The Roman Empire in 117 AD, at its greatest extent.
|Languages||Regional / local languages|
|-||27 BC – AD 14||Augustus (first)|
|-||1449–1453||Constantine XI b|
|Historical era||Classical to late antiquity|
|-||Final War of the
|-||Empire established||30–2 BC|
|-||Empire at its
|-||Final East–West divide||395|
|-||Romulus Augustus deposed||476|
|-||Fall of Constantinople||29 May 1453|
|-||25 BC||2,750,000 km² (1,061,781 sq mi)|
|-||117||6,500,000 km² (2,509,664 sq mi)|
|-||390||4,400,000 km² (1,698,849 sq mi)|
|-||25 BC est.||56,800,000|
|Density||20.7 /km² (53.5 /sq mi)|
|Density||13.5 /km² (35.1 /sq mi)|
The Roman Empire (Latin: Imperium Romanum) was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterized by a government headed by an Emperor, and large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia Minor. The 500 year old republic which preceded it had been severely destabilized through a series of civil wars. Julius Caesar's assassination in 44 BC triggered a power vacuum that led to a succession of conflicts between supporters of Caesar and the Roman Senate. Octavian, Caesar's adopted son, defeated Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC after inheriting Caesar's estates. Following Antony and Cleopatra's suicides and the annexation of the Ptolemaic Egypt in 30 BC, the Roman Senate granted the honorific title Augustus to Octavian three years later in 27 BC, effectively bringing about the end of the Roman Republic.
The imperial successor to the Republic endured for some 500 years. The first two centuries of the Empire's existence were a period of unprecedented political stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana, or "Roman Peace". Following Octavian's victory, the size of the Empire was dramatically increased. After the assassination of Caligula in 41, the Senate briefly considered restoring the republic, but the Praetorian Guard were bribed to proclaim Claudius Emperor instead. Under Claudius, the Empire underwent its first major expansion since Augustus. After Claudius' successor, Nero, committed suicide in 68, the Empire suffered a period of brief civil wars, as well as a concurrent major rebellion in Judea, during which four different legionary generals were proclaimed Emperor. Vespasian emerged triumphant in 69, establishing the Flavian dynasty, before being succeeded by his son Titus, who opened the Colosseum shortly after the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. His short reign was followed by the long reign of his brother Domitian, who was ultimately assassinated. The Senate then appointed the first of the Five Good Emperors. The Empire reached its greatest extent under Trajan, the second in this line.
The reign of Commodus began a period of decline in imperial prosperity. Commodus' assassination in 192 triggered the Year of the Five Emperors, of which Septimus Severus emerged victorious. The assassination of Alexander Severus in 235 led to the Crisis of the Third Century in which 26 men were declared Emperor by the Roman Senate over a fifty year period. It was not until the reign of Diocletian that the Empire was successfully stabilized with the introduction of the Tetrarchy, which saw four Emperors rule the Empire at once. The division was ultimately unsuccessful, leading to a civil war that was finally ended by Constantine I, who defeated his rivals and became the sole ruler of east and west. Constantine subsequently shifted the capital of the east to Byzantium, which was renamed Constantinople in his honor. It remained the capital of the east until its demise in 1453. Constantine also adopted Christianity which later became the official state religion of the Empire. Following the death of Theodosius I, the last Emperor to rule a united Empire, the dominion of the Empire was gradually eroded by abuses of power, civil wars, barbarian migrations and invasions, military reforms and economic depression. The Sack of Rome in 410 by the Visigoths and again in 455 by the Vandals accelerated the Western Empire's decay, while the deposition of the Emperor Romulus Augustus in 476 by Odoacer is generally accepted to mark the end of the Empire in the west. The Eastern Roman Empire endured for another thousand years, eventually falling to the Ottoman Turks under Mehmed II in 1453.
During its tenure, the Roman Empire was among the most powerful economic, cultural, political and military forces in the world. It was the largest empire of the Classical antiquity period, and one of the largest empires in world history. At its height under Trajan, it covered 6.8 million square kilometers and held sway over some 70 million people, at that time, 21% of the world's entire population. The longevity and vast extent of the Empire ensured the lasting influence of Latin and Greek language, culture, religion, inventions, architecture, philosophy, law and forms of government on the Empire's descendants. Throughout the European medieval period, attempts were even made to establish successors to the Roman Empire, including the Crusader state, the Empire of Romania and the Holy Roman Empire. By means of European expansionism, especially through the Spanish, French, Portuguese and British empires, Roman and Greek culture was spread on a worldwide scale, playing a significant role in the development of the modern world.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography and demography
- 3 Languages
- 4 Society
- 5 Government and military
- 6 Economy
- 7 Architecture and engineering
- 8 Daily life
- 9 The arts
- 10 Literacy, books, and education
- 11 Literature
- 12 Religion
- 13 Political legacy
- 14 See also
- 15 Notes
- 16 References
- 17 Sources
- 18 Further reading
- 19 External links
Rome had begun expanding shortly after the founding of the Republic in the 6th century BC, though didn't expand outside of Italy until the 3rd century BC. In a sense then, it was an "empire" long before it had an Emperor. 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. It was ruled, not by Emperors, but by annually elected magistrates (Roman Consuls above all) in conjunction with the Senate. For various reasons, the 1st century BC was a time of political and military upheaval, which ultimately led to rule by Emperors. The consuls' military power rested in the Roman legal concept of imperium, which literally means "command" (though typically in a military sense). Occassionaly, successful consuls were given the honorary title Imperator (commander), and this is the origin of the word "Emperor" (and "Empire") since this title was always bestowed to the early Emperors upon their accession.
A series of civil wars in the mid 1st century BC climaxed with the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC, though the fighting soon resumed. Caesar's opponents were defeated at the Battle of Phillipi in 42 BC by an army led by Mark Antony and Caesar's adopted son Octavian. Antony and Octavian divided the Roman world amongst themselves, though fighting began again and ultimately led to Antony's defeat at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC. In 27 BC the Senate and People of Rome made Octavian princeps ("first citizen"), 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"). Though the old constitutional machinery remained in place, Augustus came to predominate it. 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. 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. The 200 years that began with Augustus' rule is traditionally regarded as the Pax Romana ("Roman Peace"). 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. Uprisings in the provinces were infrequent, but put down "mercilessly and swiftly" when they occurred. The sixty years of Jewish–Roman wars in the second half of the first century and the first half of the 2nd century were exceptional in their duration and violence.
The success of Augustus in establishing principles of dynastic succession was limited by his outliving a number of talented potential heirs: 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. 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. 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.
In 212, during the reign of Caracalla, Roman citizenship was granted to all freeborn inhabitants of the Empire. 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 depression, and plague. In defining historical epochs, this crisis is sometimes viewed as marking the transition from Classical Antiquity to Late Antiquity. Diocletian (reigned 284–305) brought the Empire back from the brink, but declined the role of princeps and became the first emperor to be addressed regularly as domine, "master" or "lord". This marked the end of the Principate, and the beginning of the Dominate. Diocletian's reign also brought the Empire's most concerted effort against the perceived threat of Christianity, the "Great Persecution". The state of absolute monarchy that began with Diocletian endured until the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476.
Diocletian divided the empire into four pieces, each ruled by a separate Emperor (the Tetrarchy). Confident that he fixed the disorders that were plaguing Rome, he abdicated along with his co-emperor, and the Tetrarchy soon collapsed. Order was eventually restored by Constantine, who became the first emperor to convert to Christianity, and who established Constantinople as the new capital of the eastern empire. During the decades of the Constantinian and Valentinian dynasties, the Empire was divided along an east-west axis, with dual power centers in Constantinople and Rome. The reign of Julian, who attempted to restore Classical Roman and Hellenistic religion, only briefly interrupted the succession of Christian emperors. Theodosius I, the last emperor to rule over both East and West, died in 395 AD after making Christianity the official state religion.
The 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. The Romans were successful in fighting off all invaders, most famously Attila the Hun, though the Empire had assimilated so many Germanic peoples of dubious loyalty to Rome that the Empire started to dismember itself. Most chronologies place the end of the Western Roman empire in 476, when Romulus Augustulus was forced to abdicate to the Germanic warlord Odoacer. By placing himself under the rule of the Eastern Emperor, rather than naming himself Emperor (as other Germanic chiefs had done after deposing past Emperors), Odoacer ended the Western Empire by ending the line of Western Emperors. The empire in the East—known today as the Byzantine Empire, but referred to in its time as the "Roman Empire" or by various other names—ended in 1453 with the death of Constantine XI and the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks.
Geography and demography
The Roman Empire was one of the largest in history, with contiguous territories throughout Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. The Latin phrase imperium sine fine ("empire without end") expressed the ideology that neither time nor space limited the Empire. In Vergil's epic poem the Aeneid, limitless empire is said to be granted to the Romans by their supreme deity Jupiter. This claim of universal dominion was renewed and perpetuated when the Empire came under Christian rule in the 4th century.
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. 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. When Augustus died, the commemorative account of his achievements (Res Gestae) prominently featured the geographical cataloguing of peoples and places within the Empire. Geography, the census, and the meticulous keeping of written records were central concerns of Roman Imperial administration.
The Empire reached its largest expanse under Trajan (reigned 98–117), encompassing an area of 5 million square kilometres that as of 2009 was divided among forty different modern countries. 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. Recent demographic studies have argued for a population peak ranging from 70 million to more than 100 million. 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.
As the historian Christopher Kelly has described it:
Then the empire stretched from Hadrian's Wall in drizzle-soaked northern England to the sun-baked banks of the Euphrates in Syria; from the great Rhine–Danube river system, which snaked across the fertile, flat lands of Europe from the Low Countries to the Black Sea, to the rich plains of the North African coast and the luxuriant gash of the Nile Valley in Egypt. The empire completely circled the Mediterranean ... referred to by its conquerors as mare nostrum—'our sea'.
Trajan's successor Hadrian adopted a policy of maintaining rather than expanding the empire. Borders (fines) were marked, and the frontiers (limites) patrolled. The most heavily fortified borders were the most unstable. 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.
The language of the Romans was Latin, which Virgil emphasizes as a source of Roman unity and tradition. Until the time of Alexander Severus (reigned 222–235), the birth certificates and wills of Roman citizens had to be written in Latin. Latin was the language of the law courts in the West and of the military throughout the Empire, but was not imposed officially on peoples brought under Roman rule. This policy contrasts with that of Alexander the Great, who aimed to impose Greek throughout his empire as the official language. As a consequence of Alexander's conquests, koine Greek had become the shared language around the eastern Mediterranean and into Asia Minor. The "linguistic frontier" dividing the Latin West and the Greek East passed through the Balkan peninsula.
Romans who received an elite education studied Greek as a literary language, and most men of the governing classes could speak Greek. The Julio-Claudian emperors encouraged high standards of correct Latin (Latinitas), a linguistic movement identified in modern terms as Classical Latin, and favoured Latin for conducting official business. Claudius tried to limit the use of Greek, and on occasion revoked the citizenship of those who lacked Latin, but even in the Senate he drew on his own bilingualism in communicating with Greek-speaking ambassadors. Suetonius quotes him as referring to "our two languages".
In the Eastern empire, laws and official documents were regularly translated into Greek from Latin. The everyday interpenetration of the two languages is indicated by bilingual inscriptions, which sometimes even switch back and forth between Greek and Latin. After all freeborn inhabitants of the empire were universally enfranchised in 212 AD, a great number of Roman citizens would have lacked Latin, though they were expected to acquire at least a token knowledge, and Latin remained a marker of "Romanness."
Among other reforms, the emperor Diocletian (reigned 284–305) sought to renew the authority of Latin, and the Greek expression hē kratousa dialektos attests to the continuing status of Latin as "the language of power." In the early 6th century, the emperor Justinian engaged in a quixotic effort to reassert the status of Latin as the language of law, even though in his time Latin no longer held any currency as a living language in the East.
Local languages and linguistic legacy
References to interpreters indicate the continuing use of local languages other than Greek and Latin, particularly in Egypt, where Coptic predominated, and in military settings along the Rhine and Danube. Roman jurists also show a concern for local languages such as Punic, Gaulish, and Aramaic in assuring the correct understanding and application of laws and oaths. In the province of Africa, Punic was used for legends on coins during the time of Tiberius (1st century AD), and Punic inscriptions appear on public buildings into the 2nd century, some bilingual with Latin. In Syria, Palmyrene soldiers even used their dialect of Aramaic for inscriptions, in a striking exception to the rule that Latin was the language of the military.
The Babatha Archive is a suggestive example of multilingualism in the Empire. These papyri, named for a Jewish woman in the province of Arabia and dating from 93 to 132 AD, mostly employ Aramaic, the local language, written in Greek characters with Semitic and Latin influences; a petition to the Roman governor, however, was written in Greek.
The dominance of Latin among the literate elite may obscure the continuity of spoken languages, since all cultures within the Roman Empire were predominantly oral. In the West, Latin, referred to in its spoken form as Vulgar Latin, gradually replaced Celtic and Italic languages that were related to it by a shared Indo-European origin. Commonalities in syntax and vocabulary facilitated the adoption of Latin. Basque, not an Indo-European language, survived in the region of the Pyrenees.
After the decentralization of political power in late antiquity, Latin developed locally into branches that became the Romance languages, such as Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian and Romanian. As an international language of learning and literature, Latin itself continued as an active medium of expression for diplomacy and for intellectual developments identified with Renaissance humanism up to the 17th century, and for law and the Roman Catholic Church to the present.
Although Greek continued as the language of the Byzantine Empire, linguistic distribution in the East was more complex. A Greek-speaking majority lived in the Greek peninsula and islands, western Anatolia, major cities, and some coastal areas. Like Greek and Latin, the Thracian language was of Indo-European origin, as were several now-extinct languages in Anatolia attested by Imperial-era inscriptions. Various Afroasiatic languages—primarily Coptic in Egypt, and Aramaic in Syria and Mesopotamia—were never replaced by Greek. The international use of Greek, however, was one factor enabling the spread of Christianity, as indicated for example by the use of Greek for the Epistles of Paul.
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. The Roman attention to creating public monuments and communal spaces open to all—such as forums, amphitheaters, racetracks and baths—helped foster a sense of "Romanness".
Roman society had multiple, overlapping social hierarchies that modern concepts of "class" in English may not represent accurately. 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. From the perspective of the lower classes, a peak was merely added to the social pyramid. Personal relationships—patronage, friendship (amicitia), family, marriage—continued to influence the workings of politics and government, as they had in the Republic. 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.
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. Women, freedmen, and slaves had opportunities to profit and exercise influence in ways previously less available to them. 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.
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). The legal status of free persons might be further defined by their citizenship. In the early Empire, only a relatively limited number of men held full rights of Roman citizenship that allowed them to vote, run for office, and enter state priesthoods. 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. Free people not considered citizens, but living within the Roman world, held status as peregrini, non-Romans. 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. This legal egalitarianism would have required a far-reaching revision of existing laws that had distinguished between citizens and non-citizens.
Women as legal entities
Freeborn Roman women were considered citizens throughout the Republic and Empire, but did not vote, hold political office, or serve in the military. 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"). A Roman woman kept her own family name (nomen) for life. 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.
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. 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. 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. 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.
Girls had equal inheritance rights with boys if their father died without leaving a will. 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.
As part of the Augustan programme to restore traditional morality and social order, moral legislation attempted to regulate the conduct of women as a means of promoting "family values". 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. 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).
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. 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.
Slaves and the law
At the time of Augustus, as many as 35 percent 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. Slavery was a complex institution that supported traditional Roman social structures as well as contributing economic utility. 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. Agriculture and industry, such as milling and mining, relied on the exploitation of slaves. Outside Italy, slaves made up on average an estimated 10 to 20 percent of the population, sparse in Roman Egypt but more concentrated in some Greek areas. Expanding Roman ownership of arable land and industries would have affected preexisting practices of slavery in the provinces. 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. 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.
Laws pertaining to slavery were "extremely intricate". Under Roman law, slaves were considered property and had no legal personhood. They could be subjected to forms of corporal punishment not normally exercised on citizens, sexual exploitation, torture, and summary execution. 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. 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. 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.
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. 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. Within a household or workplace, a hierarchy of slaves might exist, with one slave in effect acting as the master of other slaves.
Over time slaves gained increased legal protection, including the right to file complaints against their masters. 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. 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 slavery was not based on "race" in the modern sense. During the period of Republican expansionism when slavery had become pervasive, war captives were a main source of slaves. 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. Slaves were also traded in markets, and sometimes sold by pirates. Infant abandonment and self-enslavement among the poor were other sources. Vernae, by contrast, were "homegrown" slaves born to female slaves within the urban household or on a country estate or farm. 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.
Talented slaves with a knack for business might accumulate a large enough peculium to justify their freedom, or be manumitted for services rendered. 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.
Rome differed from Greek city-states in allowing freed slaves to become citizens. 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. 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. As a social class generally, freed slaves were libertini, though later writers used the terms libertus and libertinus interchangeably.
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. 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. Any future children of a freedman would be born free, with full rights of citizenship.
The rise of successful freedmen—through either political influence in imperial service, or wealth—is a characteristic of early Imperial society. The prosperity of a high-achieving group of freedmen is attested by inscriptions throughout the Empire, and by their ownership of some of the most lavish houses at Pompeii, such as the House of the Vettii. 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. Such individuals, while exceptional, are indicative of the upward social mobility possible in the Empire.
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. One purpose of the Roman census was to determine the ordo to which an individual belonged. The two highest ordines in Rome were the senatorial and equestrian. Outside Rome, the decurions, also known as curiales (Greek bouleutai), were the top governing ordo of an individual city.
"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. A senator also had to meet a minimum property requirement of 1 million sestertii, as determined by the census. Nero made large gifts of money to a number of senators from old families who had become too impoverished to qualify. Not all men who qualified for the ordo senatorius chose to take a Senate seat, which required legal domicile at Rome. Emperors often filled vacancies in the 600-member body by appointment. A senator's son belonged to the ordo senatorius, but he had to qualify on his own merits for admission to the Senate itself. A senator could be removed for violating moral standards: he was prohibited, for instance, from marrying a freedwoman or fighting in the arena.
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. The first senator from the most eastern province, Cappadocia, was admitted under Marcus Aurelius. By the time of the Severan dynasty (193–235), Italians made up less than half the Senate. 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).
