Empire_sentence_434

The largest Roman bridge was Trajan's bridge over the lower Danube, constructed by Apollodorus of Damascus, which remained for over a millennium the longest bridge to have been built both in terms of overall span and length. Roman Empire_sentence_435

The Romans built many dams and reservoirs for water collection, such as the Subiaco Dams, two of which fed the Anio Novus, one of the largest aqueducts of Rome. Roman Empire_sentence_436

They built 72 dams just on the Iberian peninsula, and many more are known across the Empire, some still in use. Roman Empire_sentence_437

Several earthen dams are known from Roman Britain, including a well-preserved example from Longovicium (Lanchester). Roman Empire_sentence_438

The Romans constructed numerous aqueducts. Roman Empire_sentence_439

A surviving treatise by Frontinus, who served as curator aquarum (water commissioner) under Nerva, reflects the administrative importance placed on ensuring the water supply. Roman Empire_sentence_440

Masonry channels carried water from distant springs and reservoirs along a precise gradient, using gravity alone. Roman Empire_sentence_441

After the water passed through the aqueduct, it was collected in tanks and fed through pipes to public fountains, baths, toilets, or industrial sites. Roman Empire_sentence_442

The main aqueducts in the city of Rome were the Aqua Claudia and the Aqua Marcia. Roman Empire_sentence_443

The complex system built to supply Constantinople had its most distant supply drawn from over 120 km away along a sinuous route of more than 336 km. Roman Empire_sentence_444

Roman aqueducts were built to remarkably fine tolerance, and to a technological standard that was not to be equalled until modern times. Roman Empire_sentence_445

The Romans also made use of aqueducts in their extensive mining operations across the empire, at sites such as Las Medulas and Dolaucothi in South Wales. Roman Empire_sentence_446

Insulated glazing (or "double glazing") was used in the construction of public baths. Roman Empire_sentence_447

Elite housing in cooler climates might have hypocausts, a form of central heating. Roman Empire_sentence_448

The Romans were the first culture to assemble all essential components of the much later steam engine, when Hero built the aeolipile. Roman Empire_sentence_449

With the crank and connecting rod system, all elements for constructing a steam engine (invented in 1712)—Hero's aeolipile (generating steam power), the cylinder and piston (in metal force pumps), non-return valves (in water pumps), gearing (in water mills and clocks)—were known in Roman times. Roman Empire_sentence_450

Daily life Roman Empire_section_27

Main articles: Culture of ancient Rome and Agriculture in ancient Rome Roman Empire_sentence_451

City and country Roman Empire_section_28

In the ancient world, a city was viewed as a place that fostered civilization by being "properly designed, ordered, and adorned." Roman Empire_sentence_452

Augustus undertook a vast building programme in Rome, supported public displays of art that expressed the new imperial ideology, and reorganized the city into neighbourhoods (vici) administered at the local level with police and firefighting services. Roman Empire_sentence_453

A focus of Augustan monumental architecture was the Campus Martius, an open area outside the city centre that in early times had been devoted to equestrian sports and physical training for youth. Roman Empire_sentence_454

The Altar of Augustan Peace (Ara Pacis Augustae) was located there, as was an obelisk imported from Egypt that formed the pointer (gnomon) of a horologium. Roman Empire_sentence_455

With its public gardens, the Campus became one of the most attractive places in the city to visit. Roman Empire_sentence_456

City planning and urban lifestyles had been influenced by the Greeks from an early period, and in the eastern Empire, Roman rule accelerated and shaped the local development of cities that already had a strong Hellenistic character. Roman Empire_sentence_457

Cities such as Athens, Aphrodisias, Ephesus and Gerasa altered some aspects of city planning and architecture to conform to imperial ideals, while also expressing their individual identity and regional preeminence. Roman Empire_sentence_458

In the areas of the western Empire inhabited by Celtic-speaking peoples, Rome encouraged the development of urban centres with stone temples, forums, monumental fountains, and amphitheatres, often on or near the sites of the preexisting walled settlements known as oppida. Roman Empire_sentence_459

Urbanization in Roman Africa expanded on Greek and Punic cities along the coast. Roman Empire_sentence_460

The network of cities throughout the Empire (coloniae, municipia, civitates or in Greek terms poleis) was a primary cohesive force during the Pax Romana. Roman Empire_sentence_461

Romans of the 1st and 2nd centuries AD were encouraged by imperial propaganda to "inculcate the habits of peacetime". Roman Empire_sentence_462

As the classicist Clifford Ando has noted: Roman Empire_sentence_463

Even the Christian polemicist Tertullian declared that the world of the late 2nd century was more orderly and well-cultivated than in earlier times: "Everywhere there are houses, everywhere people, everywhere the res publica, the commonwealth, everywhere life." Roman Empire_sentence_464

The decline of cities and civic life in the 4th century, when the wealthy classes were unable or disinclined to support public works, was one sign of the Empire's imminent dissolution. Roman Empire_sentence_465

In the city of Rome, most people lived in multistory apartment buildings (insulae) that were often squalid firetraps. Roman Empire_sentence_466

Public facilities—such as baths (thermae), toilets that were flushed with running water (latrinae), conveniently located basins or elaborate fountains (nymphea) delivering fresh water, and large-scale entertainments such as chariot races and gladiator combat—were aimed primarily at the common people who lived in the insulae. Roman Empire_sentence_467

Similar facilities were constructed in cities throughout the Empire, and some of the best-preserved Roman structures are in Spain, southern France, and northern Africa. Roman Empire_sentence_468

The public baths served hygienic, social and cultural functions. Roman Empire_sentence_469

Bathing was the focus of daily socializing in the late afternoon before dinner. Roman Empire_sentence_470

Roman baths were distinguished by a series of rooms that offered communal bathing in three temperatures, with varying amenities that might include an exercise and weight-training room, sauna, exfoliation spa (where oils were massaged into the skin and scraped from the body with a strigil), ball court, or outdoor swimming pool. Roman Empire_sentence_471

Baths had hypocaust heating: the floors were suspended over hot-air channels that circulated warmth. Roman Empire_sentence_472

Mixed nude bathing was not unusual in the early Empire, though some baths may have offered separate facilities or hours for men and women. Roman Empire_sentence_473

Public baths were a part of urban culture throughout the provinces, but in the late 4th century, individual tubs began to replace communal bathing. Roman Empire_sentence_474

Christians were advised to go to the baths for health and cleanliness, not pleasure, but to avoid the games (ludi), which were part of religious festivals they considered "pagan". Roman Empire_sentence_475

Tertullian says that otherwise Christians not only availed themselves of the baths, but participated fully in commerce and society. Roman Empire_sentence_476

Rich families from Rome usually had two or more houses, a townhouse (domus, plural domūs) and at least one luxury home (villa) outside the city. Roman Empire_sentence_477

The domus was a privately owned single-family house, and might be furnished with a private bath (balneum), but it was not a place to retreat from public life. Roman Empire_sentence_478

Although some neighbourhoods of Rome show a higher concentration of well-to-do houses, the rich did not live in segregated enclaves. Roman Empire_sentence_479

Their houses were meant to be visible and accessible. Roman Empire_sentence_480

The atrium served as a reception hall in which the paterfamilias (head of household) met with clients every morning, from wealthy friends to poorer dependents who received charity. Roman Empire_sentence_481

It was also a centre of family religious rites, containing a shrine and the images of family ancestors. Roman Empire_sentence_482

The houses were located on busy public roads, and ground-level spaces facing the street were often rented out as shops (tabernae). Roman Empire_sentence_483

In addition to a kitchen garden—windowboxes might substitute in the insulae—townhouses typically enclosed a peristyle garden that brought a tract of nature, made orderly, within walls. Roman Empire_sentence_484

The villa by contrast was an escape from the bustle of the city, and in literature represents a lifestyle that balances the civilized pursuit of intellectual and artistic interests (otium) with an appreciation of nature and the agricultural cycle. Roman Empire_sentence_485

Ideally a villa commanded a view or vista, carefully framed by the architectural design. Roman Empire_sentence_486

It might be located on a working estate, or in a "resort town" situated on the seacoast, such as Pompeii and Herculaneum. Roman Empire_sentence_487

The programme of urban renewal under Augustus, and the growth of Rome's population to as many as 1 million people, was accompanied by a nostalgia for rural life expressed in the arts. Roman Empire_sentence_488

Poetry praised the idealized lives of farmers and shepherds. Roman Empire_sentence_489

The interiors of houses were often decorated with painted gardens, fountains, landscapes, vegetative ornament, and animals, especially birds and marine life, rendered accurately enough that modern scholars can sometimes identify them by species. Roman Empire_sentence_490

The Augustan poet Horace gently satirized the dichotomy of urban and rural values in his fable of the city mouse and the country mouse, which has often been retold as a children's story. Roman Empire_sentence_491

