Five important cities of the Roman Empire

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Map Showing Five Important Cities of the Roman Empire
The Map Depicts the Five Important Cities of the Roman Empire


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Roman Empire stretched around the Mediterranean Sea and included northern Africa, western Asia and southern Europe. It is considered to be one of the greatest empires in Western Civilization, and is also known for its profound influence on western culture. The Roman Empire began with Augustus Caesar as the first ruler, ended with Romulus Augustus (in the west) and Constantine XI (in the east) as its last rulers.

The Roman Empire is known for its complex social structure and taxation. The four classes that existed were: Roman citizens, Greeks, Metropolites, and the rural Egyptians. This social structure not only influenced the way of taxation, but also the justice system. People belonging to higher social strata paid less tax and faced less punishment than the people of lower strata.

The five major cities in the Roman Empire were:


Rome was invaded by Julius Caesar who established his dictatorship in 45 B.C. for which he was murdered. Thereby Augustus Caesar, Julius Caesar’s Nephew, established his own rule in Rome along with the Senate. Rome being the largest city in the world during the Empire saw significant infrastructural development in terms of roads and buildings. Under the Greek influence, Rome also flourished in the field of law and government. The Roman Empire is also known for its powerful army and high levels of hygiene.


The city had great military, cultural, and commercial importance for the Roman Empire. Owing to its size, it became the third largest city of the Empire. Roman architectural influence is seen in the city in terms of theaters (for example Circus of Antioch), baths and so on. It also holds religious importance, as it was here that the followers of Jesus were called Christians.


The second largest, and the wealthiest city of the Roman Empire, was annexed by Augustus Caesar, in 30 B.C., by defeating Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII. The city had its economic importance – it served as the largest port and major producer of grain for the Empire. Several reforms introduced by the Roman Empire includes; privatization in the field of trade, commerce, and land. Such administrative changes helped to achieve great level of efficiency and tax maximization.


It became the second city in the Roman Empire, only after the third Punic war fought between Carthage and Rome. It was Rome’s ambition to expand its trading capabilities that led to the conflict between the two, as Carthage was a great trading zone. Punic wars helped Rome to become an Empire by providing it with wealth, training, and a navy. After being destroyed, and then rebuilt after the death of Julius Caesar, it was made the capital of the African province. The city was both culturally and commercially important for the Empire. It is known to be emperors’ favorite city and Empire’s breadbasket.


Ephesus received the title ‘First and Greatest Metropolis of Asia,’ under Augustus after it was made the capital of the Asian province. The city flourished under the Roman Empire thereby becoming a major commercial center, and it also acquired governor’s seat. Several architectural contributions made by the Empire in this city are: Temple of Artemis, recognized as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the Library of Celsus. But over time, the city suffered decline due to cruel Roman Emperors.

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