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. 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. A census valuation of 400,000 sesterces and three generations of free birth qualified a man as an equestrian. 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. Equestrians rose through a military career track (tres militiae) to become highly placed prefects and procurators within the Imperial administration.
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 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. Admission to the higher ordines brought distinction and privileges, but also a number of responsibilities. 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. Maintaining one's rank required massive personal expenditures. 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.
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". The appellation clarissimus (Greek lamprotatos) was used to designate the dignitas of certain senators and their immediate family, including women. "Grades" of equestrian status proliferated. Those in Imperial service were ranked by pay grade (sexagenarius, 60,000 sesterces per annum; centenarius, 100,000; ducenarius, 200,000). The title eminentissimus, "most eminent" (Greek exochôtatos) was reserved for equestrians who had been Praetorian prefects. The higher equestrian officials in general were perfectissimi, "most distinguished" (Greek diasêmotatoi), the lower merely egregii, "outstanding" (Greek kratistos).
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). In general, honestiores were the members of the three higher "orders," along with certain military officers. 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. 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.
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 honorable," 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. 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.
Government and military
The three major elements of the Imperial Roman state were the central government, the military, and provincial government. 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. Without modern instruments of either mass communication or mass destruction, the Romans lacked sufficient manpower or resources to impose their rule through force alone. Cooperation with local power elites was necessary to maintain order, collect information, and extract revenue. 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".
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. Legal privileges and relative independence were an incentive to remain in good standing with Rome. Roman government was thus limited, but efficient in its use of the resources available to it.
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. 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. 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.
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. A bureaucracy formed around him only gradually. The Julio-Claudian emperors relied on an informal body of advisors that included not only senators and equestrians, but trusted slaves and freedmen. 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. 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. The women of the emperor's family often intervened directly in his decisions. Plotina exercised influence on both her husband Trajan and his successor Hadrian. 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.
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. The common people who lacked this access could manifest their general approval or displeasure as a group at the games held in large venues. By the 4th century, as urban centres decayed, the Christian emperors became remote figureheads who issued general rulings, no longer responding to individual petitions.
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. 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. A successful career required competence as an administrator and remaining in favour with the emperor, or over time perhaps multiple emperors.
The practical source of an emperor's power and authority was the military. The legionaries were paid by the Imperial treasury, and swore an annual military oath of loyalty to the emperor (sacramentum). The death of an emperor led to a crucial period of uncertainty and crisis. Most emperors indicated their choice of successor, usually a close family member or adopted heir. The new emperor had to seek a swift acknowledgement of his status and authority to stabilize the political landscape. No emperor could hope to survive, much less to reign, without the allegiance and loyalty of the Praetorian Guard and of the legions. To secure their loyalty, several emperors paid the donativum, a monetary reward. In theory, the Senate was entitled to choose the new emperor, but did so mindful of acclamation by the army or Praetorians.
The soldiers of the Imperial Roman army were professionals who volunteered for 20 years of active duty and five as reserves. 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. For Imperial Rome, the military was a full-time career in itself.
- the garrison at Rome, which includes both the Praetorians and the vigiles who functioned as police and firefighters;
- the provincial army, comprising the Roman legions and the auxiliaries provided by the provinces (auxilia);
- the navy.
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. 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 archaeology of military burials, battle sites, and camps; and inscriptions, including military diplomas, epitaphs, and dedications.
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. 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.
In AD 9, Germanic tribes wiped out three full legions in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. This disastrous event reduced the number of the legions to 25. The total of the legions would later be increased again and for the next 300 years always be a little above or below 30. 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. No more than 2 percent of adult males living in the Empire served in the Imperial army.
Augustus also created the Praetorian Guard: nine cohorts, ostensibly to maintain the public peace, which were garrisoned in Italy. Better paid than the legionaries, the Praetorians served only sixteen years.
The auxilia were recruited from among the non-citizens. 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. According to Tacitus there were roughly as many auxiliaries as there were legionaries. The auxilia thus amounted to around 125,000 men, implying approximately 250 auxiliary regiments. The Roman cavalry of the earliest Empire were primarily from Celtic and Germanic areas, or Roman Spain. Several aspects of training and equipment, such as the four-horned saddle, derived from the Celts, as noted by Arrian and indicated by archaeology.
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. Another of its duties was the protection of the crucial maritime trade routes against the threat of pirates. It patrolled the whole of the Mediterranean, parts of the North Atlantic coasts, and the Black Sea. Nevertheless the army was considered the senior and more prestigious branch.
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. Further government recordkeeping included births and deaths, real estate transactions, taxes, and juridical proceedings. In the 1st and 2nd centuries, the central government sent out around 160 officials each year to govern outside Italy. 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. A governor had to make himself accessible to the people he governed, but he could delegate various duties. 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.
Other officials were appointed as supervisors of government finances. Separating fiscal responsibility from justice and administration was a reform of the Imperial era. Under the Republic, provincial governors and tax farmers could exploit local populations for personal gain more freely. 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). 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 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. Most parts of the Eastern empire already had well-established law codes and juridical procedures. 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. 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. 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.
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 law facilitated the acquisition of wealth by a pro-Roman elite who found their new privileges as citizens to be advantageous. 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. 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.
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.
Taxation under the Empire amounted to about 5 percent of gross product. The typical tax rate paid by individuals ranged from 2 to 5 percent. The tax code was "bewildering" in its complicated system of direct and indirect taxes, some paid in cash and some in kind. 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. 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. In-kind taxes were accepted from less-monetized areas, particularly those who could supply grain or goods to army camps.
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. 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. 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.
A major source of indirect-tax revenue was the portoria, customs and tolls on imports and exports, including among provinces. Special taxes were levied on the slave trade. Toward the end of his reign, Augustus instituted a 4 percent tax on the sale of slaves, which Nero shifted from the purchaser to the dealers, who responded by raising their prices. An owner who manumitted a slave paid a "freedom tax", calculated at 5 percent of value.
An inheritance tax of 5 percent was assessed when Roman citizens above a certain net worth left property to anyone but members of their immediate family. Revenues from the estate tax and from a 1 percent sales tax on auctions went toward the veterans' pension fund (aerarium militare).
Low taxes helped the Roman aristocracy increase their wealth, which equalled or exceeded the revenues of the central government. 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.
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." Current views are more complex. Territorial conquests permitted a large-scale reorganization of land use that resulted in agricultural surplus and specialization, particularly in north Africa. Some cities were known for particular industries or commercial activities, and the scale of building in urban areas indicates a significant construction industry. Papyri preserve complex accounting methods that suggest elements of economic rationalism, and the Empire was highly monetized. 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. 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. 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. Economic growth, though not comparable to modern economies, was greater than that of most other societies prior to industrialization.
Socially, economic dynamism opened up one of the avenues of social mobility in the Roman Empire. Social advancement was thus not dependent solely on birth, patronage, good luck, or even extraordinary ability. Although aristocratic values permeated traditional elite society, a strong tendency toward plutocracy is indicated by the wealth requirements for census rank. 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. Guilds (collegia) and corporations (corpora) provided support for individuals to succeed through networking, sharing sound business practices, and a willingness to work.
Currency and banking
Currency denominations
The early Empire was monetized to a near-universal extent, in the sense of using money as a way to express prices and debts. 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. The smallest coin commonly circulated was the bronze as (plural asses), one-fourth sestertius. Bullion and ingots seem not to have counted as pecunia, "money," and were used only on the frontiers for transacting business or buying property. 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. This tendency toward fiat money led eventually to the debasement of Roman coinage, with consequences in the later Empire. The standardization of money throughout the Empire promoted trade and market integration. The high amount of metal coinage in circulation increased the money supply for trading or saving.
Rome had no central bank, and regulation of the banking system was minimal. Banks of classical antiquity typically kept less in reserves than the full total of customers' deposits. A typical bank had fairly limited capital, and often only one principal, though a bank might have as many as six to fifteen principals. Seneca assumes that anyone involved in commerce needs access to credit.
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. 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. The holder of a debt could use it as a means of payment by transferring it to another party, without cash changing hands. 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. 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). Generally, available capital exceeded the amount needed by borrowers. The central government itself did not borrow money, and without public debt had to fund deficits from cash reserves.
Emperors of the Antonine and Severan dynasties overall debased the currency, particularly the denarius, under the pressures of meeting military payrolls. Sudden inflation during the reign of Commodus damaged the credit market. In the mid-200s, the supply of specie contracted sharply. 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. 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. Despite Diocletian's introduction of the gold solidus and monetary reforms, the credit market of the Empire never recovered its former robustness.
Mining and metallurgy
The main mining regions of the Empire were Spain (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). 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. The gold mines of Dacia, for instance, were no longer available for Roman exploitation after the province was surrendered in 271. Mining seems to have resumed to some extent during the 4th century.
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. The total annual iron output is estimated at 82,500 tonnes. 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; Spain alone had a 40 percent share in world lead production. The high lead output was a by-product of extensive silver mining which reached 200 t per annum. 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. 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.
Transportation and communication
The Roman Empire completely encircled the Mediterranean, which they called "our sea" (mare nostrum). Roman sailing vessels navigated the Mediterranean as well as the major rivers of the Empire, including the Guadalquivir, Ebro, Rhône, Rhine, Tiber and Nile. Transport by water was preferred where possible, and moving commodities by land was more difficult. Vehicles, wheels, and ships indicate the existence of a great number of skilled woodworkers.
Land transport utilized the advanced system of Roman roads. 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. Relay stations were located along the roads every seven to twelve Roman miles, and tended to grow into a village or trading post. A mansio (plural mansiones) was a privately run service station franchised by the imperial bureaucracy for the cursus publicus. The support staff at such a facility included muleteers, secretaries, blacksmiths, cartwrights, a veterinarian, and a few military police and couriers. The distance between mansiones was determined by how far a wagon could travel in a day. Mules were the animal most often used for pulling carts, travelling about 4 mph. 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. 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.
Trade and commodities
Roman provinces traded among themselves, but trade extended outside the frontiers to regions as far away as China and India. The main commodity was grain. 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. Also traded 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.
Though most provinces were capable of producing wine, regional varietals were desirable and wine was a central item of trade. Shortages of vin ordinaire were rare. The major suppliers for the city of Rome were the west coast of Italy, southern Gaul, the Tarraconensis region of Spain, and Crete. Alexandria, the second-largest city, imported wine from Laodicea in Syria and the Aegean. At the retail level, taverns or speciality wine shops (vinaria) sold wine by the jug for carryout and by the drink on premises, with price ranges reflecting quality.
Labour and occupations
Inscriptions record 268 different occupations in the city of Rome, and 85 in Pompeii. 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). These are sometimes quite specialized: one collegium at Rome was strictly limited to craftsmen who worked in ivory and citrus wood.
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. Convicts provided much of the labour in the mines or quarries, where conditions were notoriously brutal. In practice, there was little division of labour between slave and free, and most workers were illiterate and without special skills. 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.
Textile and clothing production was a major source of employment. 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". Better ready-to-wear was exported by businessmen (negotiatores or mercatores) who were often well-to-do residents of the production centres. 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. In Egypt, textile producers could run prosperous small businesses employing apprentices, free workers earning wages, and slaves. The fullers (fullones) and dye workers (coloratores) had their own guilds. Centonarii were guild workers who specialized in textile production and the recycling of old clothes into pieced goods.
GDP and income distribution
Economic historians vary in their calculations of the gross domestic product of the Roman economy during the Principate. In the sample years of 14, 100, and 150 AD, estimates of per capita GDP range from 166 to 380 HS. The GDP per capita of Italy is estimated as 40 to 66 percent higher than in the rest of the Empire, due to tax transfers from the provinces and the concentration of elite income in the heartland.
In the Scheidel–Friesen economic model, the total annual income generated by the Empire is placed at nearly 20 billion HS, with about 5 percent extracted by central and local government. Households in the top 1.5 percent of income distribution captured about 20 percent of income. Another 20 percent went to about 10 percent of the population who can be characterized as a non-elite middle. The remaining "vast majority" produced more than half of the total income, but lived near subsistence.
Architecture and engineering
The chief Roman contributions to architecture were the arch, vault and the dome. Even after more than 2,000 years some Roman structures still stand, due in part to sophisticated methods of making cements and concrete. Roman roads are considered the most advanced roads built until the early 19th century. The system of roadways facilitated military policing, communications, and trade. The roads were resistant to floods and other environmental hazards. Even after the collapse of the central government, some roads remained usable for more than a thousand years.
Roman bridges were among the first large and lasting bridges, built from stone with the arch as the basic structure. Most utilized concrete as well. 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 and span length.
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. They built 72 dams just on the Iberian peninsula, and many more are known across the Empire, some still in use. Several earthen dams are known from Roman Britain, including a well-preserved example from Longovicium (Lanchester).
The Romans constructed numerous aqueducts. A surviving treatise by Frontinus, who served as curator aquarum (water commissioner) under Nerva, reflects the administrative importance placed on ensuring the water supply. Masonry channels carried water from distant springs and reservoirs along a precise gradient, using gravity alone. After the water passed through the aqueduct, it was collected in tanks and fed through pipes to public fountains, baths, toilets, or industrial sites. The main aqueducts in the city of Rome were the Aqua Claudia and the Aqua Marcia. 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 aqueducts were built to remarkably fine tolerance, and to a technological standard that was not to be equalled until modern times. 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.
Insulated glazing (or "double glazing") was used in the construction of public baths. Elite housing in cooler climates might have hypocausts, a form of central heating. The Romans were the first culture to assemble all essential components of the much later steam engine, when Hero built the aeolipile.
City and country
In the ancient world, a city was viewed as a place that fostered civilization by being "properly designed, ordered, and adorned." Augustus undertook a vast building program 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. A focus of Augustan monumental architecture was the Campus Martius, an open area outside the city center that in early times had been devoted to equestrian sports and physical training for youth. 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. With its public gardens, the Campus became one of the most attractive places in the city to visit.
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. 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. 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. Urbanization in Roman Africa expanded on Greek and Punic cities along the coast.
The network of cities throughout the Empire (coloniae, municipia, civitates or in Greek terms poleis) was a primary cohesive force during the Pax Romana. Romans of the 1st and 2nd centuries AD were encouraged by imperial propaganda to "inculcate the habits of peacetime". As the classicist Clifford Ando has noted:
Most of the cultural appurtenances popularly associated with imperial culture—public cult and its games and civic banquets, competitions for artists, speakers, and athletes, as well as the funding of the great majority of public buildings and public display of art—were financed by private individuals, whose expenditures in this regard helped to justify their economic power and legal and provincial privileges.
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." 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.
In the city of Rome, most people lived in multistory apartment buildings (insulae) that were often squalid firetraps. 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. 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.
The public baths served hygienic, social and cultural functions. Bathing was the focus of daily socializing in the late afternoon before dinner. 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. Baths had hypocaust heating: the floors were suspended over hot-air channels that circulated warmth. Mixed nude bathing was not unusual in the early Empire, though some baths may have offered separate facilities or hours for men and women. Public baths were a part of urban culture throughout the provinces, but in the late 4th century, individual tubs began to replace communal bathing. 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". Tertullian says that otherwise Christians not only availed themselves of the baths, but participated fully in commerce and society.
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. 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. Although some neighbourhoods of Rome show a higher concentration of well-to-do houses, the rich did not live in segregated enclaves. Their houses were meant to be visible and accessible. 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. It was also a center of family religious rites, containing a shrine and the images of family ancestors. The houses were located on busy public roads, and ground-level spaces facing the street were often rented out as shops (tabernae). 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.
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. Ideally a villa commanded a view or vista, carefully framed by the architectural design. It might be located on a working estate, or in a "resort town" situated on the seacoast, such as Pompeii and Herculaneum.
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. Poetry praised the idealized lives of farmers and shepherds. 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. 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.
On a more practical level, the central government took an active interest in supporting agriculture. Producing food was the top priority of land use. Larger farms (latifundia) achieved an economy of scale that sustained urban life and its more specialized division of labour. Small farmers benefited from the development of local markets in towns and trade centres. 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.
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 (annona) to citizens who registered for it. About 200,000–250,000 adult males in Rome received the dole, amounting to about 33 kg. per month, for a per annum total of about 100,000 tons of wheat primarily from Sicily, north Africa, and Egypt. The dole cost at least 15 percent 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.
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". The annona, public facilities, and spectacular entertainments mitigated the otherwise dreary living conditions of lower-class Romans, and kept social unrest in check. The satirist Juvenal, however, saw "bread and circuses" (panem et circenses) as emblematic of the loss of republican political liberty:
The public has long since cast off its cares: the people that once bestowed commands, consulships, legions and all else, now meddles no more and longs eagerly for just two things: bread and circuses.
Food and dining
Most apartments in Rome lacked kitchens, though a charcoal brazier could be used for rudimentary cookery. Prepared food was sold at pubs and bars, inns, and food stalls (tabernae, cauponae, popinae, thermopolia). 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).
Most people would have consumed at least 70 percent of their daily calories in the form of cereals and legumes. Puls (pottage) was considered the aboriginal food of the Romans. The basic grain pottage could be elaborated with chopped vegetables, bits of meat, cheese, or herbs to produce dishes similar to polenta or risotto.
Urban populations and the military preferred to consume their grain in the form of bread. Mills and commercial ovens were usually combined in a bakery complex. 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.
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. Views on nutrition were influenced by schools of thought such as humoral theory.
Roman literature focuses on the dining habits of the upper classes, for whom the evening meal (cena) had important social functions. Guests were entertained in a finely decorated dining room (triclinium), often with a view of the peristyle garden. Diners lounged on couches, leaning on the left elbow. By the late Republic, if not earlier, women dined, reclined, and drank wine along with men.
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. The poet Martial describes serving a more plausible dinner, beginning with the gustatio ("tasting" or "appetizer"), which was a composed salad of mallow leaves, lettuce, chopped leeks, mint, arugula, mackerel garnished with rue, sliced eggs, and marinated sow udder. 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. 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."
A book-length collection of Roman recipes is attributed to Apicius, a name for several figures in antiquity that became synonymous with "gourmet." Roman "foodies" indulged in wild game, fowl such as peacock and flamingo, large fish (mullet was especially prized), and shellfish. Luxury ingredients were brought by the fleet from the far reaches of empire, from the Parthian frontier to the Straits of Gibraltar.