On a more practical level, the central government took an active interest in supporting agriculture. Roman Empire_sentence_492

Producing food was the top priority of land use. Roman Empire_sentence_493

Larger farms (latifundia) achieved an economy of scale that sustained urban life and its more specialized division of labour. Roman Empire_sentence_494

Small farmers benefited from the development of local markets in towns and trade centres. Roman Empire_sentence_495

Agricultural techniques such as crop rotation and selective breeding were disseminated throughout the Empire, and new crops were introduced from one province to another, such as peas and cabbage to Britain. Roman Empire_sentence_496

Maintaining an affordable food supply to the city of Rome had become a major political issue in the late Republic, when the state began to provide a grain dole (Cura Annonae) to citizens who registered for it. Roman Empire_sentence_497

About 200,000–250,000 adult males in Rome received the dole, amounting to about 33 kg. Roman Empire_sentence_498

per month, for a per annum total of about 100,000 tons of wheat primarily from Sicily, north Africa, and Egypt. Roman Empire_sentence_499

The dole cost at least 15% of state revenues, but improved living conditions and family life among the lower classes, and subsidized the rich by allowing workers to spend more of their earnings on the wine and olive oil produced on the estates of the landowning class. Roman Empire_sentence_500

The grain dole also had symbolic value: it affirmed both the emperor's position as universal benefactor, and the right of all citizens to share in "the fruits of conquest". Roman Empire_sentence_501

The annona, public facilities, and spectacular entertainments mitigated the otherwise dreary living conditions of lower-class Romans, and kept social unrest in check. Roman Empire_sentence_502

The satirist Juvenal, however, saw "bread and circuses" (panem et circenses) as emblematic of the loss of republican political liberty: Roman Empire_sentence_503

Food and dining Roman Empire_section_29

Main article: Food and dining in the Roman Empire Roman Empire_sentence_504

See also: Grain supply to the city of Rome and Ancient Rome and wine Roman Empire_sentence_505

Most apartments in Rome lacked kitchens, though a charcoal brazier could be used for rudimentary cookery. Roman Empire_sentence_506

Prepared food was sold at pubs and bars, inns, and food stalls (tabernae, cauponae, popinae, thermopolia). Roman Empire_sentence_507

Carryout and restaurant dining were for the lower classes; fine dining could be sought only at private dinner parties in well-to-do houses with a chef (archimagirus) and trained kitchen staff, or at banquets hosted by social clubs (collegia). Roman Empire_sentence_508

Most people would have consumed at least 70% of their daily calories in the form of cereals and legumes. Roman Empire_sentence_509

Puls (pottage) was considered the aboriginal food of the Romans. Roman Empire_sentence_510

The basic grain pottage could be elaborated with chopped vegetables, bits of meat, cheese, or herbs to produce dishes similar to polenta or risotto. Roman Empire_sentence_511

Urban populations and the military preferred to consume their grain in the form of bread. Roman Empire_sentence_512

Mills and commercial ovens were usually combined in a bakery complex. Roman Empire_sentence_513

By the reign of Aurelian, the state had begun to distribute the annona as a daily ration of bread baked in state factories, and added olive oil, wine, and pork to the dole. Roman Empire_sentence_514

The importance of a good diet to health was recognized by medical writers such as Galen (2nd century AD), whose treatises included one On Barley Soup. Roman Empire_sentence_515

Views on nutrition were influenced by schools of thought such as humoral theory. Roman Empire_sentence_516

Roman literature focuses on the dining habits of the upper classes, for whom the evening meal (cena) had important social functions. Roman Empire_sentence_517

Guests were entertained in a finely decorated dining room (triclinium), often with a view of the peristyle garden. Roman Empire_sentence_518

Diners lounged on couches, leaning on the left elbow. Roman Empire_sentence_519

By the late Republic, if not earlier, women dined, reclined, and drank wine along with men. Roman Empire_sentence_520

The most famous description of a Roman meal is probably Trimalchio's dinner party in the Satyricon, a fictional extravaganza that bears little resemblance to reality even among the most wealthy. Roman Empire_sentence_521

The poet Martial describes serving a more plausible dinner, beginning with the gustatio ("tasting" or "appetizer"), which was a salad composed of mallow leaves, lettuce, chopped leeks, mint, arugula, mackerel garnished with rue, sliced eggs, and marinated sow udder. Roman Empire_sentence_522

The main course was succulent cuts of kid, beans, greens, a chicken, and leftover ham, followed by a dessert of fresh fruit and vintage wine. Roman Empire_sentence_523

The Latin expression for a full-course dinner was ab ovo usque mala, "from the egg to the apples," equivalent to the English "from soup to nuts." Roman Empire_sentence_524

A book-length collection of Roman recipes is attributed to Apicius, a name for several figures in antiquity that became synonymous with "gourmet." Roman Empire_sentence_525

Roman "foodies" indulged in wild game, fowl such as peacock and flamingo, large fish (mullet was especially prized), and shellfish. Roman Empire_sentence_526

Luxury ingredients were brought by the fleet from the far reaches of empire, from the Parthian frontier to the Straits of Gibraltar. Roman Empire_sentence_527

Refined cuisine could be moralized as a sign of either civilized progress or decadent decline. Roman Empire_sentence_528

The early Imperial historian Tacitus contrasted the indulgent luxuries of the Roman table in his day with the simplicity of the Germanic diet of fresh wild meat, foraged fruit, and cheese, unadulterated by imported seasonings and elaborate sauces. Roman Empire_sentence_529

Most often, because of the importance of landowning in Roman culture, produce—cereals, legumes, vegetables, and fruit—was considered a more civilized form of food than meat. Roman Empire_sentence_530

The Mediterranean staples of bread, wine, and oil were sacralized by Roman Christianity, while Germanic meat consumption became a mark of paganism, as it might be the product of animal sacrifice. Roman Empire_sentence_531

Some philosophers and Christians resisted the demands of the body and the pleasures of food, and adopted fasting as an ideal. Roman Empire_sentence_532

Food became simpler in general as urban life in the West diminished, trade routes were disrupted, and the rich retreated to the more limited self-sufficiency of their country estates. Roman Empire_sentence_533

As an urban lifestyle came to be associated with decadence, the Church formally discouraged gluttony, and hunting and pastoralism were seen as simple, virtuous ways of life. Roman Empire_sentence_534

Recreation and spectacles Roman Empire_section_30

See also: Ludi, Chariot racing, and Gladiator Roman Empire_sentence_535

When Juvenal complained that the Roman people had exchanged their political liberty for "bread and circuses", he was referring to the state-provided grain dole and the circenses, events held in the entertainment venue called a circus in Latin. Roman Empire_sentence_536

The largest such venue in Rome was the Circus Maximus, the setting of horse races, chariot races, the equestrian Troy Game, staged beast hunts (venationes), athletic contests, gladiator combat, and historical re-enactments. Roman Empire_sentence_537

From earliest times, several religious festivals had featured games (ludi), primarily horse and chariot races (ludi circenses). Roman Empire_sentence_538

Although their entertainment value tended to overshadow ritual significance, the races remained part of archaic religious observances that pertained to agriculture, initiation, and the cycle of birth and death. Roman Empire_sentence_539

Under Augustus, public entertainments were presented on 77 days of the year; by the reign of Marcus Aurelius, the number of days had expanded to 135. Roman Empire_sentence_540

Circus games were preceded by an elaborate parade (pompa circensis) that ended at the venue. Roman Empire_sentence_541

Competitive events were held also in smaller venues such as the amphitheatre, which became the characteristic Roman spectacle venue, and stadium. Roman Empire_sentence_542

Greek-style athletics included footraces, boxing, wrestling, and the pancratium. Roman Empire_sentence_543

Aquatic displays, such as the mock sea battle (naumachia) and a form of "water ballet", were presented in engineered pools. Roman Empire_sentence_544

State-supported theatrical events (ludi scaenici) took place on temple steps or in grand stone theatres, or in the smaller enclosed theatre called an odeum. Roman Empire_sentence_545

Circuses were the largest structure regularly built in the Roman world, though the Greeks had their own architectural traditions for the similarly purposed hippodrome. Roman Empire_sentence_546

The Flavian Amphitheatre, better known as the Colosseum, became the regular arena for blood sports in Rome after it opened in 80 AD. Roman Empire_sentence_547

The circus races continued to be held more frequently. Roman Empire_sentence_548

The Circus Maximus could seat around 150,000 spectators, and the Colosseum about 50,000 with standing room for about 10,000 more. Roman Empire_sentence_549

Many Roman amphitheatres, circuses and theatres built in cities outside Italy are visible as ruins today. Roman Empire_sentence_550

