16 Facts About Roman Empire

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

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2. 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.

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

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4. Roman Empire reached its largest expanse under Trajan, encompassing an area of 5 million square kilometres.

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5. The connectivity by land and sea between the vast territories of the Roman Empire made the transfer of infectious diseases from one region to another easier and more rapid than it was in smaller, more geographically confined societies.

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6. 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.

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

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8. The Roman 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.

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

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

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11. Main mining regions of the Roman Empire were the Iberian Peninsula; 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).

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12. 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".

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13. Unique source for Jewish figurative painting under the Roman Empire is the Dura-Europos synagogue, dubbed "the Pompeii of the Syrian Desert,".

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14. Roman Empire 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 or birch rod for being slow or disruptive.

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15. Urban elites throughout the Roman Empire shared a literary culture embued with Greek educational ideals.

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16. Roman Empire supported the church financially and made laws that favored it, but the new religion had established itself as successful prior to Constantine.

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