Refined cuisine could be moralized as a sign of either civilized progress or decadent decline. 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. 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. 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.
Some philosophers and Christians resisted the demands of the body and the pleasures of food, and adopted fasting as an ideal. 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. 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.
Recreation and spectacles
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. 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. From earliest times, several religious festivals had featured games (ludi), primarily horse and chariot races (ludi circenses). 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.
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. Circus games were preceded by an elaborate parade (pompa circensis) that ended at the venue. Competitive events were held also in smaller venues such as the amphitheatre, which became the characteristic Roman spectacle venue, and stadium. Greek-style athletics included footraces, boxing, wrestling, and the pancratium. Aquatic displays, such as the mock sea battle (naumachia) and a form of "water ballet", were presented in engineered pools. 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.
Circuses were the largest structure regularly built in the Roman world, though the Greeks had their own architectural traditions for the similarly purposed hippodrome. The Flavian Amphitheatre, better known as the Colosseum, became the regular arena for blood sports in Rome after it opened in 80 AD. The circus races continued to be held more frequently. The Circus Maximus could seat around 150,000 spectators, and the Colosseum about 50,000 with standing room for about 10,000 more. Many Roman amphitheatres, circuses and theatres built in cities outside Italy are visible as ruins today. The local ruling elite were responsible for sponsoring spectacles and arena events, which both enhanced their status and drained their resources.
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. The crowd could call for an outcome by booing or cheering, but the emperor had the final say. 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.
The chariot teams were known by the colours they wore, with the Blues and Greens the most popular. Fan loyalty was fierce and at times erupted into sports riots. Racing was perilous, but charioteers were among the most celebrated and well-compensated athletes. 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. Horses had their fans too, and were commemorated in art and inscriptions, sometimes by name. 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. 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. 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.
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. Some of the earliest styles of gladiator fighting had ethnic designations such as "Thracian" or "Gallic". The staged combats were considered munera, "services, offerings, benefactions", initially distinct from the fes/ref>
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.tival games (ludi). 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. 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 fascination with gladiators is indicated by how widely they are depicted on mosaics, wall paintings, lamps, and even graffiti drawings.
Gladiators were trained combatants who might be slaves, convicts, or free volunteers. 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. By contrast, noxii were convicts sentenced to the arena with little or no training, often unarmed, and with no expectation of survival. Physical suffering and humiliation were considered appropriate retributive justice for the crimes they had committed. These executions were sometimes staged or ritualized as re-enactments of myths, and amphitheatres were equipped with elaborate stage machinery to create special effects. Tertullian considered deaths in the arena to be nothing more than a dressed-up form of human sacrifice.
Modern scholars have found the pleasure Romans took in the "theater of life and death" to be one of the more difficult aspects of their civilization to understand and explain. 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". 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. Even martyr literature, however, offers "detailed, indeed luxuriant, descriptions of bodily suffering", and became a popular genre at times indistinguishable from fiction.
Personal training and play
In the plural, ludi almost always refers to the large-scale spectator games. 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).
Activities for children and young people included hoop rolling and knucklebones (astragali or "jacks"). The sarcophagi of children often show them playing games. Girls had dolls, typically 15–16 cm tall with jointed limbs, made of materials such as wood, terracotta, and especially bone and ivory. Ball games include trigon, which required dexterity, and harpastum, a rougher sport. Pets appear often on children's memorials and in literature, including birds, dogs, cats, goats, sheep, rabbits and geese.
After adolescence, most physical training for males was of a military nature. The Campus Martius originally was an exercise field where young men developed the skills of horsemanship and warfare. Hunting was also considered an appropriate pastime. 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.
Some women trained as gymnasts and dancers, and a rare few as female gladiators. The famous "bikini girls" mosaic shows young women engaging in apparatus routines that might be compared to rhythmic gymnastics. 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.
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. 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). 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.
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. Wearing the correct clothing was supposed to reflect a society in good order. 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. Contrary to popular perception, 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. 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.
The basic garment for all Romans, regardless of gender or wealth, was the simple sleeved tunic. 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. 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. Finer tunics were made of lightweight wool or linen. 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. Other garments could be layered over the tunic.
The Imperial toga was a "vast expanse" of semi-circular white wool that could not be put on and draped correctly without assistance. In his work on oratory, Quintilian describes in detail how the public speaker ought to orchestrate his gestures in relation to his toga. 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. The drapery became more intricate and structured over time, with the cloth forming a tight roll across the chest in later periods. 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. Only the emperor could wear an all-purple toga (toga picta).
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. Women are also portrayed in the pallium. 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. By the 4th century, the toga had been more or less replaced by the pallium as a garment that embodied social unity.
Roman clothing styles changed over time, though not as rapidly as fashions today. 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. These decorative elements consisted of geometrical patterns, stylised plant motifs, and in more elaborate examples, human or animal figures. The use of silk increased, and courtiers of the later Empire wore elaborate silk robes. 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.
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. 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. At Imperial public baths, a person of humble means could view wall paintings, mosaics, statues, and interior decoration often of high quality. In the private sphere, objects made for religious dedications, funerary commemoration, domestic use, and commerce can show varying degrees of aesthetic quality and artistic skill. 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. 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.
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. At the same time, the level of skill required to produce quality work was recognized, and even considered a divine gift.
Portraiture, which survives mainly in the medium of sculpture, was the most copious form of imperial art. Portraits during the Augustan period utilize youthful and classical proportions, evolving later into a mixture of realism and idealism. 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. 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. Clothed in the toga or military regalia, the body communicates rank or sphere of activity, not the characteristics of the individual.
Women of the emperor's family were often depicted dressed as goddesses or divine personifications such as Pax ("Peace"). 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. 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.
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. Niches in amphitheatres such as the Colosseum were originally filled with statues, and no formal garden was complete without statuary.
Temples housed the cult images of deities, often by famed sculptors. 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. Divine and mythological figures were also given secular, humorous, and even obscene depictions.
Elaborately carved marble and limestone sarcophagi are characteristic of the 2nd to the 4th centuries with at least 10,000 examples surviving. 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. The same workshops produced sarcophagi with Jewish or Christian imagery.
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. 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. Birds, animals, and marine life are often depicted with careful attention to realistic detail.
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.
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. The most common form is the tessellated mosaic, formed from uniform pieces (tesserae) of materials such as stone and glass. Mosaics were usually crafted on site, but sometimes assembled and shipped as ready-made panels. A mosaic workshop was led by the master artist (pictor) who worked with two grades of assistants.
Figurative mosaics share many themes with painting, and in some cases portray subject matter in almost identical compositions. Although geometric patterns and mythological scenes occur throughout the Empire, regional preferences also find expression. In North Africa, a particularly rich source of mosaics, homeowners often chose scenes of life on their estates, hunting, agriculture, and local wildlife. Plentiful and major examples of Roman mosaics come also from present-day Turkey, Italy, southern France, Spain, and Portugal. More than 300 Antioch mosaics from the 3rd century are known.
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. 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.
Decorative arts for luxury consumers included fine pottery, silver and bronze vessels and implements, and glassware. The manufacture of pottery in a wide range of quality was important to trade and employment, as were the glass and metalworking industries. Imports stimulated new regional centres of production. 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. 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.
Silver cup, from the Boscoreale treasure (early 1st century AD)
Finely decorated Gallo-Roman terra sigillata bowl
Glass cage cup from the Rhineland, latter 4th century
The Greek tradition of all-male literary theatre performed in masks continued into the Empire, represented in Latin literature by the tragedies of Seneca. The most popular form of theatre, however, was the genre-defying mimus, which featured scripted scenarios with improv, risqué language and jokes, sex scenes, action sequences, and political satire, along with dance numbers, juggling, acrobatics and tightrope walking, striptease, and trained bears. Mimus was played without masks, and promoted stylistic realism in acting. Female roles were performed by women, not by men in drag. Mimus was related to the genre called pantomimus, an early form of story ballet that contained no spoken dialogue. Pantomimus combined expressive dancing, instrumental music and a sung libretto, often mythological, that could be either tragic or comic.
Although sometimes regarded as foreign elements in Roman culture, music and dance had existed in Rome from earliest times. Music was customary at funerals, and the tibia (Greek aulos), a woodwind instrument, was played at sacrifices to ward off ill influences. Song (carmen) was an integral part of almost every social occasion. The Secular Ode of Horace, commissioned by Augustus, was performed publicly in 17 BC by a mixed children's choir. Music was thought to reflect the orderliness of the cosmos, and was associated particularly with mathematics and knowledge.
Various woodwinds and "brass" instruments were played, as were stringed instruments such as the cithara, and percussion. The cornu, a long tubular metal wind instrument that curved around the musician's body, was used for military signals and on parade. 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. Instruments are widely depicted in Roman art.
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. It was among the instruments that the emperor Nero played.
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. Ecstatic dancing was a feature of the international mystery religions, particularly the cult of Cybele as practised by her eunuch priests the Galli and of Isis. In the secular realm, dancing girls from Syria and Cadiz were extremely popular.
Like gladiators, entertainers were infames in the eyes of the law, little better than slaves even if they were technically free. "Stars", however, could enjoy considerable wealth and celebrity, and mingled socially and often sexually with the upper classes, including emperors. Performers supported each other by forming guilds, and several memorials for members of the theatre community survive. 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." St. Augustine is supposed to have said that bringing clowns, actors, and dancers into a house was like inviting in a gang of unclean spirits.
Literacy, books, and education
Estimates of the average literacy rate in the Empire range from 5 to 30 percent or higher, depending in part on the definition of "literacy". The Roman obsession with documents and public inscriptions indicates the high value placed on the written word. 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." Laws and edicts were posted in writing as well as read out. Illiterate Roman subjects would have someone such as a government scribe (scriba) read or write their official documents for them. Public art and religious ceremonies were ways to communicate imperial ideology regardless of ability to read. Although the Romans were not a "People of the Book", they 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. The military produced a vast amount of written reports and service records, and literacy in the army was "strikingly high". Urban graffiti, which include literary quotations, and low-quality inscriptions with misspellings and solecisms indicate casual literacy among non-elites. In addition, numeracy was necessary for any form of commerce. Slaves were numerate and literate in significant numbers, and some were highly educated.
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. 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. 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). 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. A skilled slave copyist (servus litteratus) could be valued as highly as 100,000 sesterces.
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. Significant collections might attract "in-house" scholars; Lucian mocked mercenary Greek intellectuals who attached themselves to philistine Roman patrons. 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. 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. Books considered subversive might be publicly burned, and Domitian crucified copyists for reproducing works deemed treasonous.
Literary texts were often shared aloud at meals or with reading groups. 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. The multivolume Attic Nights of Aulus Gellius is an extended exploration of how Romans constructed their literary culture. 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. Illustrated books, including erotica, were popular, but are poorly represented by extant fragments.
Traditional Roman education was moral and practical. Stories about great men and women, or cautionary tales about individual failures, were meant to instill Roman values (mores maiorum). 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. 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.
Young children were attended by a pedagogus, or less frequently a female pedagoga, usually a Greek slave or former slave. The pedagogue kept the child safe, taught self-discipline and public behaviour, attended class and helped with tutoring. The emperor Julian recalled his pedagogue Mardonius, a eunuch slave who reared him from the age of 7 to 15, with affection and gratitude. Usually, however, pedagogues received little respect.
Primary education in reading, writing, and arithmetic might take place at home for privileged children whose parents hired or bought a teacher. Others attended a school that was "public," though not state-supported, organized by an individual schoolmaster (ludimagister) who accepted fees from multiple parents. Vernae (homeborn slave children) might share in home- or public-schooling. Schools became more numerous during the Empire, and increased the opportunities for children to acquire an education. School could be held regularly in a rented space, or in any available public niche, even outdoors. Boys and girls received primary education generally from ages 7 to 12, but classes were not segregated by grade or age. For the socially ambitious, bilingual education in Greek as well as Latin was a must.
Quintilian provides the most extensive theory of primary education in Latin literature. 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. The child incapable of learning was rare. To Quintilian, ingenium represented a potential best realized in the social setting of school, and he argued against homeschooling. 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.
Secondary and higher education
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. Higher education was provided by grammatici or rhetores. The grammaticus or "grammarian" taught mainly Greek and Latin literature, with history, geography, philosophy or mathematics treated as explications of the text. With the rise of Augustus, contemporary Latin authors such as Vergil and Livy also became part of the curriculum. The rhetor was a teacher of oratory or public speaking. 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. 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. The ancient model of rhetorical training—"restraint, coolness under pressure, modesty, and good humour"—endured into the 18th century as a Western educational ideal.
In Latin, illiteratus (Greek agrammatos) could mean both "unable to read and write" and "lacking in cultural awareness or sophistication." 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". The poet Horace, for instance, was given a top-notch education by his father, a prosperous former slave.
Urban elites throughout the Empire shared a literary culture embued with Greek educational ideals (paideia). Hellenistic cities sponsored schools of higher learning as an expression of cultural achievement. 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. The curriculum in the East was more likely to include music and physical training along with literacy and numeracy. 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. Quintilian held the first chair of grammar. In the eastern empire, Berytus (present-day Beirut) was unusual in offering a Latin education, and became famous for its school of Roman law. The cultural movement known as the Second Sophistic (1st–3rd century AD) promoted the assimilation of Greek and Roman social, educational, and aesthetic values, and the Greek proclivities for which Nero had been criticized were regarded from the time of Hadrian onward as integral to Imperial culture.
Literate women ranged from cultured aristocrats to girls trained to be calligraphers and scribes. 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. Education seems to have been standard for daughters of the senatorial and equestrian orders during the Empire. A highly educated wife was an asset for the socially ambitious household, but one that Martial regards as an unnecessary luxury.
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. 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.
Decline of literacy
Literacy began to decline, perhaps dramatically, during the socio-political Crisis of the Third Century. Although the Church Fathers were well-educated, they regarded Classical literature as dangerous, if valuable, and reconstrued it through moralizing and allegorical readings. 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.
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. In the 5th and 6th centuries, reading became rarer even for those within the Church hierarchy.
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." The three most influential Classical Latin poets—Vergil, Horace, and Ovid—belong to this period. Vergil wrote the Aeneid, creating a national epic for Rome in the manner of the Homeric epics of Greece. Horace perfected the use of Greek lyric meters in Latin verse. 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 Constanţa, Romania), where he remained to the end of his life. 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. 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."
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. Vitruvius's book De Architectura, the only complete work on architecture to survive from antiquity, also belongs to this period.
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. Horace wrote verse satires before fashioning himself as an Augustan court poet, and the early Principate also produced the satirists Persius and Juvenal. The poetry of Juvenal offers a lively curmudgeon's perspective on urban society.
The period from the mid-1st century through the mid-2nd century has conventionally been called the "Silver Age" of Latin literature. Under Nero, disillusioned writers reacted to Augustanism. 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. Seneca and Lucan were from Roman Spain, as was the later epigrammatist and keen social observer Martial, who expressed his pride in his Celtiberian heritage. Martial and the epic poet Statius, whose poetry collection Silvae had a far-reaching influence on Renaissance literature, wrote during the reign of Domitian.
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. 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. 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." The Twelve Caesars by his contemporary Suetonius is one of the primary sources for imperial biography.
Among Imperial historians who wrote in Greek are Dionysius of Halicarnassus, the Jewish historian Josephus, and the senator Cassius Dio. Other major Greek authors of the Empire include the biographer and antiquarian Plutarch, the geographer Strabo, and the rhetorician and satirist Lucian. 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.
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. 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. After the conversion of Constantine, Latin literature is dominated by the Christian perspective. 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.
In the late 4th century, Jerome produced the Latin translation of the Bible that became authoritative as the Vulgate. 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. 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.
In contrast to the unity of Classical Latin, the literary aesthetic of late antiquity has a tessellated quality that has been compared to the mosaics characteristic of the period. 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. Prominent Latin poets of late antiquity include Ausonius, Prudentius, Claudian, and Sidonius. 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. The imperial panegyrist Claudian (d. 404) was a vir illustris who appears never to have converted. Prudentius (d. ca. 413), born in a province of Roman Spain 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. 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. 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".
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 practised by peoples throughout the provinces. 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). 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. There was no principle analogous to "separation of church and state". 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 religion was practical and contractual, based on the principle of do ut des, "I give that you might give." 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. For ordinary Romans, religion was a part of daily life. Each home had a household shrine at which prayers and libations to the family's domestic deities were offered. Neighborhood shrines and sacred places such as springs and groves dotted the city. 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. The Roman calendar was structured around religious observances. In the Imperial era, as many as 135 days of the year were devoted to religious festivals and games (ludi). Women, slaves, and children all participated in a range of religious activities.
In the wake of the Republic's collapse, state religion had adapted to support the new regime of the emperors. As the first Roman emperor, Augustus justified the novelty of one-man rule with a vast program of religious revivalism and reform. Public vows formerly made for the security of the republic now were directed at the wellbeing of the emperor. 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. Upon death, an emperor could be made a state divinity (divus) by vote of the Senate. 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. 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. Rejection of the state religion became tantamount to treason against the emperor. This was the context for Rome's conflict with Christianity, which Romans variously regarded as a form of atheism and novel superstitio.
The Romans are known for the great number of deities they honoured, a capacity that earned the mockery of early Christian polemicists. 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. 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. Inscriptions throughout the Empire record the side-by-side worship of local and Roman deities, including dedications made by Romans to local gods. By the height of the Empire, numerous international deities were cultivated at Rome and had been carried to even the most remote provinces, among them Cybele, Isis, Epona, and gods of solar monism such as Mithras and Sol Invictus, found as far north as Roman Britain. 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.
Mystery religions, which offered initiates salvation in the afterlife, were a matter of personal choice for an individual, practised in addition to carrying on one's family rites and participating in public religion. The mysteries, however, involved exclusive oaths and secrecy, conditions that conservative Romans viewed with suspicion as characteristic of "magic", conspiracy (coniuratio), and subversive activity. Sporadic and sometimes brutal attempts were made to suppress religionists who seemed to threaten traditional morality and unity. 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. At the same time, however, Celtic traditions were reinterpreted within 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). The sanctuary established precedent for Western cult as a form of Roman-provincial identity.
The monotheistic rigour of Judaism posed difficulties for Roman policy that led at times to compromise and the granting of special exemptions. Tertullian noted that the Jewish religion, unlike that of the Christians, was considered a religio licita, "legitimate religion." Wars between the Romans and the Jews occurred when conflict, political as well as religious, became intractable. 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. The Siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD led to the sacking of the temple and the dispersal of Jewish political power.