The local ruling elite were responsible for sponsoring spectacles and arena events, which both enhanced their status and drained their resources. Roman Empire_sentence_551

The physical arrangement of the amphitheatre represented the order of Roman society: the emperor presiding in his opulent box; senators and equestrians watching from the advantageous seats reserved for them; women seated at a remove from the action; slaves given the worst places, and everybody else packed in-between. Roman Empire_sentence_552

The crowd could call for an outcome by booing or cheering, but the emperor had the final say. Roman Empire_sentence_553

Spectacles could quickly become sites of social and political protest, and emperors sometimes had to deploy force to put down crowd unrest, most notoriously at the Nika riots in the year 532, when troops under Justinian slaughtered thousands. Roman Empire_sentence_554

The chariot teams were known by the colours they wore, with the Blues and Greens the most popular. Roman Empire_sentence_555

Fan loyalty was fierce and at times erupted into sports riots. Roman Empire_sentence_556

Racing was perilous, but charioteers were among the most celebrated and well-compensated athletes. Roman Empire_sentence_557

One star of the sport was Diocles, from Lusitania (present-day Portugal), who raced chariots for 24 years and had career earnings of 35 million sesterces. Roman Empire_sentence_558

Horses had their fans too, and were commemorated in art and inscriptions, sometimes by name. Roman Empire_sentence_559

The design of Roman circuses was developed to assure that no team had an unfair advantage and to minimize collisions (naufragia, "shipwrecks"), which were nonetheless frequent and spectacularly satisfying to the crowd. Roman Empire_sentence_560

The races retained a magical aura through their early association with chthonic rituals: circus images were considered protective or lucky, curse tablets have been found buried at the site of racetracks, and charioteers were often suspected of sorcery. Roman Empire_sentence_561

Chariot racing continued into the Byzantine period under imperial sponsorship, but the decline of cities in the 6th and 7th centuries led to its eventual demise. Roman Empire_sentence_562

The Romans thought gladiator contests had originated with funeral games and sacrifices in which select captive warriors were forced to fight to expiate the deaths of noble Romans. Roman Empire_sentence_563

Some of the earliest styles of gladiator fighting had ethnic designations such as "Thracian" or "Gallic". Roman Empire_sentence_564

The staged combats were considered munera, "services, offerings, benefactions", initially distinct from the festival games (ludi). Roman Empire_sentence_565

Throughout his 40-year reign, Augustus presented eight gladiator shows in which a total of 10,000 men fought, as well as 26 staged beast hunts that resulted in the deaths of 3,500 animals. Roman Empire_sentence_566

To mark the opening of the Colosseum, the emperor Titus presented 100 days of arena events, with 3,000 gladiators competing on a single day. Roman Empire_sentence_567

Roman fascination with gladiators is indicated by how widely they are depicted on mosaics, wall paintings, lamps, and even graffiti drawings. Roman Empire_sentence_568

Gladiators were trained combatants who might be slaves, convicts, or free volunteers. Roman Empire_sentence_569

Death was not a necessary or even desirable outcome in matches between these highly skilled fighters, whose training represented a costly and time-consuming investment. Roman Empire_sentence_570

By contrast, noxii were convicts sentenced to the arena with little or no training, often unarmed, and with no expectation of survival. Roman Empire_sentence_571

Physical suffering and humiliation were considered appropriate retributive justice for the crimes they had committed. Roman Empire_sentence_572

These executions were sometimes staged or ritualized as re-enactments of myths, and amphitheatres were equipped with elaborate stage machinery to create special effects. Roman Empire_sentence_573

Tertullian considered deaths in the arena to be nothing more than a dressed-up form of human sacrifice. Roman Empire_sentence_574

Modern scholars have found the pleasure Romans took in the "theatre of life and death" to be one of the more difficult aspects of their civilization to understand and explain. Roman Empire_sentence_575

The younger Pliny rationalized gladiator spectacles as good for the people, a way "to inspire them to face honourable wounds and despise death, by exhibiting love of glory and desire for victory even in the bodies of slaves and criminals". Roman Empire_sentence_576

Some Romans such as Seneca were critical of the brutal spectacles, but found virtue in the courage and dignity of the defeated fighter rather than in victory—an attitude that finds its fullest expression with the Christians martyred in the arena. Roman Empire_sentence_577

Even martyr literature, however, offers "detailed, indeed luxuriant, descriptions of bodily suffering", and became a popular genre at times indistinguishable from fiction. Roman Empire_sentence_578

Personal training and play Roman Empire_section_31

In the plural, ludi almost always refers to the large-scale spectator games. Roman Empire_sentence_579

The singular ludus, "play, game, sport, training," had a wide range of meanings such as "word play," "theatrical performance," "board game," "primary school," and even "gladiator training school" (as in Ludus Magnus, the largest such training camp at Rome). Roman Empire_sentence_580

Activities for children and young people included hoop rolling and knucklebones (astragali or "jacks"). Roman Empire_sentence_581

The sarcophagi of children often show them playing games. Roman Empire_sentence_582

Girls had dolls, typically 15–16 cm tall with jointed limbs, made of materials such as wood, terracotta, and especially bone and ivory. Roman Empire_sentence_583

Ball games include trigon, which required dexterity, and harpastum, a rougher sport. Roman Empire_sentence_584

Pets appear often on children's memorials and in literature, including birds, dogs, cats, goats, sheep, rabbits and geese. Roman Empire_sentence_585

After adolescence, most physical training for males was of a military nature. Roman Empire_sentence_586

The Campus Martius originally was an exercise field where young men developed the skills of horsemanship and warfare. Roman Empire_sentence_587

Hunting was also considered an appropriate pastime. Roman Empire_sentence_588

According to Plutarch, conservative Romans disapproved of Greek-style athletics that promoted a fine body for its own sake, and condemned Nero's efforts to encourage gymnastic games in the Greek manner. Roman Empire_sentence_589

Some women trained as gymnasts and dancers, and a rare few as female gladiators. Roman Empire_sentence_590

The famous "bikini girls" mosaic shows young women engaging in apparatus routines that might be compared to rhythmic gymnastics. Roman Empire_sentence_591

Women in general were encouraged to maintain their health through activities such as playing ball, swimming, walking, reading aloud (as a breathing exercise), riding in vehicles, and travel. Roman Empire_sentence_592

People of all ages played board games pitting two players against each other, including latrunculi ("Raiders"), a game of strategy in which opponents coordinated the movements and capture of multiple game pieces, and XII scripta ("Twelve Marks"), involving dice and arranging pieces on a grid of letters or words. Roman Empire_sentence_593

A game referred to as alea (dice) or tabula (the board), to which the emperor Claudius was notoriously addicted, may have been similar to backgammon, using a dice-cup (pyrgus). Roman Empire_sentence_594

Playing with dice as a form of gambling was disapproved of, but was a popular pastime during the December festival of the Saturnalia with its carnival, norms-overturned atmosphere. Roman Empire_sentence_595

Clothing Roman Empire_section_32

Main article: Clothing in ancient Rome Roman Empire_sentence_596

In a status-conscious society like that of the Romans, clothing and personal adornment gave immediate visual clues about the etiquette of interacting with the wearer. Roman Empire_sentence_597

Wearing the correct clothing was supposed to reflect a society in good order. Roman Empire_sentence_598

The toga was the distinctive national garment of the Roman male citizen, but it was heavy and impractical, worn mainly for conducting political business and religious rites, and for going to court. Roman Empire_sentence_599

The clothing Romans wore ordinarily was dark or colourful, and the most common male attire seen daily throughout the provinces would have been tunics, cloaks, and in some regions trousers. Roman Empire_sentence_600

The study of how Romans dressed in daily life is complicated by a lack of direct evidence, since portraiture may show the subject in clothing with symbolic value, and surviving textiles from the period are rare. Roman Empire_sentence_601

The basic garment for all Romans, regardless of gender or wealth, was the simple sleeved tunic. Roman Empire_sentence_602

The length differed by wearer: a man's reached mid-calf, but a soldier's was somewhat shorter; a woman's fell to her feet, and a child's to its knees. Roman Empire_sentence_603

The tunics of poor people and labouring slaves were made from coarse wool in natural, dull shades, with the length determined by the type of work they did. Roman Empire_sentence_604

Finer tunics were made of lightweight wool or linen. Roman Empire_sentence_605

A man who belonged to the senatorial or equestrian order wore a tunic with two purple stripes (clavi) woven vertically into the fabric: the wider the stripe, the higher the wearer's status. Roman Empire_sentence_606

Other garments could be layered over the tunic. Roman Empire_sentence_607

The Imperial toga was a "vast expanse" of semi-circular white wool that could not be put on and draped correctly without assistance. Roman Empire_sentence_608