Christianity emerged in Roman Judea as a Jewish religious sect in the 1st century AD. 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. Imperially authorized persecutions were limited and sporadic, with martyrdoms occurring most often under the authority of local officials.
The first persecution by an emperor occurred under Nero, and was confined to the city of Rome. 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. After Nero, a major persecution occurred under the emperor Domitian and a persecution in 177 took place at Lugdunum, the Gallo-Roman religious capital. A surviving letter from Pliny the Younger, governor of Bythinia, to the emperor Trajan describes his persecution and executions of Christians. The Decian persecution of 246–251 was a serious threat to the Church, but ultimately strengthened Christian defiance. Diocletian undertook what was to be the most severe persecution of Christians, lasting from 303 to 311.
In the early 4th century, Constantine I became the first emperor to convert to Christianity, launching the era of Christian hegemony. The emperor Julian 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 religion of Rome, to the exclusion of all others. From the 2nd century onward, the Church Fathers had begun to condemn the diverse religions practised throughout the Empire collectively as "pagan." Pleas for religious tolerance from traditionalists such as the senator Symmachus (d. 402) were rejected, and Christian monotheism became a feature of Imperial domination. 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.
Several states claimed to be the Roman Empire's successors after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. 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. 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). These concepts are known as Translatio imperii.
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. 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.
In the medieval West, "Roman" came to mean the church and the Pope of Rome. 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.
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. 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. 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. Thomas Jefferson saw the Empire as a negative political lesson, but was a chief proponent of its architectural models. Jefferson's design for the Virginia State Capitol, for instance, is modelled directly from the Maison Carrée, a Gallo-Roman temple built under Augustus. 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.
- Other ways of referring to the "Roman Empire" among the Romans and Greeks themselves included Res publica Romana or Imperium Romanorum (also in Greek: Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων – Basileíā tôn Rhōmaíōn – ["Dominion (Literally 'kingdom') of the Romans"]) and Romania. Res publica means Roman "commonwealth" and can refer to both the Republican and the Imperial eras. Imperium Romanum (or Romanorum) refers to the territorial extent of Roman authority. Populus Romanus ("the Roman people") was/is often used to indicate the Roman state in matters involving other nations. The term Romania, initially a colloquial term for the empire's territory as well as a collective name for its inhabitants, appears in Greek and Latin sources from the 4th century onward and was eventually carried over to the Byzantine Empire (see R. L. Wolff, "Romania: The Latin Empire of Constantinople" in Speculum 23 (1948), pp. 1–34 and especially pp. 2–3).
- Bennett, J. Trajan: Optimus Princeps. 1997. Fig. 1. Regions east of the Euphrates river were held only in the years 116–117.
- Constantine I (306–337 AD) by Hans A. Pohlsander. Written 2004-01-08. Retrieved 2007-03-20.
- Taagepera, Rein (1979). "Size and Duration of Empires: Growth-Decline Curves, 600 B.C. to 600 A.D". Social Science History (Duke University Press) 3 (3/4): 125. doi:10.2307/1170959. JSTOR 1170959.
- John D. Durand, Historical Estimates of World Population: An Evaluation, 1977, pp. 253–296.
- Christopher Kelly, The Roman Empire: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 4ff.; Claude Nicolet, Space, Geography, and Politics in the Early Roman Empire (University of Michigan Press, 1991, originally published in French 1988), pp. 1, 15; T. Corey Brennan, The Praetorship in the Roman Republic (Oxford University Press, 2000), p. 605 et passim; Clifford Ando, "From Republic to Empire," in The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World (Oxford University Press, pp. 39–40.
- Clifford Ando, "The Administration of the Provinces," in A Companion to the Roman Empire (Blackwell, 2010), p. 179.
- Nicolet, Space, Geography, and Politics in the Early Roman Empire, pp. 1, 15; Olivier Hekster and Ted Kaizer, preface to Frontiers in the Roman World. Proceedings of the Ninth Workshop of the International Network Impact of Empire (Durham, 16–19 April 2009) (Brill, 2011), p. viii; Andrew Lintott, The Constitution of the Roman Republic (Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 114; W. Eder, "The Augustan Principate as Binding Link," in Between Republic and Empire (University of California Press, 1993), p. 98.
- John Richardson, "Fines provinciae," in Frontiers in the Roman World, p. 10.
- Richardson, "Fines provinciae," in Frontiers in the Roman World, pp. 1–2.
- Mary T. Boatwright, Hadrian and the Cities of the Roman Empire (Princeton University Press, 2000), p. 4.
- Yaron Z. Eliav, "Jews and Judaism 70–429 CE," in A Companion to the Roman Empire (Blackwell, 2010), p. 571.
- Dio Cassius 72.36.4, Loeb edition translated E. Cary
- Brown, P., The World of Late Antiquity, London 1971, p. 22.
- Adrian Goldsworth, How Rome Fell: Death of a Superpower (Yale University Press, 2009), pp. 405–415.
- Potter, David. The Roman Empire at Bay. 296–98.
- Chester G. Starr, A History of the Ancient World, Second Edition. Oxford University Press, 1974. pp. 670–678.
- Isaac Asimov. Asimov's Chronology of the World. Harper Collins, 1989. p. 110.
- Asimov, p. 198.
- Kelly, The Roman Empire, p. 3.
- Nicolet, Space, Geography, and Politics in the Early Roman Empire, p. 29; translated as "power without end" in Pat Southern, The Roman Empire from Severus to Constantine (Routledge, 2001), p. 16.
- Vergil, Aeneid 1.278; Nicolet, Space, Geography, and Politics, p. 29; David J. Mattingly, Imperialism, Power, and Identity: Experiencing the Roman Empire (Princeton University Press, 2011), p. 15; G. Moretti, "The Other World and the 'Antipodes': The Myth of Unknown Countries between Antiquity and the Renaissance," in The Classical Tradition and the Americas: European Images of the Americas (Walter de Gruyter, 1993), p. 257; Southern, The Roman Empire from Severus to Constantine, p. 16.
- Prudentius (348–413) in particular Christianizes the theme in his poetry, as noted by Marc Mastrangelo, The Roman Self in Late Antiquity: Prudentius and the Poetics of the Soul (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), pp. 73, 203. St. Augustine, however, distinguished between the secular and eternal "Rome" in The City of God. See also J. Rufus Fears, "The Cult of Jupiter and Roman Imperial Ideology," Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt II.17.1 (1981), p. 136 et passim, on how Classical Roman ideology influenced Christian Imperial doctrine; Peter Fibiger Bang, "The King of Kings: Universal Hegemony, Imperial Power, and a New Comparative History of Rome," in The Roman Empire in Context: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (John Wiley & Sons, 2011); and the Greek concept of globalism (oikouménē).
- Nicolet, Space, Geography, and Politics, pp. 7–8.
- Nicolet, Space, Geography, and Politics, pp. 9, 16.
- Nicolet, Space, Geography, and Politics, pp. 10–11.
- Southern, The Roman Empire from Severus to Constantine, p. 14.
- Keith Hopkins, "The Political Economy of the Roman Empire," in The Dynamics of Ancient Empires : State Power from Assyria to Byzantium (Oxford University Press, 2009), p. 183.
- Kelly, The Roman Empire, p. 1.
- Hopkins, "The Political Economy of the Roman Empire," p. 184.
- Raymond W. Goldsmith,"An Estimate of the Size and Structure of the National Product of the Early Roman Empire", Review of Income and Wealth, 30.3 (1984), pp. 263–288, especially p. 263.
- Walter Scheidel: Population and demography, Princeton/Stanford Working Papers in Classics, Version 1.0, April 2006, p. 9
- W.V. Harris, "Trade," in The Cambridge Ancient History: The High Empire A.D. 70–192 (Cambridge University Press, 2000), vol. 11, p. 721.
- Southern, The Roman Empire from Severus to Constantine, pp. 14–16.
- Olivier Hekster and Ted Kaizer, preface to Frontiers in the Roman World. Proceedings of the Ninth Workshop of the International Network Impact of Empire (Durhan, 16–19 April 2009) (Brill, 2011), p. viii.
- Greg Woolf, editor, Cambridge Illustrated History of the Roman World (Cambridge: Ivy Press, 2003), p. 340; Thorsten Opper, Hadrian: Empire and Conflict (Harvard University Press, 2008), p. 64; Nic Fields, Hadrian's Wall AD 122–410, which was, of course, at the bottom of Hadrian's garden. (Osprey Publishing, 2003), p. 35.
- Vergil, Aeneid 12.834 and 837; Bruno Rochette, "Language Policies in the Roman Republic and Empire," translated by James Clackson, in A Companion to the Latin Language (Blackwell, 2011), pp. 549, 563; J.N. Adams, "Romanitas and the Latin Language," Classical Quarterly 53.1 (2003), p. 184.
- Adams, "Romanitas and the Latin Language," pp. 186–187.
- Rochette, "Language Policies in the Roman Republic and Empire," pp. 554, 556.
- Rochette, "Language Policies in the Roman Republic and Empire," p. 549; Charles Freeman, The Greek Achievement: The Foundation of the Western World (New York: Penguin, 1999), pp. 389–433.
- Rochette, "Language Policies in the Roman Republic and Empire," p. 549, citing Plutarch, Life of Alexander 47.6.
- Fergus Millar, A Greek Roman Empire: Power and Belief under Theodosius II (408–450) (University of California Press, 2006), p. 279; Warren Treadgold, "A History of the Byzantine State and Society" (Stanford University Press, 1997), p. 5.
- Rochette, "Language Policies in the Roman Republic and Empire," p. 553.
- Cicero, In Catilinam 2.15, P.Ryl. I 61 "recto".
- Rochette, "Language Policies in the Roman Republic and Empire," pp. 550–552.
- Rochette, "Language Policies in the Roman Republic and Empire," p. 552.
- Suetonius, Life of Claudius 42.
- Rochette, "Language Policies in the Roman Republic and Empire," pp. 553–554.
- Rochette, "Language Policies in the Roman Republic and Empire," p. 556; Adams, "Romanitas and the Latin Language," p. 200.
- Adams, "Romanitas and the Latin Language," pp. 185–186, 205.
- Rochette, "Language Policies in the Roman Republic and Empire," p. 560.
- Rochette, "Language Policies in the Roman Republic and Empire," pp. 562–563.
- Rochette, "Language Policies in the Roman Republic and Empire," pp. 558–559.
- Richard Miles, "Communicating Culture, Identity, and Power," in Experiencing Power: Culture, Identity and Power in the Roman Empire (Routledge, 200), pp. 58–59.
- Adams, "Romanitas and the Latin Language," p. 199.
- Rochette, "Language Policies in the Roman Republic and Empire," pp. 553–555.
- Miles, "Communicating Culture, Identity, and Power," pp. 59–60.
- Rochette, "Language Policies in the Roman Republic and Empire," p. 550; Stefan Zimmer, "Indo-European," in Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia (ABC-Clio, 2006), p. 961; Leonard A. Curchin, "Literacy in the Roman Provinces: Qualitative and Quantitative Data from Central Spain," American Journal of Philology 116.3 (1995), p. 464.
- Karmele Rotaetxe, "Basque as a Literary Language," in A Comparative History of Literatures in the Iberian Peninsula (John Benjamins, 2010), p. 446.
- Françoise Waquet, Latin, Or, The Empire of the Sign: From the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Century (Verso, 2001; originally published 1998 in French), pp. 1–2; Kristian Jensen, "The Humanist Reform of Latin and Latin Teaching," in The Cambridge Companion to Renaissance Humanism (Cambridge University Press, 1996, 2003), pp. 63–64.
- Treadgold, A History of the Byzantine State and Society, p. 5.
- Miles, "Communicating Culture, Identity, and Power," p. 58; Treadwell, A History of the Byzantine State and Society, pp. 5–7.
- Treadgold, A History of the Byzantine State, p. 5.
- Michael Peachin, introduction to The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World (Oxford University Press, 2011) p. 12.
- Peachin, introduction to The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World, p. 16.
- Peachin, introduction to The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World, p. 9, citing particularly Géza Alföldy, Römische Sozialgeschichte (first published 1975) on "the innate, potent, and widely institutionalized hierarchic character of Roman society," and pp. 21–22 (note 45 on the problems of "class" as a term).
- Peter Garnsey and Richard Saller, The Roman Empire: Economy, Society and Culture (University of California Press, 1987), p. 107.
- Carlos F. Noreña,Imperial Ideals in the Roman West: Representation, Circulation, Power (Cambridge University Press, 2011), p. 7.
- Peachin, introduction to The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World, pp. 4–5.
- Aloys Winterling, Politics and Society in Imperial Rome (John Wiley & Sons, 2009, originally published 1988 in German), pp. 11, 21.
- Richard P. Saller, Personal Patronage under the Early Empire (Cambridge University Press, 1982, 2002), pp. 123, 176, 183 et passim; Anne Duncan, Performance and Identity in the Classical World (Cambridge University Press, 2006), p. 164.
- Meyer Reinhold, Studies in Classical History and Society (Oxford University Press, 2002), p. 25ff. and 42.
- Richard Saller, "Status and patronage", Cambridge Ancient History: The High Empire, A.D. 70–192 (Cambridge University Press, 2000), p. 18.
- Peachin, introduction to The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World, pp. 17, 20.
- Fergus Millar, "Empire and City, Augustus to Julian: Obligations, Excuses and Status," Journal of Roman Studies 73 (1983), pp. 81–82.
- Maureen Carroll, Spirits of the Dead: Roman Funerary Commemoration in Western Europe (Oxford University Press, 2006), pp. 45–46.
- Bruce W. Frier and Thomas A.J. McGinn, A Casebook on Roman Family Law (Oxford University Press: American Philological Association, 2004), p. 14; Gaius, Institutiones 1.9 = Digest 1.5.3.
- Frier and McGinn, A Casebook of Family Law, pp. 31–32.
- Ando, "The Administration of the Provinces," p. 177.
- The civis ("citizen") stands in explicit contrast to a peregrina, a foreign or non-Roman woman: A.N. Sherwin-White, Roman Citizenship (Oxford University Press, 1979), pp. 211 and 268; Frier and McGinn, A Casebook on Roman Family Law, pp. 31–32, 457, et passim. In the form of legal marriage called conubium, the father's legal status determined the child's, but conubium required that both spouses be free citizens. A soldier, for instance, was banned from marrying while in service, but if he formed a long-term union with a local woman while stationed in the provinces, he could marry her legally after he was discharged, and any children they had would be considered the offspring of citizens—in effect granting the woman retroactive citizenship. The ban was in place from the time of Augustus until it was rescinded by Septimius Severus in 197 AD. See Sara Elise Phang, The Marriage of Roman Soldiers (13 B.C.–A.D. 235): Law and Family in the Imperial Army (Brill, 2001), p. 2, and Pat Southern, The Roman Army: A Social and Institutional History (Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 144.
- Beryl Rawson, "The Roman Family," in The Family in Ancient Rome: New Perspectives (Cornell University Press, 1986), p. 18.
- Frier and McGinn, A Casebook on Roman Family Law, pp. 19–20.
- Eva Cantarella, Pandora's Daughters: The Role and Status of Women in Greek and Roman Antiquity (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987), pp. 140–141; J.P. Sullivan, "Martial's Sexual Attitudes," Philologus 123 (1979), p. 296, specifically on sexual freedom.
- Rawson, "The Roman Family," p. 15.
- Frier and McGinn, A Casebook on Roman Family Law, pp. 19–20, 22.
- Susan Treggiari, Roman Marriage: Iusti Coniuges from the Time of Cicero to the Time of Ulpian (Oxford University Press, 1991), pp. 258–259, 500–502 et passim.
- David Johnston, Roman Law in Context (Cambridge University Press, 1999), chapter 3.3; Frier and McGinn, A Casebook on Roman Family Law, Chapter IV; Yan Thomas, "The Division of the Sexes in Roman Law," in A History of Women from Ancient Goddesses to Christian Saints (Harvard University Press, 1991), p. 134.
- Beth Severy, Augustus and the Family at the Birth of the Empire (Routledge, 2002; Taylor & Francis, 2004), p. 12.
- Severy, Augustus and the Family, p. 4.
- That is, a double standard was in place: a married woman could have sex only with her husband, but a married man did not commit adultery if he had sex with a prostitute, slave, or person of marginalized status. See Thomas McGinn, "Concubinage and the Lex Iulia on Adultery," Transactions of the American Philological Association 121 (1991), p. 342; Martha C. Nussbaum, "The Incomplete Feminism of Musonius Rufus, Platonist, Stoic, and Roman," in The Sleep of Reason: Erotic Experience and Sexual Ethics in Ancient Greece and Rome (University of Chicago Press, 2002), p. 305, noting that custom "allowed much latitude for personal negotiation and gradual social change"; Elaine Fantham, "Stuprum: Public Attitudes and Penalties for Sexual Offences in Republican Rome," in Roman Readings: Roman Response to Greek Literature from Plautus to Statius and Quintilian (Walter de Gruyter, 2011), p. 124, citing Papinian, De adulteriis I and Modestinus, Liber Regularum I. Eva Cantarella, Bisexuality in the Ancient World (Yale University Press, 1992, 2002, originally published 1988 in Italian), p. 104; Catherine Edwards, The Politics of Immorality in Ancient Rome (Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. 34–35.
- Frier and McGinn, A Casebook on Roman Family Law, p. 461; W.V. Harris, "Trade," in The Cambridge Ancient History: The High Empire A.D. 70–192 (Cambridge University Press, 2000), vol. 11, p. 733.
- Margaret L. Woodhull, "Matronly Patrons in the Early Roman Empire: The Case of Salvia Postuma," in Women's Influence on Classical Civilization (Routledge, 2004), p. 77.
- Keith Bradley, Slavery and Society at Rome (Cambridge University Press, 1994), p. 12.
- The others are ancient Athens, and in the modern era Brazil, the Caribbean, and the United States; Bradley, Slavery and Society at Rome, p. 12.
- Bradley, Slavery and Society at Rome, p. 15.
- W.V. Harris, "Demography, Geography and the Sources of Roman Slaves," Journal of Roman Studies 89 (1999) 62–75, especially p. 65 on Roman Egypt. For background on pre-Roman slavery in some areas brought under provincial rule, see Timothy Taylor, "Believing the Ancients: Quantitative and Qualitative Dimensions of Slavery and the Slave Trade in Later Prehistoric Eurasia," World Archaeology 33.1 (2001) 27–43.
- Kyle Harper, Slavery in the Late Roman World, AD 275–425 (Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp. 10–16 et passim.
- Frier and McGinn, A Casebook of Family Law, p. 7.
- Thomas A.J. McGinn, Prostitution, Sexuality and the Law in Ancient Rome (Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 314; Jane F. Gardner, Women in Roman Law and Society (Indiana University Press, 1991), p. 119.
- Frier and McGinn, A Casebook on Roman Law, pp. 31, 33.
- Christopher J. Fuhrmann, Policing the Roman Empire: Soldiers, Administration, and Public Order (Oxford University Press, 2012), pp. 21–41.
- Frier and McGinn, A Casebook on Roman Family Law, p. 21.
- Richard Gamauf, "Slaves Doing Business: The Role of Roman Law in the Economy of a Roman Household," in European Review of History 16.3 (2009) 331–346.
- Bradley, Slavery and Society at Rome, pp. 2–3.
- McGinn, Prostitution, Sexuality, and the Law, p. 288ff.
- Ra'anan Abusch, "Circumcision and Castration under Roman Law in the Early Empire," in The Covenant of Circumcision: New Perspectives on an Ancient Jewish Rite (Brandeis University Press, 2003), pp. 77–78; Peter Schäfer, The History of the Jews in the Greco-Roman World (Routledge, 1983, 2003), p. 150.
- Frier and McGinn, A Casebook of Family Law, p. 15; Stefan Goodwin, Africa in Europe: Antiquity into the Age of Global Expansion (Lexington Books, 2009), vol. 1, p. 41 ("Roman slavery was a nonracist and fluid system").
- Harris, "Demography, Geography and the Sources of Roman Slaves," p. 62 et passim.
- Beryl Rawson, "Children in the Roman Familia," in The Family in Ancient Rome" New Perspectives (Cornell University Press, 1986, 1992), pp. 186–188, 190; K.R. Bradley, "On the Roman Slave Supply and Slavebreeding," in,Classical Slavery (Frank Cass, 1987), p. 72, and Slavery and Society at Rome, p. 34, 48–50.
- Bradley, Slavery and Society at Rome, p. 10.
- Fergus Millar, The Crowd in Rome in the Late Republic (University of Michigan, 1998, 2002), pp. 23, 209.
- Henrik Mouritsen, The Freedman in the Roman World (Cambridge University Press, 2011), p. 36; Adolf Berger, entry on libertus, Encyclopedic Dictionary of Roman Law (American Philological Society, 1953, 1991), p. 564.
- Berger, entry on libertinus, Encyclopedic Dictionary of Roman Law, p. 564.
- Walter Eck, "Emperor, Senate and Magistrates," in Cambridge Ancient History: The High Empire A.D. 70–192 (Cambridge University Press, 2000), vol. 11, pp. 217–218; Ronald Syme, Provincial At Rome: and Rome and the Balkans 80 BC-AD 14 (University of Exeter Press, 1999), pp. 12–13.
- Eck, "Emperor, Senate and Magistrates," pp. 215, 221–222; Millar, "Empire and City," p. 88. The standard complement of 600 was flexible; twenty quaestors, for instance, held office each year and were thus admitted to the Senate regardless of whether there were "open" seats.
- Millar, "Empire and City," p. 88.
- Eck, "Emperor, Senate and Magistrates," pp. 218–219.
- His name was Tiberius Claudius Gordianus; Eck, "Emperor, Senate and Magistrates," p. 219.
- Ramsey MacMullen, "Provincial Languages in the Roman Empire," American Journal of Philology 87.1 (1966), p. 16.
- The relation of the equestrian order to the "public horse" and Roman cavalry parades and demonstrations (such as the Lusus Troiae) is complex, but those who participated in the latter seem, for instance, to have been the equites who were accorded the high-status (and quite limited) seating at the theatre by the Lex Roscia theatralis. Senators could not possess the "public horse." See T.P. Wiseman, "The Definition of Eques Romanus," Historia 19.1 (1970) 67–83, especially pp. 78–79.
- Wiseman, "The Definition of Eques Romanus," pp. 71–72, 76.
- Ancient Gades, in Roman Spain, and Patavium, in the Celtic north of Italy, were atypically wealthy cities, and having 500 equestrians in one city was unusual. Strabo 3.169, 5.213; Wiseman, "The Definition of Eques Romanus," pp. 75–76, 78.
- Andrew Fear, "War and Society," in The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare: Rome from the Late Repblic to the Late Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2007), vol. 2, pp. 214–215; Julian Bennett, Trajan: Optimus Princeps (Indiana University Press, 1997, 2001, 2nd ed.), p. 5.
- Millar, "Empire and City," pp. 87–88.
- Hopkins, The Political Economy of the Roman Empire, p. 188; Millar, "Empire and City," pp. 87–88.
- Millar, "Empire and City," p. 96.
- Wolfgang Liebeschuetz, "The End of the Ancient City," in The City in Late Antiquity (Taylor & Francis, 2001), pp. 26–27.
- Millar, "Empire and City," p. 90, calls them "status-appellations."
- Millar, "Empire and City," p. 91.
- Millar, "Empire and City," p. 90.
- Koenraad Verboven, "The Associative Order: Status and Ethos among Roman Businessmen in Late Republic and Early Empire," Athenaeum 95 (2007), pp. 870–72; Dennis P. Kehoe, "Law and Social Formation in the Roman Empire," in The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World, p. 153.
- Kehoe, "Law and Social Formation in the Roman Empire," p. 153; .Judith Perkins, "Early Christian and Judicial Bodies," in (Walter de Gruyter, 2009), pp. 245–246 (particularly on the effect of the Constitutio Antoniniana); Garrett G. Fagan, "Violence in Roman Social Relations," in The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations, p. 475.
- Kehoe, "Law and Social Formation in the Roman Empire," p. 153.
- Judy E. Gaughan, Murder Was Not a Crime: Homicide and Power in the Roman Republic (University of Texas Press, 2010), p. 91 et passim; Gordon P. Kelly, A History of Exile in the Roman Republic (Cambridge University Press, 2006), p. 8 et passim.
- K.M. Coleman, "Fatal Charades: Roman Executions Staged as Mythology Enactments," Journal of Roman Studies 80 (1990), pp. 55–57.
- Kehoe, "Law and Social Formation in the Roman Empire," pp. 153–154; O.F. Robinson, Penal Practice and Penal Policy in Ancient Rome (Routledge, 2007), p. 108.
- Yann Le Bohec, The Imperial Roman Army, translated by Raphael Bate (Routledge, 2000, originally published 1989 in French), p. 8.
- Le Bohec, The Imperial Roman Army, pp. 14–15.
- Plutarch, Moralia Moralia 813c and 814c; Clifford Ando, "The Administration of the Provinces," in A Companion to the Roman Empire (Blackwell, 2010), pp. 181–182; Edward N. Luttwak, The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire: From the First Century A.D. to the Third (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976, 1979), p. 30.
- Ando, "The Administration of the Provinces," p. 184.
- Ando, "The Administration of the Provinces," p. 181.
- Abbott, 354
- Abbott, 345
- Abbott, 341
- Fergus Millar, "Emperors at Work," in Rome, the Greek World, and the East: Government, Society, and Culture in the Roman Empire (University of North Carolina Press 2004), vol. 2, pp. 3–22, especially pp. 4 and 20.
- Walter Eck, "The Emperor and His Advisors," Cambridge Ancient History (Cambridge University History, 2000), p. 195ff.
- Eck, "The Emperor and His Advisors," pp. 205–209.
- Eck, "The Emperor and His Advisors," pp. 202–203, 205, 210.
- Eck, "The Emperor and His Advisors," p. 211.
- Eck, "The Emperor and His Advisors," p. 212.
- Millar, "Empire and City, Augustus to Julian," p.76.
- Eck, "The Emperor and His Advisors," p. 215.
- Eck, "The Emperor and His Advisors," p. 215; Winterling, Politics and Society in Imperial Rome, p. 16.
- Hopkins, The Political Economy of the Roman Empire, p. 188.
- Goldsworthy, Adrian (2003). "The Life of a Roman Soldier". The Complete Roman Army. London: Thames & Hudson. p. 80. ISBN 0-500-05124-0.
- Winterling, Politics and Society in Imperial Rome, p. 16.
- J.C. Edmondson, "Dynamic Arenas: Gladiatorial Presentations in the City of Rome and the Construction of Roman Society during the Early Empire," in Roman Theater and Society (University of Michigan Press, 1996), pp. 111–112.
- Olivier J. Hekster, "Fighting for Rome: The Emperor as a Military Leader," in Impact of the Roman Army (200 BC–AD 476) (Brill, 2007), p. 96.
- Le Bohec, The Imperial Roman Army, p. 9.
- Le Bohec, The Imperial Roman Army, pp. 10–14.
- Jonathan Roth, "The Size and Organization of the Roman Imperial Legion," Historia 43.3 (1994), p. 348.
- Roth, "The Size and Organization of the Roman Imperial Legion," pp. 361–362 et passim.
- The complete Roman army by Adrian Goldsworthy, 2005 chapter The Army of the Principate, p.183; ISBN 0-500-05124-0
- Keith Hopkins, "The Political Economy of the Roman Empire," in The Dynamics of Ancient Empires : State Power from Assyria to Byzantium (Oxford University Press, 2009), p. 196.
- Rome and Her Enemies published by Osprey, 2005, part 3: Early Empire 27BC–AD235, chapter 9: The Romans, section: Remuneration, p. 183; ISBN 978-1-84603-336-0
- Tacitus Annales IV.5
- Goldsworthy (2003) 51
- Peter Connolly, "A Reconstruction of a Roman Saddle," Britannia 17 (1986) 343–355; Peter Connolly and Carol van Driel Murray, "The Roman Cavalry Saddle," Britannia 22 (1991) 33–50.
- The complete Roman army by Adrian Goldsworthy 2003, chapter After Service, p.114; ISBN 0-500-05124-0
- Ando, "The Administration of the Provinces," p. 183.
- Ando, "The Administration of the Provinces," pp. 177–179. Most government records that are preserved come from Roman Egypt, where the climate preserved the papyri.
- Ando, "The Administration of the Provinces," p. 179.
- Ando, "The Administration of the Provinces," p. 179. The exclusion of Egypt from the senatorial provinces dates to the rise of Octavian before he became Augustus: Egypt had been the stronghold of his last opposition, Mark Antony and his ally Cleopatra.
- Ando, "The Administration of the Provinces," p. 180.
- Ando, "The Administration of the Provinces," pp. 179, 187.
- Ando, "The Administration of the Provinces," p. 180; Christopher J. Fuhrmann, Policing the Roman Empire: Soldiers, Administration, and Public Order (Oxford University Press, 2012), p. 197, 214, 224.
- Peter Garnsey and Richard Saller, The Roman Empire: Economy, Society and Culture (University of California Press, 1987), p. 110.
- Garnsey and Saller, The Roman Empire: Economy, Society and Culture, p. 110; Clifford Ando, "The Administration of the Provinces," in A Companion to the Roman Empire (Blackwell, 2010), pp. 184–185.
- Adda B. Bozeman, Politics and Culture in International History from the Ancient Near East to the Opening of the Modern Age (Transaction Publishers, 2010, 2nd ed., originally published 1960 by Princeton University Press), pp. 208–20
- Garnsey and Saller, The Roman Empire: Economy, Society and Culture, p. 110; Ando, "The Administration of the Provinces," pp. 184–185. This practice was established in the Republic; see for instance the case of Contrebian water rights heard by G. Valerius Flaccus as governor of Hispania in the 90s–80s BC.
- Garnsey and Saller, The Roman Empire, pp. 110–111.
- Elizabeth DePalma Digeser, The Making of a Christian Empire: Lactantius and Rome (Cornell University Press, 2000), p. 53.
- Ando, "The Administration of the Provinces," p. 187.
- Ando, "The Administration of the Provinces," pp. 185–187.
- Ando, "The Administration of the Provinces," p. 185; Hopkins, "The Political Economy of the Roman Empire," p. 184.
- Ando, "The Administration of the Provinces," p. 185.
- Ando, "The Administration of the Provinces," p. 188.
- Ando, "The Administration of the Provinces," p. 186.
- Cassius Dio 55.31.4.
- Tacitus, Annales 13.31.2.
- This was the vicesima libertatis, "the twentieth for freedom"; Ando, "The Administration of the Provinces," p. 187.
- David Mattingly, "The Imperial Economy," in A Companion to the Roman Empire (Blackwell, 2010), p. 283.
- Mattingly, "The Imperial Economy," p. 285.
- Mattingly, "The Imperial Economy," p. 286.
- Mattingly, "The Imperial Economy," p. 292.
- Mattingly, "The Imperial Economy," pp. 285–286, p. 296f.
- Mattingly, "The Imperial Economy," p. 296.
- Mattingly, "The Imperial Economy," pp. 286, 295.
- Koenraad Verboven, "The Associative Order: Status and Ethos among Roman Businessmen in the Late Republic and Early Empire," Athenaeum 95 (2007), preprint.
- David Kessler and Peter Temin, "Money and Prices in the Early Roman Empire," in The Monetary Systems of the Greeks and Romans, in The Monetary Systems of the Greeks and Romans (Oxford University Press, 2008), n.p.
- Kenneth W. Hart, Coinage in the Roman Economy, 300 B.C. to A.D. 700 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), p. 135.
- Mireille Corbier, "Coinage and Taxation: The State's Point of View, A.D. 193–337," in Cambridge Ancient History: The Crisis of Empire, A.D. 193–197 (Cambridge University Press, 2005), vol. 12, p. 333.
- Colin Wells, The Roman Empire (Harvard University Press, 1984, 1992), p. 8.
- W.V. Harris, "The Nature of Roman Money," in The Monetary Systems of the Greeks and Romans, n.p.
- Kessler and Temin, "Money and Prices in the Early Roman Empire," n.p.
- Walter Scheidel, "The Monetary Systems of the Han and Roman Empires", in: Scheidel, Walter, ed. (2009): Rome and China. Comparative Perspectives on Ancient World Empires (Oxford University Press, 2009), New York, ISBN 978-0-19-533690-0, pp. 137–207, especially p. 205.
- Harris, "The Nature of Roman Money," n.p.
- J. Rufus Fears, "The Theology of Victory at Rome: Approaches and Problem," Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt II.17.2 (1981), pp. 752 and 824, and in the same volume, "The Cult of Virtues and Roman Imperial Ideology," p. 908.
- Jean Andreau, Banking and Business in the Roman World (Cambridge University Press, 1999), p. 2.
- Andreau, Banking and Business in the Roman World, p. 2; Harris, "The Nature of Roman Money," n.p.
- Tacitus, Annales 6.17.3.
- Harris, "The Nature of Roman Money," in The Monetary Systems of the Greeks and Romans, n.p.
- Richard Duncan-Jones, Money and Government in the Roman Empire (Cambridge University Press, 1994), pp. 3–4.
- Hart, Coinage in the Roman Economy, 300 B.C. to A.D. 700, p. 125–136.
- Hart, Coinage in the Roman Economy, 300 B.C. to A.D. 700, pp. 128–129.
- Harris, "The Nature of Roman Money," in The Monetary Systems of the Greeks and Romans, n.p.; Hart, Coinage in the Roman Economy, 300 B.C. to A.D. 700, pp. 128–129.
- "Mining," in Late Antiquity: A Guide to the Postclassical World p. 579.
- Wilson, Andrew (2002): "Machines, Power and the Ancient Economy", The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 92, pp. 1–32 (17–21, 25, 32)
- Craddock, Paul T. (2008): "Mining and Metallurgy", in: Oleson, John Peter (ed.): The Oxford Handbook of Engineering and Technology in the Classical World, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-518731-1, p. 108; Sim, David; Ridge, Isabel (2002): Iron for the Eagles. The Iron Industry of Roman Britain, Tempus, Stroud, Gloucestershire, ISBN 0-7524-1900-5, p. 23; Healy, John F. (1978): Mining and Metallurgy in the Greek and Roman World, Thames and Hudson, London, ISBN 0-500-40035-0, p. 196. Assumes a productive capacity of c. 1.5 kg per capita. Healy, John F. (1978): Mining and Metallurgy in the Greek and Roman World, Thames and Hudson, London, ISBN 0-500-40035-0, p. 196
- Hong, Sungmin; Candelone, Jean-Pierre; Patterson, Clair C.; Boutron, Claude F. (1996): "History of Ancient Copper Smelting Pollution During Roman and Medieval Times Recorded in Greenland Ice", Science, Vol. 272, No. 5259, pp. 246–249 (366–369); cf. also Wilson, Andrew (2002): "Machines, Power and the Ancient Economy", The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 92, pp. 1–32 (25–29)
- Hong, Sungmin; Candelone, Jean-Pierre; Patterson, Clair C.; Boutron, Claude F. (1994): "Greenland Ice Evidence of Hemispheric Lead Pollution Two Millennia Ago by Greek and Roman Civilizations", Science, Vol. 265, No. 5180, pp. 1841–1843; Callataÿ, François de (2005): "The Graeco-Roman Economy in the Super Long-Run: Lead, Copper, and Shipwrecks", Journal of Roman Archaeology, Vol. 18, pp. 361–372 (361–365); Settle, Dorothy M.; Patterson, Clair C. (1980): "Lead in Albacore: Guide to Lead Pollution in Americans", Science, Vol. 207, No. 4436, pp. 1167–1176 (1170f.); cf. also Wilson, Andrew (2002): "Machines, Power and the Ancient Economy", The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 92, pp. 1–32 (25–29)
- Callataÿ, François de (2005): "The Graeco-Roman Economy in the Super Long-Run: Lead, Copper, and Shipwrecks", Journal of Roman Archaeology, Vol. 18, pp. 361–372 (361–369); Hong, Sungmin; Candelone, Jean-Pierre; Patterson, Clair C.; Boutron, Claude F. (1996): "History of Ancient Copper Smelting Pollution During Roman and Medieval Times Recorded in Greenland Ice", Science, Vol. 272, No. 5259, pp. 246–249 (247, fig. 1 and 2; 248, table 1); Hong, Sungmin; Candelone, Jean-Pierre; Patterson, Clair C.; Boutron, Claude F. (1994): "Greenland Ice Evidence of Hemispheric Lead Pollution Two Millennia Ago by Greek and Roman Civilizations", Science, Vol. 265, No. 5180, pp. 1841–1843; Settle, Dorothy M.; Patterson, Clair C. (1980): "Lead in Albacore: Guide to Lead Pollution in Americans", Science, Vol. 207, No. 4436, pp. 1167–1176 (1170f.)