In his work on oratory, Quintilian describes in detail how the public speaker ought to orchestrate his gestures in relation to his toga. Roman Empire_sentence_609

In art, the toga is shown with the long end dipping between the feet, a deep curved fold in front, and a bulbous flap at the midsection. Roman Empire_sentence_610

The drapery became more intricate and structured over time, with the cloth forming a tight roll across the chest in later periods. Roman Empire_sentence_611

The toga praetexta, with a purple or purplish-red stripe representing inviolability, was worn by children who had not come of age, curule magistrates, and state priests. Roman Empire_sentence_612

Only the emperor could wear an all-purple toga (toga picta). Roman Empire_sentence_613

In the 2nd century, emperors and men of status are often portrayed wearing the pallium, an originally Greek mantle (himation) folded tightly around the body. Roman Empire_sentence_614

Women are also portrayed in the pallium. Roman Empire_sentence_615

Tertullian considered the pallium an appropriate garment both for Christians, in contrast to the toga, and for educated people, since it was associated with philosophers. Roman Empire_sentence_616

By the 4th century, the toga had been more or less replaced by the pallium as a garment that embodied social unity. Roman Empire_sentence_617

Roman clothing styles changed over time, though not as rapidly as fashions today. Roman Empire_sentence_618

In the Dominate, clothing worn by both soldiers and government bureaucrats became highly decorated, with woven or embroidered stripes (clavi) and circular roundels (orbiculi) applied to tunics and cloaks. Roman Empire_sentence_619

These decorative elements consisted of geometrical patterns, stylized plant motifs, and in more elaborate examples, human or animal figures. Roman Empire_sentence_620

The use of silk increased, and courtiers of the later Empire wore elaborate silk robes. Roman Empire_sentence_621

The militarization of Roman society, and the waning of cultural life based on urban ideals, affected habits of dress: heavy military-style belts were worn by bureaucrats as well as soldiers, and the toga was abandoned. Roman Empire_sentence_622

Arts Roman Empire_section_33

Main article: Roman art Roman Empire_sentence_623

People visiting or living in Rome or the cities throughout the Empire would have seen art in a range of styles and media on a daily basis. Roman Empire_sentence_624

Public or official art—including sculpture, monuments such as victory columns or triumphal arches, and the iconography on coins—is often analysed for its historical significance or as an expression of imperial ideology. Roman Empire_sentence_625

At Imperial public baths, a person of humble means could view wall paintings, mosaics, statues, and interior decoration often of high quality. Roman Empire_sentence_626

In the private sphere, objects made for religious dedications, funerary commemoration, domestic use, and commerce can show varying degrees of esthetic quality and artistic skill. Roman Empire_sentence_627

A wealthy person might advertise his appreciation of culture through painting, sculpture, and decorative arts at his home—though some efforts strike modern viewers and some ancient connoisseurs as strenuous rather than tasteful. Roman Empire_sentence_628

Greek art had a profound influence on the Roman tradition, and some of the most famous examples of Greek statues are known only from Roman Imperial versions and the occasional description in a Greek or Latin literary source. Roman Empire_sentence_629

Despite the high value placed on works of art, even famous artists were of low social status among the Greeks and Romans, who regarded artists, artisans, and craftsmen alike as manual labourers. Roman Empire_sentence_630

At the same time, the level of skill required to produce quality work was recognized, and even considered a divine gift. Roman Empire_sentence_631

Portraiture Roman Empire_section_34

Main article: Roman portraiture Roman Empire_sentence_632

Portraiture, which survives mainly in the medium of sculpture, was the most copious form of imperial art. Roman Empire_sentence_633

Portraits during the Augustan period utilize youthful and classical proportions, evolving later into a mixture of realism and idealism. Roman Empire_sentence_634

Republican portraits had been characterized by a "warts and all" verism, but as early as the 2nd century BC, the Greek convention of heroic nudity was adopted sometimes for portraying conquering generals. Roman Empire_sentence_635

Imperial portrait sculptures may model the head as mature, even craggy, atop a nude or seminude body that is smooth and youthful with perfect musculature; a portrait head might even be added to a body created for another purpose. Roman Empire_sentence_636

Clothed in the toga or military regalia, the body communicates rank or sphere of activity, not the characteristics of the individual. Roman Empire_sentence_637

Women of the emperor's family were often depicted dressed as goddesses or divine personifications such as Pax ("Peace"). Roman Empire_sentence_638

Portraiture in painting is represented primarily by the Fayum mummy portraits, which evoke Egyptian and Roman traditions of commemorating the dead with the realistic painting techniques of the Empire. Roman Empire_sentence_639

Marble portrait sculpture would have been painted, and while traces of paint have only rarely survived the centuries, the Fayum portraits indicate why ancient literary sources marvelled at how lifelike artistic representations could be. Roman Empire_sentence_640

Sculpture Roman Empire_section_35

Main article: Roman sculpture Roman Empire_sentence_641

Examples of Roman sculpture survive abundantly, though often in damaged or fragmentary condition, including freestanding statues and statuettes in marble, bronze and terracotta, and reliefs from public buildings, temples, and monuments such as the Ara Pacis, Trajan's Column, and the Arch of Titus. Roman Empire_sentence_642

Niches in amphitheatres such as the Colosseum were originally filled with statues, and no formal garden was complete without statuary. Roman Empire_sentence_643

Temples housed the cult images of deities, often by famed sculptors. Roman Empire_sentence_644

The religiosity of the Romans encouraged the production of decorated altars, small representations of deities for the household shrine or votive offerings, and other pieces for dedicating at temples. Roman Empire_sentence_645

Divine and mythological figures were also given secular, humorous, and even obscene depictions. Roman Empire_sentence_646

Sarcophagi Roman Empire_section_36

Main article: Ancient Roman sarcophagi Roman Empire_sentence_647

Elaborately carved marble and limestone sarcophagi are characteristic of the 2nd to the 4th centuries with at least 10,000 examples surviving. Roman Empire_sentence_648

Although mythological scenes have been most widely studied, sarcophagus relief has been called the "richest single source of Roman iconography," and may also depict the deceased's occupation or life course, military scenes, and other subject matter. Roman Empire_sentence_649

The same workshops produced sarcophagi with Jewish or Christian imagery. Roman Empire_sentence_650

Painting Roman Empire_section_37

Much of what is known of Roman painting is based on the interior decoration of private homes, particularly as preserved at Pompeii and Herculaneum by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. Roman Empire_sentence_651

In addition to decorative borders and panels with geometric or vegetative motifs, wall painting depicts scenes from mythology and the theatre, landscapes and gardens, recreation and spectacles, work and everyday life, and frank pornography. Roman Empire_sentence_652

Birds, animals, and marine life are often depicted with careful attention to realistic detail. Roman Empire_sentence_653

A unique source for Jewish figurative painting under the Empire is the Dura-Europos synagogue, dubbed "the Pompeii of the Syrian Desert," buried and preserved in the mid-3rd century after the city was destroyed by Persians. Roman Empire_sentence_654

Mosaic Roman Empire_section_38

Main article: Roman mosaic Roman Empire_sentence_655

Mosaics are among the most enduring of Roman decorative arts, and are found on the surfaces of floors and other architectural features such as walls, vaulted ceilings, and columns. Roman Empire_sentence_656

The most common form is the tessellated mosaic, formed from uniform pieces (tesserae) of materials such as stone and glass. Roman Empire_sentence_657

Mosaics were usually crafted on site, but sometimes assembled and shipped as ready-made panels. Roman Empire_sentence_658

A mosaic workshop was led by the master artist (pictor) who worked with two grades of assistants. Roman Empire_sentence_659

Figurative mosaics share many themes with painting, and in some cases portray subject matter in almost identical compositions. Roman Empire_sentence_660

Although geometric patterns and mythological scenes occur throughout the Empire, regional preferences also find expression. Roman Empire_sentence_661

In North Africa, a particularly rich source of mosaics, homeowners often chose scenes of life on their estates, hunting, agriculture, and local wildlife. Roman Empire_sentence_662

Plentiful and major examples of Roman mosaics come also from present-day Turkey, Italy, southern France, Spain, and Portugal. Roman Empire_sentence_663

More than 300 Antioch mosaics from the 3rd century are known. Roman Empire_sentence_664

Opus sectile is a related technique in which flat stone, usually coloured marble, is cut precisely into shapes from which geometric or figurative patterns are formed. Roman Empire_sentence_665

This more difficult technique was highly prized, and became especially popular for luxury surfaces in the 4th century, an abundant example of which is the Basilica of Junius Bassus. Roman Empire_sentence_666

Decorative arts Roman Empire_section_39

See also: Ancient Roman pottery and Roman glass Roman Empire_sentence_667

Decorative arts for luxury consumers included fine pottery, silver and bronze vessels and implements, and glassware. Roman Empire_sentence_668