- Hong, Sungmin; Candelone, Jean-Pierre; Patterson, Clair C.; Boutron, Claude F. (1994). "Greenland Ice Evidence of Hemispheric Lead Pollution Two Millennia Ago by Greek and Roman Civilizations". Science 265 (5180): 1841–1843. doi:10.1126/science.265.5180.1841. PMID 17797222.
- Patterson, C. C. (1972): "Silver Stocks and Losses in Ancient and Medieval Times", The Economic History Review, Vol. 25, No. 2, pp. 205–235 (228, table 6); Callataÿ, François de (2005): "The Graeco-Roman Economy in the Super Long-Run: Lead, Copper, and Shipwrecks", Journal of Roman Archaeology, Vol. 18, pp. 361–372 (365f.)
- Patterson, C. C. (1972): "Silver Stocks and Losses in Ancient and Medieval Times", The Economic History Review, Vol. 25, No. 2, pp. 205–235 (216, table 2); Callataÿ, François de (2005): "The Graeco-Roman Economy in the Super Long-Run: Lead, Copper, and Shipwrecks", Journal of Roman Archaeology, Vol. 18, pp. 361–372 (365f.)
- Hopkins, The Political Economy of the Roman Empire, p. 197.
- Élise Marlière, "Le tonneua en Gaule romaine," Gallia 58 (2001) 181–210, especially p. 184; Corbier, "Coinage, Society, and Economy," in CAH 12, p. 404.
- Kevin Greene, The Archaeology of the Roman Economy p. 17.
- W.V. Harris, "Trade," in The Cambridge Ancient History: The High Empire A.D. 70–192 (Cambridge University Press, 2000), vol. 11, p. 713.
- Harris, "Trade," in CAH 11, p. 714.
- Roger Bradley Ulrich, Roman Woodworking (Yale University Press, pp. 1–2.
- Stambaugh, The Ancient Roman City, p. 253.
- Ray Laurence, "Land Transport in Roman Italy: Costs, Practice and the Economy," in Trade, Traders and the Ancient City (Routledge, 1998), p. 129.
- Keith Hopkins, "The Political Economy of the Roman Empire," in The Dynamics of Ancient Empires : State Power from Assyria to Byzantium (Oxford University Press, 2009), p. 187.
- Holleran, Shopping in Ancient Rome, p. 142.
- Harris, "Trade," in CAH 11, p. 713.
- Harris, "Trade," in CAH 11, p. 710.
- Harris, "Trade," in CAH 11, pp. 717–729.
- Mireille Corbier, "Coinage, Society, and Economy," in Cambridge Ancient History: The Crisis of Empire, A.D. 193–337 (Cambridge University Press, 2005), vol. 12, p. 404; Harris, "Trade," in CAH 11, p. 719.
- Harris, "Trade," in CAH 11, p. 720.
- Holleran, Shopping in Ancient Rome, pp. 146–147.
- Hopkins, "The Political Economy of the Roman Empire," p. 196.
- Verboven, "The Associative Order: Status and Ethos among Roman Businessmen," preprint pp. 18, 23.
- Eborarii and citriarii: Verboven, "The Associative Order: Status and Ethos among Roman Businessmen," preprint p. 21.
- "Slavery in Rome," in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome (Oxford University Press, 2010), p. 323.
- "Slavery in Rome," in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, p. 323.
- Garnsey and Saller, The Roman Empire: Economy, Society and Culture, p. 111.
- Peter Temin, "The Labor Market of the Early Roman Empire," Journal of Interdisciplinary History 34.1 (2004), p. 517.
- A.H.M. Jones, "The Cloth Industry under the Roman Empire," Economic History Review 13.2 (1960), pp. 184–185.
- Jones, "The Cloth Industry under the Roman Empire,"p. 192.
- Jones, "The Cloth Industry under the Roman Empire," pp. 188–189.
- Jones, "The Cloth Industry under the Roman Empire," pp. 190–191.
- Vout, "The Myth of the Toga," p. 212. The college of centonarii is an elusive topic in scholarship, since they are also widely attested as urban firefighters; see Jinyu Liu, Collegia Centonariorum: The Guilds of Textile Dealers in the Roman West (Brill, 2009). Liu sees them as "primarily tradesmen and/or manufacturers engaged in the production and distribution of low- or medium-quality woolen textiles and clothing, including felt and its products."
- Scheidel, Walter; Morris, Ian; Saller, Richard, eds. (2007): The Cambridge Economic History of the Greco-Roman World, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-78053-7
- Lo Cascio, Elio; Malanima, Paolo (Dec. 2009): "GDP in Pre-Modern Agrarian Economies (1–1820 AD). A Revision of the Estimates", Rivista di storia economica, Vol. 25, No. 3, pp. 391–420 (391–401)
- Maddison 2007, pp. 47–51
- Walter Scheidel and Steven J. Friesen, "The Size of the Economy and the Distribution of Income in the Roman Empire," Journal of Roman Studies 99 (2006), pp. 62–63.
- W. L. MacDonald, The Architecture of the Roman Empire, rev. ed. Yale University Press, New Haven, 1982, fig. 131B; Lechtman and Hobbs "Roman Concrete and the Roman Architectural Revolution"
- Vitruvius, De Arch. Book 1, preface. section 2
- Encyclopaedia Britannica, Apollodorus of Damascus, "Greek engineer and architect who worked primarily for the Roman emperor Trajan."
George Sarton (1936), "The Unity and Diversity of the Mediterranean World", Osiris 2: 406–463 
Giuliana Calcani, Maamoun Abdulkarim (2003). Apollodorus of Damascus and Trajan's Column: From Tradition to Project. L'Erma di Bretschneider. p. 11. ISBN 88-8265-233-5. "... focusing on the brilliant architect Apollodorus of Damascus. This famous Syrian personage represents ..."
Hong-Sen Yan, Marco Ceccarelli (2009). International Symposium on History of Machines and Mechanisms: Proceedings of HMM 2008. Springer. p. 86. ISBN 1-4020-9484-1. "He had Syrian origins coming from Damascus"
- Smith 1970, pp. 60f.; Smith 1971, p. 26; Schnitter 1978, p. 28
- Chandler, Fiona "The Usborne Internet Linked Encyclopedia of the Roman World", page 80. Usborne Publishing 2001
- Forman, Joan "The Romans", page 34. Macdonald Educational Ltd. 1975
- J. Crow 2007 "Earth, walls and water in Late Antique Constantinople" in Technology in Transition AD 300–650 in ed. L.Lavan, E.Zanini & A. Sarantis Brill, Leiden
- Greene 2000, 39
- Jones, R. F. J. and Bird, D. G., Roman gold-mining in north-west Spain, II: Workings on the Rio Duerna, Journal of Roman Studies 62 (1972): 59–74.
- 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.Ritti, Grewe & Kessener 2007, p. 156, fn. 74
- Ando, "The Administration of the Provinces," p. 192.
- Paul Rehak, Imperium and Cosmos: Augustus and the Northern Campus Martius (University of Wisconsin Press, 2006), p. 4ff.
- Rehak, Imperium and Cosmos, pp. 7–8.
- John E. Stambaugh, The Ancient Roman City (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988), pp. 23ff. and 244
- Rubina Raja, Urban Development and Regional Identity in the Eastern Roman Provinces 50 BC–AD 250 (Museum Tusculanum Press, 2012), with conclusions pp. 215–218; Daniel Sperber, The City in Roman Palestine (Oxford University Press, 1998).
- Stambaugh, The Ancient Roman City, pp. 252–253; Brenda Longfellow, Roman Imperialism and Civic Patronage: Form, Meaning and Ideology in Monumental Fountain Complexes (Cambridge University Press, 2011), p. 2. Julius Caesar first applied the Latin word oppidum to this type of settlement, and even called Avaricum (Bourges, France), a center of the Bituriges, an urbs, "city." Archaeology indicates that oppida were centers of religion, trade (including import/export), and industrial production, walled for the purposes of defense, but they may not have been inhabited by concentrated populations year-round: see D.W. Harding, The Archaeology of Celtic Art (Routledge, 2007), pp. 211–212; John Collis, "'Celtic' Oppida," in A Comparative Study of Thirty City-state Cultures (Danske Videnskabernes Selskab, 2000), pp. 229–238; Celtic Chiefdom, Celtic State: The Evolution of Complex Social Systems in (Cambridge University Press, 1995, 1999), p. 61.
- Millar, "Empire and City, Augustus to Julian," p. 79.
- Vergil, Aeneid 6.852; Ando, "The Administration of the Provinces," p. 192.
- Ando, "The Administration of the Provinces," pp. 185–186.
- Tertullian, De anima 30.3 (ubique domus, ubique populus, ubique respublica, ubique uita), as cited and framed by Ando, "The Administration of the Provinces," p. 185.
- Millar, "Empire and City, Augustus to Julian,", p. 76ff.
- Longfellow, Roman Imperialism and Civic Patronage, p. 1.
- Jones, Mark Wilson Principles of Roman Architecture. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000.
- Harry B. Evans, Water Distribution in Ancient Rome (University of Michigan Press, 1994, 1997), pp. 9–10.
- Garrett G. Fagan, "Socializing at the Baths," in The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World (Oxford University Press, 2011), p. 366.
- Garrett G. Fagan, "The Genesis of the Roman Public Bath: Recent Approaches and Future Directions," American Journal of Archaeology 105.3 (2001), p. 404.
- Fagan, "The Genesis of the Roman Public Bath," p. 404.
- Roy Bowen Ward, "Women in Roman Baths," Harvard Theological Review 85.2 (1992) 125–147, especially pp. 137, 140.
- Ward, "Women in Roman Baths," pp. 142–143.
- Tertullian, Apologeticum 42, as cited by Roy Bowen Ward, "Women in Roman Baths," Harvard Theological Review 85.2 (1992), p. 125.
- Fagan, "The Genesis of the Roman Public Bath," p. 417.
- John R. Clarke, The Houses of Roman Italy, 100 B.C.-A.D. 250: Ritual, Space, and Decoration (University of California Press, 1992), pp. 1–2.
- Rehak, Imperium and Cosmos, p. 8.
- Clarke, The Houses of Roman Italy, pp. 11–12.
- Clarke, The Houses of Roman Italy, p. 2.
- Stambaugh, The Ancient Roman City, pp. 144, 147; Clarke, The House of Roman Italy, pp. 12, 17, 22ff.
- Rabun Taylor, "Roman oscilla: An Assessment," RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics 48 (2005) 83–105.
- Elaine K. Gazda, introduction to Roman Art in the Private Sphere: Architecture and Décor of the Domus, Villa, and Insula (University of Michigan Press, 1991, 1994), p. 9.
- Clarke, The Houses of Roman Italy, p. 19.
- See various articles in The Natural History of Pompeii, edited by Wilhemina Feemster Jashemski and Frederick G. Meyer (Cambridge University Press, 2002).
- Horace, Satire 2.6; Niklas Holzberg, The Ancient Fable: An Introduction (Indiana University Press, 2002, originally published 2001 in German), p. 35; Smith Palmer Bovie, introduction to Horace. Satires and Epistles (University of Chicago Press, 2002), pp. 92–93.
- Hopkins, "The Political Economy of the Roman Empire," p. 191.
- Peter Garnsey, "The Land," in The Cambridge Ancient History: The High Empire A.D. 70–192 (Cambridge University Press, 2000), vol. 11, p. 679.
- Hopkins, "The Political Economy of the Roman Empire," pp. 195–196.
- Hopkins, "The Political Economy of the Roman Empire," p. 191, reckoning that the surplus of wheat from the province of Egypt alone could meet and exceed the needs of the city of Rome and the provincial armies.
- T.P. Wiseman, "The Census in the First Century B.C.", Journal of Roman Studies 59 (1969), p. 73.
- Catherine Keane, Figuring Genre in Roman Satire (Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 36; Eckhart Köhne, "Bread and Circuses: The Politics of Entertainment," in Gladiators and Caesars: The Power of Spectacle in Ancient Rome (University of California Press, 2000), p. 8.
- Juvenal, Satire 10.77–81.
- John E. Stambaugh, The Ancient Roman City (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988), pp. 144, 178; Kathryn Hinds, Everyday Life in the Roman Empire (Marshall Cavendish, 2010), p. 90.
- Claire Holleran, Shopping in Ancient Rome: The Retail Trade in the Late Republic and the Principate (Oxford University Press, 2012), p. 136ff.
- Seo, "Cooks and Cookbooks," in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, p. 299.
- Patrick Faas, Around the Roman Table: Food and Feasting in Ancient Rome (University of Chicago Press, 1994, 2005), p. 29.
- Peter Garnsey, "The Land," in Cambridge Ancient History: The High Empire A.D. 70–192 (Cambridge University Press, 2000), vol. 11, p. 681.
- Pliny the Elder, Natural History 19.83–84; Emily Gowers, The Loaded Table: Representation of Food in Roman Literature (Oxford University Press, 1993, 2003), p. 17; Seo, "Food and Drink, Roman," in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, p. 198.
- Stambaugh, The Ancient Roman City, p. 144.
- Holleran, Shopping in Ancient Rome, pp. 136–137.
- Garnsey, "The Land," CAH 11, p. 681.
- Holleran, Shopping in Ancient Rome, pp. 134–135.
- Stambaugh, The Ancient Roman City, p. 146; Hopkins, "The Political Economy of the Roman Empire," p. 191; Holleran, Shopping in Ancient Rome, p. 134.
- Mark Grant, Galen on Food and Diet (Routledge, 2000), pp. 7, 11 et passim.
- Veronika E. Grimm, "On Food and the Body," in A Companion to the Roman Empire, p. 354.
- Grimm, "On Food and the Body," p. 356.
- Matthew B. Roller, Dining Posture in Ancient Rome (Princeton University Press, 2006), p. 96ff.
- Grimm, "On Food and the Body," p. 359.
- Joan P. Alcock, Food in the Ancient World (Greenwood Press, 2006), p. 184.
- John Donahue, The Roman Community at Table during the Principate (University of Michigan Press, 2004, 2007), p. 9.
- Cathy K. Kaufman, "Remembrance of Meals Past: Cooking by Apicius' Book," in Food and the Memory: Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cooker p. 125ff.
- Suetonius, Life of Vitellius 13.2; Gowers, The Loaded Table, p. 20.
- Seo, "Food and Drink, Roman," in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, p. 201.
- Tacitus, Germania 23; Gowers, The Loaded Table, p. 18.
- Montanari, "Romans, Barbarians, Christians," p. 166.
- Grimm, "On Food and the Body," pp. 365–366.
- "Foodstuff," in Late Antiquity, p. 455; Montanari, "Romans, Barbarians, Christians," p. 165–167.
- "Foodstuff," in Late Antiquity, p. 455.
- Montanari, "Romans, Barbarians, Christians," p. 165–167.
- James L. Franklin, Jr., Pompeis Difficile Est: Studies in the Political Life of Imperial Pompeii (University of Michigan Press, 2001), p. 137; Ray Laurence, Roman Pompeii: Space and Society (Routledge, 2007), p. 173; recounted by Tacitus, Annals 14.17.
- Mary Beard, J.A. North, and S.R.F. Price, Religions of Rome: A History (Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 66.
- Such as the Consualia and the October Horse sacrifice: John H. Humphrey, Roman Circuses: Arenas for Chariot Racing (University of California Press, 1986), pp. 544, 558; Auguste Bouché-Leclercq, Manuel des Institutions Romaines (Hachette, 1886), p. 549; "Purificazione," in Thesaurus Cultus et Rituum Antiquorum (LIMC, 2004), p. 83.
- Stephen L. Dyson, Rome: A Living Portrait of an Ancient City (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010), p. 240.
- H.S. Versnel, Triumphus: An Inquiry into the Origin, Development and Meaning of the Roman Triumph (Brill, 1970), pp. 96–97.
- Hazel Dodge, "Amusing the Masses: Buildings for Entertainment and Leisure in the Roman World," in Life, Death, and Entertainment in the Roman Empire (University of Michigan Press, 1999), p. 242.
- Dodge, "Amusing the Masses," pp. 235–236.
- Dodge, "Amusing the Masses," pp. 223–224.
- David S. Potter, "Entertainers in the Roman Empire," in Life, Death, and Entertainment in the Roman Empire, p. 303.
- Humphrey, Roman Circuses, p. 1.
- J.C. Edmondson, "Dynamic Arenas: Gladiatorial Presentations in the City of Rome and the Construction of Roman Society during the Early Empire," in Roman Theater and Society (University of Michigan Press, 1996), p. 112.
- Dyson, Rome: A Living Portrait, pp. 237, 239.
- Humphrey, Roman Circuses, pp. 1–3.
- K.M. Coleman, "Fatal Charades: Roman Executions Staged as Mythological Enactments," Journal of Roman Studies 80 (1990), pp. 50–51.
- Edmondson, "Dynamic Arenas," pp. 73–74, 106, et passim; Roland Auguet, Cruelty and Civilization: The Roman Games (Routledge, 1972, 1994), p. 54; John McClelland, Body and Mind: Sport in Europe from the Roman Empire to the Renaissance (Routledge, 2007), p. 67.
- Dyson, Rome: A Living Portrait, pp. 238–239; Alison Futrell, "Chariot racing," in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, p. 85; Humphrey, Roman Circuses, p. 461; McClelland, Body and Mind, p. 61.
- Thomas Wiedemann, Emperors and Gladiators (Routledge, 1992, 1995), p. 15.
- Humphrey, Roman Circuses, pp. 459, 461, 512, 630–631; Futrell, "Chariot racing," in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, p. 85; Dyson, Rome: A Living Portrait of an Ancient City, p. 237.
- Dyson, Rome: A Living Portrait, p. 238.
- Potter, "Entertainers in the Roman Empire," p. 296; Dyson, Rome: A Living Portrait, pp. 238–239.
- Humphrey, Roman Circuses, p. 238; Potter, "Entertainers in the Roman Empire," p. 299.
- Humphrey, Roman Circuses, pp. 18–21; Futrell, "Chariot racing," in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, p. 84.
- Auguet, Cruelty and Civilization, pp. 131–132; Dodge, "Amusing the Masses," p. 237.
- Auguet, Cruelty and Civilization, p. 144; Dyson, Rome: A Living Portrait, p. 238; Matthew Dickie, Magic and Magicians in the Greco-Roman World (Routledge, 2001, 2003), pp. 282–287; Eva D'Ambra, "Racing with Death: Circus Sarcophagi and the Commemoration of Children in Roman Italy" in Constructions of Childhood in Ancient Greece and Italy (American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 2007), pp. 348–349; Nicole Belayche, "Religious Actors in Daily Life: Practices and Related Beliefs," in A Companion to Roman Religion (Blackwell, 2007), p. 289.
- Potter, "Entertainers in the Roman Empire," p. 303.
- Veronika E. Grimm, "On Food and the Body," in A Companion to the Roman Empire, p. 354; Catharine Edwards, Death in Ancient Rome (Yale University Press, 2007), p. 59; Potter, "Entertainers in the Roman Empire," p. 305.
- Edwards, Death in Ancient Rome, p. 59; Potter, "Entertainers in the Roman Empire," p. 305.
- Cassio Dio 54.2.2; Res Gestae Divi Augusti 22.1, 3; Edwards, Death in Ancient Rome, p. 49; Edmondson, "Dynamic Arenas," p. 70.
- Cassius Dio 66.25; Edwards, Death in Ancient Rome, p. 55; Humphrey, Roman Circuses, p. 1.
- Edwards, Death in Ancient Rome, p. 49.
- Edwards, Death in Ancient Rome, p. 50.
- Edwards, Death in Ancient Rome, p. 55; Potter, "Entertainers in the Roman Empire," p. 307; McClelland, Body and Mind, p. 66, citing also Marcus Junkelmann.
- Coleman, "Fatal Charades," pp. 45–47.
- Suetonius, Nero 12.2; Coleman, "Fatal Charades," pp. 44–73; Edmondson, "Dynamic Arenas," p. 73.
- Tertullian, De spectaculis 12; Edwards, Death in Ancient Rome, pp. 59–60; Dodge, "Amusing the Masses," p. 224.
- Marianne McDonald and J. Michael Walton, introduction to The Cambridge Companion to Greek and Roman Theatre (Cambridge University Press, 2007), p. 8.
- Donald G. Kyle, Spectacles of Death in Ancient Rome (Routledge, 1998, 2001), p. 81; Edwards, Death in Ancient Rome, p. 63.
- Pliny, Panegyric 33.1; Edwards, Death in the Arena, p. 52.
- Edwards, Death in the Arena, pp. 66–67, 72.
- Edwards, Death in Ancient Rome, p. 212.
- G.W. Bowersock, Martyrdom and Rome (Cambridge University Press, 1995), pp. 25–26; Guglielmo Cavallo, "Between Volumen and Codex: Reading in the Roman World," in A History of Reading in the West (Polity Press, 1999, originally published in French 1995), p. 79; Gerlinde Huber-Rebenich, "Hagiographic Fiction as Entertainment," in Latin Fiction: The Latin Novel in Context (Routlege, 1999), pp. 158–178; S.R. Llewelyn and A.M. Nobbs, "The Earliest Dated Reference to Sunday in the Papyri," in New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2002), p. 109; Henrik Hildebrandt, "Early Christianity in Roman Pannonia—Fact or Fiction?" in Studia Patristica: Papers Presented at the Fourteenth International Conference on Patristic Studies Held in Oxford 2003 (Peeters, 2006), pp. 59–64; Ando, Imperial Ideology and Provincial Loyalty in the Roman Empire, p. 382.
- Oxford Latin Dictionary (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982, 1985 reprint), pp. 1048–1049; Thomas N. Habinek, The World of Roman Song: From Ritualized Speech to Social Order (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005), pp. 5, 143, et passim.
- Beryl Rawson, Children and Childhood in Roman Italy (Oxford University Press, 2003), p. 128.
- Walton Brooks McDaniel, "Some Passages concerning Ball-Games," Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association 37 (1906), pp. 122–123, 125–126.
- Rawson, Children and Childhood in Roman Italy, pp. 129–130.
- Emiel Eyben, Restless Youth in Ancient Rome (Routledge, 1977, 1993), pp. 79–82, 110.
- Scholars are divided in their relative emphasis on the athletic and dance elements of these exercises: H. Lee, "Athletics and the Bikini Girls from Piazza Armerina," Stadion 10 (1984) 45–75, sees them as gymnasts, while M. Torelli, "Piazza Armerina: Note di iconologia", in La Villa romana del Casale di Piazza Armerina, edited by G. Rizza (Catania, 1988), p. 152, thinks they are dancers at the games. Summarized by Katherine M.D. Dunbabin, Mosaics of the Greek and Roman World (Cambridge University Press, 1999), p. 133.
- Ann Ellis Hanson, "The Restructuring of Female Physiology at Rome," in Les écoles médicales à Rome (Université de Nantes, 1991), pp. 260, 264, particularly citing the Gynecology of Soranus.
- R.G. Austin, "Roman Board Games II," Greece & Rome 4.11 (1935), pp. 80–81.
- R.G. Austin, "Roman Board Games I," Greece & Rome 4.10 (1934) 24–34.
- Austin, "Roman Board Games II," pp. 76–79.
- Mireille M. Lee, "Clothing," in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome (Oxford University Press, 2010), p. 230.
- Lynda L. Coon, Sacred Fictions: Holy Women and Hagiography in Late Antiquity (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997), p. 57.
- Caroline Vout, "The Myth of the Toga: Understanding the History of Roman Dress," Greece & Rome 43.2 (1996), p. 216; Margarete Bieber, "Roman Men in Greek Himation (Romani Palliati) a Contribution to the History of Copying," Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 103.3 (1959), p. 412.
- Vout, "The Myth of the Toga," p. 218.
- Vout, "The Myth of the Toga," pp. 204–220, especially pp. 206, 211; Bieber, "Roman Men in Greek Himation," pp. 374–417; Guy P.R. Métraux, "Prudery and Chic in Late Antique Clothing," in Roman Dress and the Fabrics of Roman Culture (University of Toronto Press, 2008), p. 286.
- Lee, "Clothing," Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, p. 231.
- Vout, "The Myth of the Toga," p. 216
- Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria 11.3.137–149; Bieber, "Roman Men in Greek Himation," p. 412; Coon, Sacred Fictions, pp. 57–58.
- Bieber, "Roman Men in Greek Himation," p. 415.
- Métraux, "Prudery and Chic in Late Antique Clothing," pp. 282–283.
- Liza Cleland, Greek and Roman Dress from A to Z (Routledge, 2007), p. 194.
- Cleland, Greek and Roman Dress from A to Z, p. 194.
- Modern copy of a 2nd-century original, from the Louvre.
- Tertullian, De Pallio 5.2; Bieber, "Roman Men in Greek Himation," pp. 399–411; Coon, Sacred Fictions, p. 58.
- Vout, "The Myth of the Toga," p. 217.
- Lee, "Clothing," Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome p. 232.
- Raffaele D'Amato, Roman Military Clothing (3) AD 400 to 640 (Osprey, 2005), pp. 7–9.
- Chris Wickham, The Inheritance of Rome (Penguin Books Ltd., 2009), p. 106. ISBN 978-0-670-02098-0
- Rachel Meredith Kousse, Hellenistic and Roman Ideal Sculpture: The Allure of the Classical (Cambridge University Press, 2008), p. 1; Lea Stirling, "Art, Architecture, and Archaeology in the Roman Empire," in A Companion to the Roman Empire, pp. 75–76.
- Stirling, "Art, Architecture, and Archaeology in the Roman Empire," pp. 82–83.
- Elaine K. Gazda, introduction to Roman Art in the Private Sphere: Architecture and Décor of the Domus, Villa, and Insula (University of Michigan Press, 1991, 1994), pp. 1–3.
- Paul Zanker, Pompeii: Public and Private Life, translated by Deborah Lucas Schneider (Harvard University Press, 1998, originally published 1995 in German), p. 189.
- Kousse, Hellenistic and Roman Ideal Sculpture, pp. 4–5, 8.
- Lauren Hackworth Petersen, "Crafts and Artisans," in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, pp. 312–313.
- Toynbee, J. M. C. (December 1971). "Roman Art". The Classical Review 21 (3): 439–442. doi:10.1017/S0009840X00221331. JSTOR 708631.
- Paul Zanker, The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus (University of Michigan Press, 1988), p. 5ff.
- Sheila Dillon, "Portraits and Portraiture," in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, p. 451.
- Jane Fejfer, Roman Portraits in Context (Walter de Gruyter, 2008), p. 10.
- Dillon, "Portraits and Portraiture," in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, p. 453.
- Carol C. Mattusch, The Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum: Life and Afterlife of a Sculpture Collection (Getty Publications, 2005), p. 322.
- Kousse, Hellenistic and Roman Ideal Sculpture, p. 13; Donald Strong, Roman Art (Yale University Press, 1976, 2nd ed. 1988), p. 11.
- Kim J. Hartswick, "Gardens," in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, pp. 274–275.
- Jenifer Neils, "Sculpture," in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, p. 242.
- Fred S. Kleiner, A History of Roman Art (Wadsworth, 2007, 2010, enhanced ed.), p. 272.
- Zahra Newby, "Myth and Death: Roman Mythological Sarcophagi," in A Companion to Greek Mythology (Blackwell, 2011), p. 301.
- Jaś Elsner, introduction to Life, Death and Representation: Some New Work on Roman Sarcophagi (De Gruyter, 2011), p. 1.
- Elsner, introduction to Life, Death and Representation, p. 12.
- Elsner, introduction to Life, Death and Representation, p. 14.
- Elsner, introduction to Life, Death and Representation, pp. 1, 9.
- By Michael Rostovtzeff, as noted by Robin M. Jensen, "The Dura-Europos Synagogue, Early-Christian Art and Religious Life in Dura Europos," in Jews, Christians and Polytheists in the Ancient Synagogue: Cultural Interaction during the Greco-Roman Period (Routledge, 1999), p. 154.
- Jensen,"The Dura-Europos Synagogue," p. 154ff.; Rachel Hachlili, Ancient Jewish Art and Archaeology in the Diaspora (Brill, 1998), p. 96ff.; Heinz Schreckenberg and Kurt Schubert, Jewish Historiography and Iconography in Early and Medieval Christianity (Fortress Press, 1991), p. 171ff.
- "Mosaic," in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome p. 463.
- "Mosaic," in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome p. 459.
- "Mosaic," in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome pp. 459–460.
- Katherine M.D. Dunbabin, Mosaics of the Greek and Roman World (Cambridge University Press, 1999), p. 254ff.
- "Archaeology: Sites Elsewhere in Europe," in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, p. 202.
- Kevin Butcher, Roman Syria and the Near East (Getty Publications, 2003), p. 201ff.; Mireille Corbier, "Coinage, Society, and Economy," in Cambridge Ancient History: The Crisis of Empire, A.D. 193–337 (Cambridge University Press, 2005), vol. 12, p. 421.
- The circumstances under which Seneca's tragedies were performed are unclear; scholarly conjectures range from minimally staged readings to full productions reflecting the Roman love of spectacle and engineering technology.
- Elaine Fantham, "Mime: The Missing Link in Roman Literary History," Classical World 82 (1989), p. 230; William J. Slater, "Mime Problems: Cicero Ad fam. 7.1 and Martial 9.38," Phoenix 56 (2002), p. 315; David S. Potter, "Entertainers in the Roman Empire," in Life, Death, and Entertainment in the Roman Empire (University of Michigan Press, 1999), p. 257.
- Gian Biagio Conte, Latin Literature: A History (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994, originally published 1987 in Italian), p. 128.
- James L. Franklin, Jr., "Pantomimists at Pompeii: Actius Anicetus and His Troupe," American Journal of Philology 108.1 (1987), John H. Starks, Jr., "Pantomime Actresses in Latin Inscriptions," in New Directions in Ancient Pantomime (Oxford University Press, 2008), p. 95; p. 14ff.
- Frederick G. Naerebout, "Dance in the Roman Empire and Its Discontents," in Ritual Dynamics and Religious Change in the Roman Empire. Proceedings of the Eighth Workshop of the International Network Impact of Empire (Heidelberg, July 5–7, 2007) (Brill, 2009), p. 146.
- Maria E. Ginsberg-Klar, "The Archaeology of Musical Instruments in Germany during the Roman Period," World Archaeology 12.3 (1981), pp. 313, 316.
- Thomas Habinek, The World of Roman Song (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005) passim.
- Habinek, The World of Roman Song, p. 90ff.
- Ginsberg-Klar, "The Archaeology of Musical Instruments in Germany during the Roman Period," p. 313.
- Ginsberg-Klar, "The Archaeology of Musical Instruments in Germany during the Roman Period," p. 314.
- Ginsberg-Klar, "The Archaeology of Musical Instruments in Germany during the Roman Period," p. 316.
- Naerebout, "Dance in the Roman Empire," p. 146ff.
- Naerebout, "Dance in the Roman Empire," pp. 154, 157.
- Naerebout, "Dance in the Roman Empire," pp. 156–157.
- Amy Richlin, "Not before Homosexuality: The Materiality of the cinaedus and the Roman Law against Love between Men," Journal of the History of Sexuality 3.4 (1993), pp. 539–540.
- Eric Csapo and William J. Slater, The Context of Ancient Drama (University of Michigan Press, 1994), p. 377.
- Naerebout, "Dance in the Roman Empire," p. 146.
- Ramsay MacMullen, Christianizing the Roman Empire: (A. D. 100–400) (Yale University Press, 1984), pp. 74–75, 84.
- As quoted by Alcuin, Epistula 175 (Nescit homo, qui histriones et mimos et saltatores introduct in domum suam, quam magna eos immundorum sequitur turba spiritum); Yitzhak Hen, Culture and Religion in Merovingian Gaul, AD 481–751 (Brill, 1995), p. 230.
- William V. Harris, Ancient Literacy (Harvard University Press, 1989), p. 5; William A. Johnson, Ancient Literacies: The Culture of Reading in Greece and Rome (Oxford University Press, 2009), pp. 3–4, especially note 5; T.J. Kraus, "(Il)literacy in Non-Literary Papyri from Graeco-Roman Egypt: Further Aspects of the Educational Ideal in Ancient Literary Sources and Modern Times," Mnemosyme 53.3 (2000), p. 325; Marietta Horster, "Primary Education," in The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World, pp. 89, 97–98.
- Susan P. Mattern, Rome and the Enemy: Imperial Strategy in the Principate (University of California Press, 1999), p. 197; Teresa Morgan, Literate Education in the Hellenistic and Roman Worlds (Cambridge University Press, 1998, 2000), pp. 1–2 et passim; Greg Woolf, "Literacy or Literacies in Rome?" in Ancient Literacies, p. 46ff.; Horster, "Primary Education," in The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World, p. 97. Clifford Ando poses the question as "what good would 'posted edicts' do in a world of low literacy?' in Imperial Ideology and Provincial Loyalty in the Roman Empire (University of California Press, 2000), p. 101 (see also p. 87 on "the government's obsessive documentation").
- Ando, Imperial Ideology and Provincial Loyalty in the Roman Empire, pp. 86–87.
- Ando, Imperial Ideology and Provincial Loyalty in the Roman Empire, p. 101; Kraus, "(Il)literacy in Non-Literary Papyri from Graeco-Roman Egypt," pp. 325–327.
- Ando, Imperial Ideology and Provincial Loyalty in the Roman Empire, pp. 152, 210.
- Mary Beard, "Ancient Literacy and the Written Word in Roman Religion," in Literacy in the Roman World (University of Michigan Press, 1991), p. 59ff; Matthew W. Dickie, Magic and Magicians in the Greco-Roman World (Routledge, 2001, 2003), pp. 94–95, 181–182, and 196; David Frankfurter, "Traditional Cult," in A Companion to the Roman Empire (Blackwell, 2010), p. 555; Harris, Ancient Literacy, pp. 29, 218–219.
- Sara Elise Phang, "Military Documents, Languages, and Literacy," in A Companion to the Roman Army (Blackwell, 2011), pp. 286–301.
- Mattern, Rome and the Enemy, p. 197, citing Harris, Ancient Literacy, pp. 253–255.
- Harris, Ancient Literacy, pp. 9, 48, 215, 248, 258–269. See also Kristina Milnor, "Literary Literacy in Roman Pompeii: The Case of Vergil's Aeneid," p. 290ff.; Woolf, "Literacy or Literacies in Rome?" pp. 47, 54, both in Ancient Literacies. Political slogans and obscenities are widely preserved as graffiti in Pompeii: Antonio Varone, Erotica Pompeiana: Love Inscriptions on the Walls of Pompeii («L'Erma» di Bretschneider, 2002), passim. Soldiers sometimes inscribed sling bullets with aggressive messages: Phang, "Military Documents, Languages, and Literacy," p. 300. For a case study of a specific region in the Western provinces, see Curchin, "Literacy in the Roman Provinces", especially p. 473.
- Mattern, Rome and the Enemy, p. 197; Morgan, Literate Education in the Hellenistic and Roman Worlds, pp. 1–2 et passim.
- Teresa Morgan, "Education," in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome (Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 19–20.
- Wiliam A. Johnson, Readers and Reading Culture in the High Roman Empire: A Study of Elite Communities (Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 17–18.
- Martial, Epigrams 1.2 and 14.184–92, as cited by Johnson, Readers and Reading Culture in the High Roman Empire, p. 17; Guglielmo Cavallo, "Between Volumen and Codex: Reading in the Roman World," in A History of Reading in the West (Polity Press, 1999, originally published in French 1995), pp. 83–84.
- Johnson, Readers and Reading Culture in the High Roman Empire, p. 17; Cavallo, "Between Volumen and Codex: Reading in the Roman World," pp. 84–85.
- Cavallo, "Between Volumen and Codex: Reading in the Roman World," p. 84.
- Anthony J. Marshall, "Library Resources and Creative Writing at Rome," Phoenix 30.3 (1976), p. 253.