The manufacture of pottery in a wide range of quality was important to trade and employment, as were the glass and metalworking industries. Roman Empire_sentence_669

Imports stimulated new regional centres of production. Roman Empire_sentence_670

Southern Gaul became a leading producer of the finer red-gloss pottery (terra sigillata) that was a major item of trade in 1st-century Europe. Roman Empire_sentence_671

Glassblowing was regarded by the Romans as originating in Syria in the 1st century BC, and by the 3rd century Egypt and the Rhineland had become noted for fine glass. Roman Empire_sentence_672

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Performing arts Roman Empire_section_40

Main articles: Theatre of ancient Rome and Music of ancient Rome Roman Empire_sentence_673

In Roman tradition, borrowed from the Greeks, literary theatre was performed by all-male troupes that used face masks with exaggerated facial expressions that allowed audiences to "see" how a character was feeling. Roman Empire_sentence_674

Such masks were occasionally also specific to a particular role, and an actor could then play multiple roles merely by switching masks. Roman Empire_sentence_675

Female roles were played by men in drag (travesti). Roman Empire_sentence_676

Roman literary theatre tradition is particularly well represented in Latin literature by the tragedies of Seneca. Roman Empire_sentence_677

The circumstances under which Seneca's tragedies were performed are however unclear; scholarly conjectures range from minimally staged readings to full production pageants. Roman Empire_sentence_678

More popular than literary theatre was the genre-defying mimus theatre, which featured scripted scenarios with free improvization, risqué language and jokes, sex scenes, action sequences, and political satire, along with dance numbers, juggling, acrobatics, tightrope walking, striptease, and dancing bears. Roman Empire_sentence_679

Unlike literary theatre, mimus was played without masks, and encouraged stylistic realism in acting. Roman Empire_sentence_680

Female roles were performed by women, not by men. Roman Empire_sentence_681

Mimus was related to the genre called pantomimus, an early form of story ballet that contained no spoken dialogue. Roman Empire_sentence_682

Pantomimus combined expressive dancing, instrumental music and a sung libretto, often mythological, that could be either tragic or comic. Roman Empire_sentence_683

Although sometimes regarded as foreign elements in Roman culture, music and dance had existed in Rome from earliest times. Roman Empire_sentence_684

Music was customary at funerals, and the tibia (Greek aulos), a woodwind instrument, was played at sacrifices to ward off ill influences. Roman Empire_sentence_685

Song (carmen) was an integral part of almost every social occasion. Roman Empire_sentence_686

The Secular Ode of Horace, commissioned by Augustus, was performed publicly in 17 BC by a mixed children's choir. Roman Empire_sentence_687

Music was thought to reflect the orderliness of the cosmos, and was associated particularly with mathematics and knowledge. Roman Empire_sentence_688

Various woodwinds and "brass" instruments were played, as were stringed instruments such as the cithara, and percussion. Roman Empire_sentence_689

The cornu, a long tubular metal wind instrument that curved around the musician's body, was used for military signals and on parade. Roman Empire_sentence_690

These instruments are found in parts of the Empire where they did not originate, and indicate that music was among the aspects of Roman culture that spread throughout the provinces. Roman Empire_sentence_691

Instruments are widely depicted in Roman art. Roman Empire_sentence_692

The hydraulic pipe organ (hydraulis) was "one of the most significant technical and musical achievements of antiquity", and accompanied gladiator games and events in the amphitheatre, as well as stage performances. Roman Empire_sentence_693

It was among the instruments that the emperor Nero played. Roman Empire_sentence_694

Although certain forms of dance were disapproved of at times as non-Roman or unmanly, dancing was embedded in religious rituals of archaic Rome, such as those of the dancing armed Salian priests and of the Arval Brothers, priesthoods which underwent a revival during the Principate. Roman Empire_sentence_695

Ecstatic dancing was a feature of the international mystery religions, particularly the cult of Cybele as practiced by her eunuch priests the Galli and of Isis. Roman Empire_sentence_696

In the secular realm, dancing girls from Syria and Cadiz were extremely popular. Roman Empire_sentence_697

Like gladiators, entertainers were infames in the eyes of the law, little better than slaves even if they were technically free. Roman Empire_sentence_698

"Stars", however, could enjoy considerable wealth and celebrity, and mingled socially and often sexually with the upper classes, including emperors. Roman Empire_sentence_699

Performers supported each other by forming guilds, and several memorials for members of the theatre community survive. Roman Empire_sentence_700

Theatre and dance were often condemned by Christian polemicists in the later Empire, and Christians who integrated dance traditions and music into their worship practices were regarded by the Church Fathers as shockingly "pagan." Roman Empire_sentence_701

St. Roman Empire_sentence_702

Augustine is supposed to have said that bringing clowns, actors, and dancers into a house was like inviting in a gang of unclean spirits. Roman Empire_sentence_703

Literacy, books, and education Roman Empire_section_41

Main article: Education in ancient Rome Roman Empire_sentence_704

Estimates of the average literacy rate in the Empire range from 5 to 30% or higher, depending in part on the definition of "literacy". Roman Empire_sentence_705

The Roman obsession with documents and public inscriptions indicates the high value placed on the written word. Roman Empire_sentence_706

The Imperial bureaucracy was so dependent on writing that the Babylonian Talmud declared "if all seas were ink, all reeds were pen, all skies parchment, and all men scribes, they would be unable to set down the full scope of the Roman government's concerns." Roman Empire_sentence_707

Laws and edicts were posted in writing as well as read out. Roman Empire_sentence_708

Illiterate Roman subjects would have someone such as a government scribe (scriba) read or write their official documents for them. Roman Empire_sentence_709

Public art and religious ceremonies were ways to communicate imperial ideology regardless of ability to read. Roman Empire_sentence_710

The Romans had an extensive priestly archive, and inscriptions appear throughout the Empire in connection with statues and small votives dedicated by ordinary people to divinities, as well as on binding tablets and other "magic spells", with hundreds of examples collected in the Greek Magical Papyri. Roman Empire_sentence_711

The military produced a vast amount of written reports and service records, and literacy in the army was "strikingly high". Roman Empire_sentence_712

Urban graffiti, which include literary quotations, and low-quality inscriptions with misspellings and solecisms indicate casual literacy among non-elites. Roman Empire_sentence_713

In addition, numeracy was necessary for any form of commerce. Roman Empire_sentence_714

Slaves were numerate and literate in significant numbers, and some were highly educated. Roman Empire_sentence_715

Books were expensive, since each copy had to be written out individually on a roll of papyrus (volumen) by scribes who had apprenticed to the trade. Roman Empire_sentence_716

The codex—a book with pages bound to a spine—was still a novelty in the time of the poet Martial (1st century AD), but by the end of the 3rd century was replacing the volumen and was the regular form for books with Christian content. Roman Empire_sentence_717

Commercial production of books had been established by the late Republic, and by the 1st century AD certain neighbourhoods of Rome were known for their bookshops (tabernae librariae), which were found also in Western provincial cities such as Lugdunum (present-day Lyon, France). Roman Empire_sentence_718

The quality of editing varied wildly, and some ancient authors complain about error-ridden copies, as well as plagiarism or forgery, since there was no copyright law. Roman Empire_sentence_719

A skilled slave copyist (servus litteratus) could be valued as highly as 100,000 sesterces. Roman Empire_sentence_720

Collectors amassed personal libraries, such as that of the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum, and a fine library was part of the cultivated leisure (otium) associated with the villa lifestyle. Roman Empire_sentence_721

Significant collections might attract "in-house" scholars; Lucian mocked mercenary Greek intellectuals who attached themselves to Roman patrons. Roman Empire_sentence_722

An individual benefactor might endow a community with a library: Pliny the Younger gave the city of Comum a library valued at 1 million sesterces, along with another 100,000 to maintain it. Roman Empire_sentence_723

Imperial libraries housed in state buildings were open to users as a privilege on a limited basis, and represented a literary canon from which disreputable writers could be excluded. Roman Empire_sentence_724

Books considered subversive might be publicly burned, and Domitian crucified copyists for reproducing works deemed treasonous. Roman Empire_sentence_725

Literary texts were often shared aloud at meals or with reading groups. Roman Empire_sentence_726

Scholars such as Pliny the Elder engaged in "multitasking" by having works read aloud to them while they dined, bathed or travelled, times during which they might also dictate drafts or notes to their secretaries. Roman Empire_sentence_727

The multivolume Attic Nights of Aulus Gellius is an extended exploration of how Romans constructed their literary culture. Roman Empire_sentence_728

The reading public expanded from the 1st through the 3rd century, and while those who read for pleasure remained a minority, they were no longer confined to a sophisticated ruling elite, reflecting the social fluidity of the Empire as a whole and giving rise to "consumer literature" meant for entertainment. Roman Empire_sentence_729