- Cavallo, "Between Volumen and Codex," p. 71; Marshall, "Library Resources and Creative Writing at Rome," p. 253, citing on the book trade in the provinces Pliny the Younger, Epistulae 9.11.2; Martial, Epigrams 7.88; Horace, Carmina 2.20.13f. and Ars Poetica 345; Ovid, Tristia 4.9.21 and 4.10.128; Pliny the Elder, Natural History 35.2.11; Sidonius, Epistulae 9.7.1.
- Strabo 13.1.54, 50.13.419; Martial, Epigrams 2.8; Lucian, Adversus Indoctum 1; Marshall, "Library Resources and Creative Writing at Rome," p. 253.
- Marshall, "Library Resources and Creative Writing at Rome," p. 253.
- According to Seneca, Epistulae 27.6f.; Marshall, "Library Resources and Creative Writing at Rome," p. 254.
- Marshall, "Library Resources and Creative Writing at Rome," pp. 252–264.
- Cavallo, "Between Volumen and Codex," pp. 67–68.
- Marshall, "Library Resources and Creative Writing at Rome," pp. 257, 260.
- Pliny, Epistulae 1.8.2; CIL 5.5262 (= ILS 2927); Marshall, "Library Resources and Creative Writing at Rome," p. 255.
- Marshall, "Library Resources and Creative Writing at Rome," pp. 261–262; Cavallo, "Between Volumen and Codex," p. 70.
- Tacitus, Agricola 2.1 and Annales 4.35 and 14.50; Pliny the Younger, Epistulae 7.19.6; Suetonius, Augustus 31, Tiberius 61.3, and Caligula 16; Marshall, "Library Resources and Creative Writing at Rome," p. 263.
- Suetonius, Domitian 10; Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria 9.2.65; Marshall, "Library Resources and Creative Writing at Rome," p. 263.
- Thomas Habinek, "Situating Literacy at Rome," p. 114ff., and Holt N. Parker, "Books and Reading Latin Poetry," p. 186ff., both in Ancient Literacies; Garrett G. Fagan, "Leisure," in A Companion to the Roman Empire (Blackwell, 2010), p. 372.
- Johnson, Readers and Reading Culture in the High Roman Empire, p. 14.
- William A. Johnson, "Constructing Elite Reading Communities in the High Empire," in Ancient Literacies, p. 320ff.
- Cavallo, "Between Volumen and Codex," pp. 68–69, 78–79.
- Cavallo, "Between Volumen and Codex," pp. 81–82.
- Horace, Satire 1.6.74; Horster, "Primary Education," in The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World, p. 95.
- Horster, "Primary Education," in The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World, pp. 84–85.
- Christian Laes, Children in the Roman Empire: Outsiders Within (Cambridge University Press, 2011, originally published in Dutch 2006), p. 108; Horster, "Primary Education," in The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World, p. 89.
- Laes, Children in the Roman Empire, p. 113–116.
- Horster, "Primary Education," in The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World, pp. 90, 92; Laes, Children in the Roman Empire, p. 120.
- Laes, Children in the Roman Empire, p. 120.
- Laes, Children in the Roman Empire, pp. 116–121.
- Horster, "Primary Education," in The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World, pp. 87–89.
- Laes, Children in the Roman Empire, p. 122.
- Horster, "Primary Education," in The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World, p. 90.
- Horster, "Primary Education," in The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World, p. 89.
- Laes, Children in the Roman Empire, pp. 107–108, 132.
- W. Martin Bloomer, The School of Rome: Latin Studies and the Origins of Liberal Education (University of California Press, 2011), pp. 93–97; Morgan, Literate Education in the Hellenistic and Roman Worlds, p. 250. Quintilian uses the metaphor acuere ingenium, "to sharpen talent," as well as agricultural metaphors.
- Bloomer, The School of Rome, pp. 93–94.
- Bloomer, The School of Rome, p. 99.
- Horster, "Primary Education," in The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World, pp. 93–94.
- Horster, "Primary Education," p. 88, and Joy Connolly, "Rhetorical Education," p. 106, both in The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World.
- Laes, Children in the Roman Empire, p. 109.
- Laes, Children in the Roman Empire, p. 132.
- K. Sara Myers, "Imperial Poetry," in A Companion to the Roman Empire, pp. 439, 442.
- Connolly, "Rhetorical Education," in The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World, pp. 102–103, 105.
- Connolly, "Rhetorical Education," in The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World, pp. 104–105.
- Connolly, "Rhetorical Education," in The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World, pp. 103, 106.
- Connolly, "Rhetorical Education," in The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World, p. 110.
- Connolly, "Rhetorical Education," in The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World, p. 107.
- Harris, Ancient Literacy, p. 5.
- R.P. Saller, "Promotion and Patronage in Equestrian Careers," Journal of Roman Studies 70 (1980), p. 56.
- David Armstron, "The Biographical and Social Foundations of Horace's Poetic Voice," in A Companion to Horace (Blackwell, 2010), p. 11; R.O.A.M. Lyne, Horace: Beyond the Public Poetry (Yale University Press, 1995), pp. 2–3; Marietta Horster, "Primary Education," in The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World, p. 94.
- Paula Fredriksen, "Christians in the Roman Empire in the First Three Centuries CE," in A Companion to the Roman Empire (Blackwell, 2010), p. 598.
- Laes, Children in the Roman Empire, pp. 109–110.
- Horster, "Primary Education," in The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World, p. 88.
- Laes, Children in the Roman Empire, p. 110; Morgan, "Education," in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, p. 19.
- Morgan, "Education," in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, p. 18.
- The wide-ranging 21st-century scholarship on the Second Sophistic includes Being Greek under Rome: Cultural Identity, the Second Sophistic and the Development of Empire, edited by Simon Goldhill (Cambridge University Press, 2001); Paideia: The World of the Second Sophistic, edited by Barbara E. Borg (De Gruyter, 2004); and Tim Whitmarsh, The Second Sophistic (Oxford University Press, 2005).
- Thomas N. Habinek, The Politics of Latin Literature: Writing, Identity, and Empire in Ancient Rome (Princeton University Press, 1998), p. 122; Beryl Rawson, Children and Childhood in Roman Italy (Oxford University Press, 2003), p. 80.
- Sharon L. James, Learned Girls and Male Persuasion: Gender and Reading in Roman Love Elegy (University of California Press, 2003), pp. 21–25; W.R. Johnson, "Propertius," pp. 42–43, and Sharon L. James, "Elegy and New Comedy," p. 262, both in A Companion to Roman Love Elegy (Blackwell, 2012).
- Habinek, The Politics of Latin Literature, p. 123.
- Morgan, "Education," in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, p. 20.
- Harris, Ancient Literacy, p. 3.
- Morgan, "Education," in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, p. 19.
- Cavallo, "Between Volumen and Codex: Reading in the Roman World," pp. 87–89.
- Cavallo, "Between Volumen and Codex: Reading in the Roman World," p. 86.
- Michael Roberts, The Jeweled Style: Poetry and Poetics in Late Antiquity (Cornell University Press, 1989, 2010), p. 3.
- Aetas Ovidiana; Charles McNelis, "Ovidian Strategies in Early Imperial Literature," in A Companion to Ovid (Blackwell, 2007), p. 397.
- Roberts, The Jeweled Style, p. 8.
- Leonard A. Curchin, "Literacy in the Roman Provinces: Qualitative and Quantitative Data from Central Spain," American Journal of Philology 116.3 (1995), p. 465.
- Harm-Jan van Dam, "Wandering Woods Again: From Poliziano to Grotius," in The Poetry of Statius (Brill, 2008), p. 45ff.
- Jonathan Master, "The Histories," in A Companion to Tacitus (Blackwell, 2012), p. 88.
- Michael M. Sage, "Tacitus' Historical Works: A Survey and Appraisal," Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt II.33.2 (1990), p. 853.
- Michael von Albrecht, A History of Roman Literature: From Livius Andronicus to Boethius (Brill, 1997), vol. 2, p. 1294 et passim.
- Von Albrecht, A History of Roman Literature, p. 1443.
- Roberts, The Jeweled Style, p. 70.
- Von Albrecht, A History of Roman Literature, vol. 2, p. 1359ff.
- "Not since Vergil had there been a Roman poet so effective at establishing a master narrative for his people": Marc Mastrangelo, The Roman Self in Late Antiquity: Prudentius and the Poetics of the Soul (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), p. 3.
- "Sidonius," in Late Antiquity: A Guide to the Postclassical World (Harvard University Press, 1999, 200), p. 694; Roberts, The Jeweled Style, p. 70.
- Jörg Rüpke, "Roman Religion – Religions of Rome," in A Companion to Roman Religion (Blackwell, 2007), p. 4.
- Apuleius, Florides 1.1; John Scheid, "Sacrifices for Gods and Ancestors," in A Companion to Roman Religion (Blackwell, 2007), p. 279.
- Matthew Bunson, A Dictionary of the Roman Empire (Oxford University Press, 1995), p. 246.
- The caesareum at Najaran was possibly known later as the "Kaaba of Najran": جواد علي, المفصل في تاريخ العرب قبل الإسلام (Jawad Ali, Al-Mufassal fi Tarikh Al-'Arab Qabl Al-Islam; "Commentary on the History of the Arabs Before Islam"), Baghdad, 1955–1983; P. Harland, "Imperial Cults within Local Cultural Life: Associations in Roman Asia", originally published in Ancient History Bulletin / Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte 17 (2003) 91–103.
- For an overview of the representation of Roman religion in early Christian authors, see R.P.C. Hanson, "The Christian Attitue to Pagan Religions up to the Time of Constantine the Great," and Carlos A. Contreras, "Christian Views of Paganism," in Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt II.23.1 (1980) 871–1022.
- "This mentality," notes John T. Koch, "lay at the core of the genius of cultural assimilation which made the Roman Empire possible"; entry on "Interpretatio romana," in Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia (ABC-Clio, 2006), p. 974.
- Rüpke, "Roman Religion – Religions of Rome," p. 4; Benjamin H. Isaac, The Invention of Racism in Classical Antiquity (Princeton University Press, 2004, 2006), p. 449; W.H.C. Frend, Martyrdom and Persecution in the Early Church: A Study of Conflict from the Maccabees to Donatus (Doubleday, 1967), p. 106; Janet Huskinson, Experiencing Rome: Culture, Identity and Power in the Roman Empire (Routledge, 2000), p. 261. See, for instance, the altar dedicated by a Roman citizen and depicting a sacrifice conducted in the Roman manner for the Germanic goddess Vagdavercustis in the 2nd century AD.
- A classic essay on this topic is Arnaldo Momigliano, "The Disadvantages of Monotheism for a Universal State," Classical Philology 81.4 (1986) 285–297.
- Fishwick, vol 1,1, 97–149.)
- H.H. Ben-Sasson, A History of the Jewish People, Harvard University Press, 1976, ISBN 0-674-39731-2, The Crisis Under Gaius Caligula, pages 254–256
- Graeme Clarke, "Third-Century Christianity," in Cambridge Ancient History: The Crisis of Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2005), vol. 12, p. 616; W.H.C. Frend, "Persecutions: Genesis and Legacy," Cambridge History of Christianity: Origins to Constantine (Cambridge University Press, 2006), vol. 1, p. 510. See also: Timothy D. Barnes, "Legislation Against the Christians," Journal of Roman Studies 58 (1968) 32–50; G.E.M de Sainte-Croix, "Why Were the Early Christians Persecuted?" Past & Present 26 (1963) 6–38; Herbert Musurillo, The Acts of the Christian Martyrs (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), pp. lviii–lxii; and A.N. Sherwin-White, "The Early Persecutions and Roman Law Again," Journal of Theological Studies 3.2 (1952) 199–213.
- Tacitus, Annals XV.44
- Eusebius of Caessarea (425). Church History.
- Smallwood, E.M. (1956). "'Domitian's attitude towards the Jews and Judaism". Classical Philology 51: 1–13. doi:10.1086/363978.
- Pliny, Epistle to Trajan on the Christians, http://www.mesacc.edu/~tomshoemaker/handouts/pliny.html
- W.H.C. Frend, "The Failure of the Persecutions in the Roman Empire," Past and Present 16 (1959) 10–30.
- See Peter Brown, in Bowersock et al, Late antiquity: a guide to the postclassical world, Harvard University Press, (1999), for "pagan" as a mark of socio-religious inferiority in Latin Christian polemic: 
- Stefan Heid, "The Romanness of Roman Christianity," in A Companion to Roman Religion (Blackwell, 2007), pp. 406–426; on vocabulary in particular, Robert Schilling, "The Decline and Survival of Roman Religion", Roman and European Mythologies (University of Chicago Press, 1992, from the French edition of 1981), p. 110.
- Burgan, Michael (2009). Empire of Ancient Rome. Infobase Publishing. pp. 113–114. ISBN 978-1-4381-2659-3.
- Thomas F. X. Noble, Barry Strauss, Duane J. Osheim, Kristen B. Neuschel, Elinor Ann Accampo (2010). Western Civilization: Beyond Boundaries, 1300–1815. Cengage Learning. p. 352. ISBN 978-1-4240-6959-0.
- Daniel Goffman (2002). The Ottoman Empire and Early Modern Europe. Cambridge University Press. p. 107.
- Encyclopædia Britannica, History of Europe, The Romans, 2008, O.Ed.
- Martin Collier (2003). Italian Unification, 1820–71. Heinemann. p. 22. ISBN 0-435-32754-2.
- Ward Briggs, "United States," in A Companion to the Classical Tradition (Blackwell, 2010), p. 279ff.
- D.W. Meinig, The Shaping of America: A Geographical Perspective on 500 Years of History. Atlantic America, 1492–1800 (Yale University Press, 1986), vol. 1, pp. 434–435; Lawrence J. Vale, Architecture, Power, and National Identity (Yale University Press, 1992), pp. 11, 66–67; Harry Francis Mallgrave, Modern Architectural Theory: A Historical Survey, 1673–1968 (Cambridge University Press, 2005), pp. 144–145; James D. Kornwall, Architecture and Town Planning in Colonial North America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001), vol. 3, pp. 1246, 1405–1408; Gordon S. Wood, The Idea of America: Reflections on the Birth of the United States (Penguin, 2011), pp. 73–74; Peter S. Onuf and Nicholas P. Cole, introduction to Thomas Jefferson, the Classical World, and Early America (University of Virginia Press, 2011), p. 5. Michael Dietler, Archaeologies of Colonialism: Consumption, Engtahglement, and Violence in Ancient Mediterranean France (University of California Press, 2010), n.p., regards the American adoption of the classical tradition as a justification for colonialism and imperialism.
- Briggs, "United States," in A Companion to the Classical Tradition, pp. 282–286; Wood, The Idea of America, pp. 60, 66, 73–74, 239.
- Meinig, The Shaping of America, Mark Gelernter, A History of American Architecture: Buildings in Their Cultural and Technological Context (University Press of New England, 1999) p. 13.
- Richard Guy Wilson, "Thomas Jefferson's Classical Architecture: An American Agenda," in Thomas Jefferson, the Classical World, and Early America (University of Virginia Press, 2011), p. 122; Kornwall, Architecture and Town Planning in Colonial North America, vol. 3, pp. 1404–1405; Hannah Spahn, Thomas Jefferson, Time, and History (University of Virginia Press, 2011), pp. 144–145, 163–167; Meinig, The Shaping of America, pp. 432–433; Vale, Architecture, Power, and National Identity, p. 66.
- Wood, The Idea of America, pp. 228–330; Jackson Lears, Rebirth of a Nation: The Making of Modern America, 1877–1920 (HarperCollins, 2009), pp. 277–278; Frederick Gutheim and Antoinette J. Lee, Worthy of the Nation: Washington, DC, from L'Enfant to the National Capital Planning Committee (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006), 2nd ed.), pp. 137, 152.
- Frank Frost Abbott (1901). A History and Description of Roman Political Institutions. Elibron Classics. ISBN 0-543-92749-0.
- J. A. Crook, Law and Life of Rome, 90 BC–AD 212, 1967 (ISBN 0-8014-9273-4).
- Arther Ferrill, The Fall of the Roman Empire: The Military Explanation, Thames and Hudson, 1988 (ISBN 0-500-27495-9).
- Goldsworthy, Adrian. The Complete Roman Army, Thames and Hudson, 2003 (ISBN 0-500-05124-0).
- Benjamin Isaac, "The Limits of Empire: the Roman Army in the East" Oxford University Press, 1992 (ISBN 0-19-814926-3).
- Andrew Lintott, Imperium Romanum: Politics and administration, 1993 (ISBN 0-415-09375-9).
- Edward Luttwak, The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976/1979 (ISBN 0-8018-2158-4).
|Library resources about
- John Bagnell Bury, A History of the Roman Empire from its Foundation to the death of Marcus Aurelius, 1913, ISBN 978-1-4367-3416-5
- Duncan B Campbell, The Rise of Imperial Rome, AD 14-193, Osprey, 2013, ISBN 978-1-78096-280-1
- Winston Churchill, A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, Cassell, 1998, ISBN 0-304-34912-7
- Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 1776–1789
- Adrian Goldsworthy. In the Name of Rome: The Men Who Won the Roman Empire, Weidenfield and Nicholson, 2003, ISBN 0-297-84666-3
- Michael Grant, The History of Rome, Faber and Faber, 1993, ISBN 0-571-11461-X
- Antonio Santosuosso, Storming the Heavens: Soldiers, Emperors and Civilians in the Roman Empire, Westview Press, 2001, ISBN 0-8133-3523-X
|Find more about Roman Empire at Wikipedia's sister projects|
|Definitions and translations from Wiktionary|
|Media from Commons|
|Quotations from Wikiquote|
|Source texts from Wikisource|
|Textbooks from Wikibooks|
|Learning resources from Wikiversity|
- Romans for Children, a BBC website on ancient Rome for children at primary-school level.
- Rome Unleashed, interactive educational website on ancient Rome for students.
- Interactive map of the Roman Empire at Vici.org
- Historical Atlas showing the expansion of the Roman Empire.
- Roman-Empire.net, learning resources and re-enactments.
- The Roman Empire in the First Century (PBS).
- United Nations of Roma Victrix
- The Romans
- The Historical Theater in the Year 400 AD, in Which Both Romans and Barbarians Resided Side by Side in the Eastern Part of the Roman Empire