Illustrated books, including erotica, were popular, but are poorly represented by extant fragments. Roman Empire_sentence_730

Primary education Roman Empire_section_42

Traditional Roman education was moral and practical. Roman Empire_sentence_731

Stories about great men and women, or cautionary tales about individual failures, were meant to instil Roman values (mores maiorum). Roman Empire_sentence_732

Parents and family members were expected to act as role models, and parents who worked for a living passed their skills on to their children, who might also enter apprenticeships for more advanced training in crafts or trades. Roman Empire_sentence_733

Formal education was available only to children from families who could pay for it, and the lack of state intervention in access to education contributed to the low rate of literacy. Roman Empire_sentence_734

Young children were attended by a pedagogus, or less frequently a female pedagoga, usually a Greek slave or former slave. Roman Empire_sentence_735

The pedagogue kept the child safe, taught self-discipline and public behaviour, attended class and helped with tutoring. Roman Empire_sentence_736

The emperor Julian recalled his pedagogue Mardonius, a Gothic eunuch slave who reared him from the age of 7 to 15, with affection and gratitude. Roman Empire_sentence_737

Usually, however, pedagogues received little respect. Roman Empire_sentence_738

Primary education in reading, writing, and arithmetic might take place at home for privileged children whose parents hired or bought a teacher. Roman Empire_sentence_739

Others attended a school that was "public," though not state-supported, organized by an individual schoolmaster (ludimagister) who accepted fees from multiple parents. Roman Empire_sentence_740

Vernae (homeborn slave children) might share in home- or public-schooling. Roman Empire_sentence_741

Schools became more numerous during the Empire, and increased the opportunities for children to acquire an education. Roman Empire_sentence_742

School could be held regularly in a rented space, or in any available public niche, even outdoors. Roman Empire_sentence_743

Boys and girls received primary education generally from ages 7 to 12, but classes were not segregated by grade or age. Roman Empire_sentence_744

For the socially ambitious, bilingual education in Greek as well as Latin was a must. Roman Empire_sentence_745

Quintilian provides the most extensive theory of primary education in Latin literature. Roman Empire_sentence_746

According to Quintilian, each child has in-born ingenium, a talent for learning or linguistic intelligence that is ready to be cultivated and sharpened, as evidenced by the young child's ability to memorize and imitate. Roman Empire_sentence_747

The child incapable of learning was rare. Roman Empire_sentence_748

To Quintilian, ingenium represented a potential best realized in the social setting of school, and he argued against homeschooling. Roman Empire_sentence_749

He also recognized the importance of play in child development, and disapproved of corporal punishment because it discouraged love of learning—in contrast to the practice in most Roman primary schools of routinely striking children with a cane (ferula) or birch rod for being slow or disruptive. Roman Empire_sentence_750

Secondary education Roman Empire_section_43

At the age of 14, upperclass males made their rite of passage into adulthood, and began to learn leadership roles in political, religious, and military life through mentoring from a senior member of their family or a family friend. Roman Empire_sentence_751

Higher education was provided by or rhetores. Roman Empire_sentence_752

The grammaticus or "grammarian" taught mainly Greek and Latin literature, with history, geography, philosophy or mathematics treated as explications of the text. Roman Empire_sentence_753

With the rise of Augustus, contemporary Latin authors such as Vergil and Livy also became part of the curriculum. Roman Empire_sentence_754

The rhetor was a teacher of oratory or public speaking. Roman Empire_sentence_755

The art of speaking (ars dicendi) was highly prized as a marker of social and intellectual superiority, and eloquentia ("speaking ability, eloquence") was considered the "glue" of a civilized society. Roman Empire_sentence_756

Rhetoric was not so much a body of knowledge (though it required a command of references to the literary canon) as it was a mode of expression and decorum that distinguished those who held social power. Roman Empire_sentence_757

The ancient model of rhetorical training—"restraint, coolness under pressure, modesty, and good humour"—endured into the 18th century as a Western educational ideal. Roman Empire_sentence_758

In Latin, illiteratus (Greek agrammatos) could mean both "unable to read and write" and "lacking in cultural awareness or sophistication." Roman Empire_sentence_759

Higher education promoted career advancement, particularly for an equestrian in Imperial service: "eloquence and learning were considered marks of a well-bred man and worthy of reward". Roman Empire_sentence_760

The poet Horace, for instance, was given a top-notch education by his father, a prosperous former slave. Roman Empire_sentence_761

Urban elites throughout the Empire shared a literary culture embued with Greek educational ideals (paideia). Roman Empire_sentence_762

Hellenistic cities sponsored schools of higher learning as an expression of cultural achievement. Roman Empire_sentence_763

Young men from Rome who wished to pursue the highest levels of education often went abroad to study rhetoric and philosophy, mostly to one of several Greek schools in Athens. Roman Empire_sentence_764

The curriculum in the East was more likely to include music and physical training along with literacy and numeracy. Roman Empire_sentence_765

On the Hellenistic model, Vespasian endowed chairs of grammar, Latin and Greek rhetoric, and philosophy at Rome, and gave teachers special exemptions from taxes and legal penalties, though primary schoolmasters did not receive these benefits. Roman Empire_sentence_766

Quintilian held the first chair of grammar. Roman Empire_sentence_767

In the eastern empire, Berytus (present-day Beirut) was unusual in offering a Latin education, and became famous for its school of Roman law. Roman Empire_sentence_768

The cultural movement known as the Second Sophistic (1st–3rd century AD) promoted the assimilation of Greek and Roman social, educational, and esthetic values, and the Greek proclivities for which Nero had been criticized were regarded from the time of Hadrian onward as integral to Imperial culture. Roman Empire_sentence_769

Educated women Roman Empire_section_44

Literate women ranged from cultured aristocrats to girls trained to be calligraphers and scribes. Roman Empire_sentence_770

The "girlfriends" addressed in Augustan love poetry, although fictional, represent an ideal that a desirable woman should be educated, well-versed in the arts, and independent to a frustrating degree. Roman Empire_sentence_771

Education seems to have been standard for daughters of the senatorial and equestrian orders during the Empire. Roman Empire_sentence_772

A highly educated wife was an asset for the socially ambitious household, but one that Martial regards as an unnecessary luxury. Roman Empire_sentence_773

The woman who achieved the greatest prominence in the ancient world for her learning was Hypatia of Alexandria, who educated young men in mathematics, philosophy, and astronomy, and advised the Roman prefect of Egypt on politics. Roman Empire_sentence_774

Her influence put her into conflict with the bishop of Alexandria, Cyril, who may have been implicated in her violent death in 415 at the hands of a Christian mob. Roman Empire_sentence_775

Shape of literacy Roman Empire_section_45

Literacy began to decline, perhaps dramatically, during the socio-political Crisis of the Third Century. Roman Empire_sentence_776

After the Christianization of the Roman Empire the Christians and Church Fathers adopted and used Latin and Greek pagan literature, philosophy and natural science with a vengeance to biblical interpretation. Roman Empire_sentence_777

Edward Grant writes that: Roman Empire_sentence_778

Julian, the only emperor after the conversion of Constantine to reject Christianity, banned Christians from teaching the Classical curriculum, on the grounds that they might corrupt the minds of youth. Roman Empire_sentence_779

While the book roll had emphasized the continuity of the text, the codex format encouraged a "piecemeal" approach to reading by means of citation, fragmented interpretation, and the extraction of maxims. Roman Empire_sentence_780

In the 5th and 6th centuries, due to the gradual decline and fall of the Western Roman Empire, reading became rarer even for those within the Church hierarchy. Roman Empire_sentence_781

However, in the Eastern Roman Empire, also known as Byzantine Empire, reading continued throughout the Middle Ages as reading was of primary importance as an instrument of the Byzantine civilization. Roman Empire_sentence_782

Literature Roman Empire_section_46

Main article: Latin literature Roman Empire_sentence_783

See also: Roman historiography, Church Fathers, and Latin poetry Roman Empire_sentence_784

In the traditional literary canon, literature under Augustus, along with that of the late Republic, has been viewed as the "Golden Age" of Latin literature, embodying the classical ideals of "unity of the whole, the proportion of the parts, and the careful articulation of an apparently seamless composition." Roman Empire_sentence_785

The three most influential Classical Latin poets—Vergil, Horace, and Ovid—belong to this period. Roman Empire_sentence_786

Vergil wrote the Aeneid, creating a national epic for Rome in the manner of the Homeric epics of Greece. Roman Empire_sentence_787

Horace perfected the use of Greek lyric metres in Latin verse. Roman Empire_sentence_788

Ovid's erotic poetry was enormously popular, but ran afoul of the Augustan moral programme; it was one of the ostensible causes for which the emperor exiled him to Tomis (present-day Constanța, Romania), where he remained to the end of his life. Roman Empire_sentence_789

Ovid's Metamorphoses was a continuous poem of fifteen books weaving together Greco-Roman mythology from the creation of the universe to the deification of Julius Caesar. Roman Empire_sentence_790

Ovid's versions of Greek myths became one of the primary sources of later classical mythology, and his work was so influential in the Middle Ages that the 12th and 13th centuries have been called the "Age of Ovid." Roman Empire_sentence_791

The principal Latin prose author of the Augustan age is the historian Livy, whose account of Rome's founding and early history became the most familiar version in modern-era literature. Roman Empire_sentence_792

Vitruvius's book De Architectura, the only complete work on architecture to survive from antiquity, also belongs to this period. Roman Empire_sentence_793

Latin writers were immersed in the Greek literary tradition, and adapted its forms and much of its content, but Romans regarded satire as a genre in which they surpassed the Greeks. Roman Empire_sentence_794

Horace wrote verse satires before fashioning himself as an Augustan court poet, and the early Principate also produced the satirists Persius and Juvenal. Roman Empire_sentence_795

The poetry of Juvenal offers a lively curmudgeon's perspective on urban society. Roman Empire_sentence_796

The period from the mid-1st century through the mid-2nd century has conventionally been called the "Silver Age" of Latin literature. Roman Empire_sentence_797

Under Nero, disillusioned writers reacted to Augustanism. Roman Empire_sentence_798

The three leading writers—Seneca the philosopher, dramatist, and tutor of Nero; Lucan, his nephew, who turned Caesar's civil war into an epic poem; and the novelist Petronius (Satyricon)—all committed suicide after incurring the emperor's displeasure. Roman Empire_sentence_799

Seneca and Lucan were from Hispania, as was the later epigrammatist and keen social observer Martial, who expressed his pride in his Celtiberian heritage. Roman Empire_sentence_800

Martial and the epic poet Statius, whose poetry collection Silvae had a far-reaching influence on Renaissance literature, wrote during the reign of Domitian. Roman Empire_sentence_801

The so-called "Silver Age" produced several distinguished writers, including the encyclopedist Pliny the Elder; his nephew, known as Pliny the Younger; and the historian Tacitus. Roman Empire_sentence_802

The Natural History of the elder Pliny, who died during disaster relief efforts in the wake of the eruption of Vesuvius, is a vast collection on flora and fauna, gems and minerals, climate, medicine, freaks of nature, works of art, and antiquarian lore. Roman Empire_sentence_803

Tacitus's reputation as a literary artist matches or exceeds his value as a historian; his stylistic experimentation produced "one of the most powerful of Latin prose styles." Roman Empire_sentence_804

The Twelve Caesars by his contemporary Suetonius is one of the primary sources for imperial biography. Roman Empire_sentence_805

Among Imperial historians who wrote in Greek are Dionysius of Halicarnassus, the Jewish historian Josephus, and the senator Cassius Dio. Roman Empire_sentence_806

Other major Greek authors of the Empire include the biographer and antiquarian Plutarch, the geographer Strabo, and the rhetorician and satirist Lucian. Roman Empire_sentence_807

Popular Greek romance novels were part of the development of long-form fiction works, represented in Latin by the Satyricon of Petronius and The Golden Ass of Apuleius. Roman Empire_sentence_808

From the 2nd to the 4th centuries, the Christian authors who would become the Latin Church Fathers were in active dialogue with the Classical tradition, within which they had been educated. Roman Empire_sentence_809

Tertullian, a convert to Christianity from Roman Africa, was the contemporary of Apuleius and one of the earliest prose authors to establish a distinctly Christian voice. Roman Empire_sentence_810

After the conversion of Constantine, Latin literature is dominated by the Christian perspective. Roman Empire_sentence_811

When the orator Symmachus argued for the preservation of Rome's religious traditions, he was effectively opposed by Ambrose, the bishop of Milan and future saint—a debate preserved by their missives. Roman Empire_sentence_812

In the late 4th century, Jerome produced the Latin translation of the Bible that became authoritative as the Vulgate. Roman Empire_sentence_813

Augustine, another of the Church Fathers from the province of Africa, has been called "one of the most influential writers of western culture", and his Confessions is sometimes considered the first autobiography of Western literature. Roman Empire_sentence_814

In The City of God against the Pagans, Augustine builds a vision of an eternal, spiritual Rome, a new imperium sine fine that will outlast the collapsing Empire. Roman Empire_sentence_815

In contrast to the unity of Classical Latin, the literary esthetic of late antiquity has a tessellated quality that has been compared to the mosaics characteristic of the period. Roman Empire_sentence_816

A continuing interest in the religious traditions of Rome prior to Christian dominion is found into the 5th century, with the Saturnalia of Macrobius and The Marriage of Philology and Mercury of Martianus Capella. Roman Empire_sentence_817

Prominent Latin poets of late antiquity include Ausonius, Prudentius, Claudian, and Sidonius Apollinaris. Roman Empire_sentence_818

Ausonius (d. ca. 394), the Bordelaise tutor of the emperor Gratian, was at least nominally a Christian, though throughout his occasionally obscene mixed-genre poems, he retains a literary interest in the Greco-Roman gods and even druidism. Roman Empire_sentence_819

The imperial panegyrist Claudian (d. 404) was a vir illustris who appears never to have converted. Roman Empire_sentence_820

Prudentius (d. ca. 413), born in Hispania Tarraconensis and a fervent Christian, was thoroughly versed in the poets of the Classical tradition, and transforms their vision of poetry as a monument of immortality into an expression of the poet's quest for eternal life culminating in Christian salvation. Roman Empire_sentence_821

Sidonius (d. 486), a native of Lugdunum, was a Roman senator and bishop of Clermont who cultivated a traditional villa lifestyle as he watched the Western empire succumb to barbarian incursions. Roman Empire_sentence_822

His poetry and collected letters offer a unique view of life in late Roman Gaul from the perspective of a man who "survived the end of his world". Roman Empire_sentence_823

Religion Roman Empire_section_47

Main articles: Religion in ancient Rome and Imperial cult (ancient Rome) Roman Empire_sentence_824

See also: History of the Jews in the Roman Empire, Early Christianity, and Religious persecution in the Roman Empire Roman Empire_sentence_825

Religion in the Roman Empire encompassed the practices and beliefs the Romans regarded as their own, as well as the many cults imported to Rome or practiced by peoples throughout the provinces. Roman Empire_sentence_826

The Romans thought of themselves as highly religious, and attributed their success as a world power to their collective piety (pietas) in maintaining good relations with the gods (pax deorum). Roman Empire_sentence_827

The archaic religion believed to have been handed down from the earliest kings of Rome was the foundation of the mos maiorum, "the way of the ancestors" or "tradition", viewed as central to Roman identity. Roman Empire_sentence_828

There was no principle analogous to "separation of church and state". Roman Empire_sentence_829

The priesthoods of the state religion were filled from the same social pool of men who held public office, and in the Imperial era, the Pontifex Maximus was the emperor. Roman Empire_sentence_830

Roman religion was practical and contractual, based on the principle of do ut des, "I give that you might give." Roman Empire_sentence_831

Religion depended on knowledge and the correct practice of prayer, ritual, and sacrifice, not on faith or dogma, although Latin literature preserves learned speculation on the nature of the divine and its relation to human affairs. Roman Empire_sentence_832

For ordinary Romans, religion was a part of daily life. Roman Empire_sentence_833

Each home had a household shrine at which prayers and libations to the family's domestic deities were offered. Roman Empire_sentence_834

Neighbourhood shrines and sacred places such as springs and groves dotted the city. Roman Empire_sentence_835

Apuleius (2nd century) described the everyday quality of religion in observing how people who passed a cult place might make a vow or a fruit offering, or merely sit for a while. Roman Empire_sentence_836

The Roman calendar was structured around religious observances. Roman Empire_sentence_837

In the Imperial era, as many as 135 days of the year were devoted to religious festivals and games (ludi). Roman Empire_sentence_838

Women, slaves, and children all participated in a range of religious activities. Roman Empire_sentence_839

In the wake of the Republic's collapse, state religion had adapted to support the new regime of the emperors. Roman Empire_sentence_840

As the first Roman emperor, Augustus justified the novelty of one-man rule with a vast programme of religious revivalism and reform. Roman Empire_sentence_841

Public vows formerly made for the security of the republic now were directed at the wellbeing of the emperor. Roman Empire_sentence_842

So-called "emperor worship" expanded on a grand scale the traditional Roman veneration of the ancestral dead and of the Genius, the divine tutelary of every individual. Roman Empire_sentence_843

Upon death, an emperor could be made a state divinity (divus) by vote of the Senate. Roman Empire_sentence_844

Imperial cult, influenced by Hellenistic ruler cult, became one of the major ways Rome advertised its presence in the provinces and cultivated shared cultural identity and loyalty throughout the Empire. Roman Empire_sentence_845

Cultural precedent in the Eastern provinces facilitated a rapid dissemination of Imperial cult, extending as far as the Augustan military settlement at Najran, in present-day Saudi Arabia. Roman Empire_sentence_846

Rejection of the state religion became tantamount to treason against the emperor. Roman Empire_sentence_847

This was the context for Rome's conflict with Christianity, which Romans variously regarded as a form of atheism and novel superstitio. Roman Empire_sentence_848

The Romans are known for the great number of deities they honoured, a capacity that earned the mockery of early Christian polemicists. Roman Empire_sentence_849

As the Romans extended their dominance throughout the Mediterranean world, their policy in general was to absorb the deities and cults of other peoples rather than try to eradicate them. Roman Empire_sentence_850

One way that Rome promoted stability among diverse peoples was by supporting their religious heritage, building temples to local deities that framed their theology within the hierarchy of Roman religion. Roman Empire_sentence_851

Inscriptions throughout the Empire record the side-by-side worship of local and Roman deities, including dedications made by Romans to local gods. Roman Empire_sentence_852

By the height of the Empire, numerous cults of pseudo-foreign gods (Roman reinventions of foreign gods) were cultivated at Rome and in the provinces, among them cults of Cybele, Isis, Epona, and of solar gods such as Mithras and Sol Invictus, found as far north as Roman Britain. Roman Empire_sentence_853

Because Romans had never been obligated to cultivate one god or one cult only, religious tolerance was not an issue in the sense that it is for competing monotheistic systems. Roman Empire_sentence_854

Mystery religions, which offered initiates salvation in the afterlife, were a matter of personal choice for an individual, practiced in addition to carrying on one's family rites and participating in public religion. Roman Empire_sentence_855

The mysteries, however, involved exclusive oaths and secrecy, conditions that conservative Romans viewed with suspicion as characteristic of "magic", conspiracy (coniuratio), and subversive activity. Roman Empire_sentence_856

Sporadic and sometimes brutal attempts were made to suppress religionists who seemed to threaten traditional morality and unity. Roman Empire_sentence_857

In Gaul, the power of the druids was checked, first by forbidding Roman citizens to belong to the order, and then by banning druidism altogether. Roman Empire_sentence_858

At the same time, however, Celtic traditions were reinterpreted (interpretatio romana) within the context of Imperial theology, and a new Gallo-Roman religion coalesced, with its capital at the Sanctuary of the Three Gauls in Lugdunum (present-day Lyon, France). Roman Empire_sentence_859

The sanctuary established precedent for Western cult as a form of Roman-provincial identity. Roman Empire_sentence_860

The monotheistic rigour of Judaism posed difficulties for Roman policy that led at times to compromise and the granting of special exemptions. Roman Empire_sentence_861

Tertullian noted that the Jewish religion, unlike that of the Christians, was considered a religio licita, "legitimate religion." Roman Empire_sentence_862

Wars between the Romans and the Jews occurred when conflict, political as well as religious, became intractable. Roman Empire_sentence_863

When Caligula wanted to place a golden statue of his deified self in the Temple in Jerusalem, the potential sacrilege and likely war were prevented only by his timely death. Roman Empire_sentence_864

The Siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD led to the sacking of the temple and the dispersal of Jewish political power (see Jewish diaspora). Roman Empire_sentence_865

Christianity emerged in Roman Judea as a Jewish religious sect in the 1st century AD. Roman Empire_sentence_866

The religion gradually spread out of Jerusalem, initially establishing major bases in first Antioch, then Alexandria, and over time throughout the Empire as well as beyond. Roman Empire_sentence_867

Imperially authorized persecutions were limited and sporadic, with martyrdoms occurring most often under the authority of local officials. Roman Empire_sentence_868

The first persecution by an emperor occurred under Nero, and was confined to the city of Rome. Roman Empire_sentence_869

Tacitus reports that after the Great Fire of Rome in AD 64, some among the population held Nero responsible and that the emperor attempted to deflect blame onto the Christians. Roman Empire_sentence_870

After Nero, a major persecution occurred under the emperor Domitian and a persecution in 177 took place at Lugdunum, the Gallo-Roman religious capital. Roman Empire_sentence_871

A surviving letter from Pliny the Younger, governor of Bithynia, to the emperor Trajan describes his persecution and executions of Christians. Roman Empire_sentence_872

The Decian persecution of 246–251 was a serious threat to the Church, but ultimately strengthened Christian defiance. Roman Empire_sentence_873

Diocletian undertook what was to be the most severe persecution of Christians, lasting from 303 to 311. Roman Empire_sentence_874

In the early 4th century, Constantine I became the first emperor to convert to Christianity. Roman Empire_sentence_875

During the rest of the fourth century Christianity became the dominant religion of the Empire. Roman Empire_sentence_876

The emperor Julian, under the influence of his adviser Mardonius made a short-lived attempt to revive traditional and Hellenistic religion and to affirm the special status of Judaism, but in 380 (Edict of Thessalonica), under Theodosius I Christianity became the official state church of the Roman Empire, to the exclusion of all others. Roman Empire_sentence_877

From the 2nd century onward, the Church Fathers had begun to condemn the diverse religions practiced throughout the Empire collectively as "pagan." Roman Empire_sentence_878

Pleas for religious tolerance from traditionalists such as the senator Symmachus (d. 402) were rejected by the efforts of Pope Damasus I and Ambrose – Roman administrator turned bishop of Milan (374-397); Christian monotheism became a feature of Imperial domination. Roman Empire_sentence_879

Christian heretics as well as non-Christians were subject to exclusion from public life or persecution, but Rome's original religious hierarchy and many aspects of its ritual influenced Christian forms, and many pre-Christian beliefs and practices survived in Christian festivals and local traditions. Roman Empire_sentence_880

Political legacy Roman Empire_section_48

Main article: Legacy of the Roman Empire Roman Empire_sentence_881

Several states claimed to be the Roman Empire's successors after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Roman Empire_sentence_882

The Holy Roman Empire, an attempt to resurrect the Empire in the West, was established in 800 when Pope Leo III crowned Frankish King Charlemagne as Roman Emperor on Christmas Day, though the empire and the imperial office did not become formalized for some decades. Roman Empire_sentence_883

After the fall of Constantinople, the Russian Tsardom, as inheritor of the Byzantine Empire's Orthodox Christian tradition, counted itself the Third Rome (Constantinople having been the second). Roman Empire_sentence_884

These concepts are known as Translatio imperii. Roman Empire_sentence_885

When the Ottomans, who based their state on the Byzantine model, took Constantinople in 1453, Mehmed II established his capital there and claimed to sit on the throne of the Roman Empire. Roman Empire_sentence_886

He even went so far as to launch an invasion of Italy with the purpose of re-uniting the Empire and invited European artists to his capital, including Gentile Bellini. Roman Empire_sentence_887

In the medieval West, "Roman" came to mean the church and the Pope of Rome. Roman Empire_sentence_888

The Greek form Romaioi remained attached to the Greek-speaking Christian population of the Eastern Roman Empire, and is still used by Greeks in addition to their common appellation. Roman Empire_sentence_889

The Roman Empire's territorial legacy of controlling the Italian peninsula would influence Italian nationalism and the unification of Italy (Risorgimento) in 1861. Roman Empire_sentence_890

Further Roman imperialism was claimed by fascist ideology, particularly by the Italian Empire and Nazi Germany. Roman Empire_sentence_891

In the United States, the founders were educated in the classical tradition, and used classical models for landmarks and buildings in Washington, D.C., to avoid the feudal and religious connotations of European architecture such as castles and cathedrals. Roman Empire_sentence_892

In forming their theory of the mixed constitution, the founders looked to Athenian democracy and Roman republicanism for models, but regarded the Roman emperor as a figure of tyranny. Roman Empire_sentence_893

They nonetheless adopted Roman Imperial forms such as the dome, as represented by the US Capitol and numerous state capitol buildings, to express classical ideals through architecture. Roman Empire_sentence_894

Thomas Jefferson saw the Empire as a negative political lesson, but was a chief proponent of its architectural models. Roman Empire_sentence_895

Jefferson's design for the Virginia State Capitol, for instance, is modelled directly from the Maison Carrée, a Gallo-Roman temple built under Augustus. Roman Empire_sentence_896

The renovations of the National Mall at the beginning of the 20th century have been viewed as expressing a more overt imperialist kinship with Rome. Roman Empire_sentence_897

See also Roman Empire_section_49

Roman Empire_unordered_list_2

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: Empire.