The history of different countries in the world holds several events that led to some great historical changes. Like, you must have read about the huge industrial changes that took place in the world during and after the Industrial Revolution. Similarly, some things and events changed the rule of Rome and make it an Empire. Have you heard about how was Rome a site of encounter and what kind of exchanges occurred in Rome? Let’s find it out!
1. What is meant by a Site of Encounter?
A place where people from different cultures or religions meet and exchange ideas, technologies, and products is known as a site of encounter. People at a site of encounter not only indulge in exchanges but in creation too. Due to the exchange of numerous ideas, products, and technologies new ideas, technologies, and products are often created. (See What are the 3 Types of History?)
2. How was Rome a Site of Encounter?
From 70 to 80 AD Rome was famous for its Colosseum, which was a 12-storey building that can hold about 50,000 spectators at once. It was an oval amphitheatre that was built in the centre of the city. It was built by the rulers of the Flavian Empire. So, how was Rome a site of encounter? This place used to hold gladiators’ fights which made Rome a site of encounter. (See How were Ideas from Classical Philosophy applied to Renaissance Government?)
3. Why did Romans like Gladiator Fights?
Gladiator fight was a death game in which armed combatants fought with each other until one of them died. It was done for public entertainment because a matter of life and death raised fascination and excitement in public. Throughout the Roman Empire, there were several popular contests. People used shields, swords, spears, and other weapons during the duel. (See What is the One Factor that led to the Emergence of Romanticism?)
4. How Rome became an Important Trading Site?
After knowing how was Rome a site of encounter there is still much to know about it. Ancient Rome was considered an important place for trade because various exchanges took place to and from there. Due to the gladiator fights, there were lots of tourists and spectators from different locations both from nearby and from far-off lands. However, various trade routes proved to be another aspect of the easy carrying of trade.
- Building the Roads: Romans built several roads for connecting different locations in the country. The primary motive behind building the roads was to provide quick and accurate pathways for the Roman Army to move around. Another reason was easy transportation facilities to enhance trade.
- Important Seaports: The country has several important trade ports that enhanced its trade relations with the country. Ostia was situated at the mouth of the river Tiber and was a major port for Italy. As it was the nearest port to Rome only about 15 miles from Rome, it was also a major port for trade in Rome. Several ships sailed between Carthage, North Africa and Ostia, Italy and the journey was completed within 3 to 5 days.
- Important Sea Routes: Ostia became the most important sea route for carrying out trade among other nations like France and Spain. Goods were able to move quickly to Rome in barges by the slaves and from Rome to the port and then on merchant ships.
- Safety and Ease of Trade: Romans were very serious regarding the safety and ease of the trade taking place in the country. Romans built safe harbours, docks, and lighthouses. Roman navy was always on its toes to keep the Mediterranean Sea, docks and ports safe from pirates. To make trade easy, only one currency was used. There were no rigid or complicated dues related to customs.
5. What Kind of Exchanges occurred in Rome?
Trade was considered a vital activity that led to the success of the Roman Empire and it was encouraged within the Empire during different years of peace. Knowing about the exchanges is also interesting because they are a reason for how was Rome a site of encounter. Various things were imported into the country as well as exported from the country.
Imported items included beef, corn, glassware, iron, lead, leather, marble, olive oil, perfumes, purple dye, silk, timber, tin, and wine. Romans received woollen products, tin, and lead from Britain in exchange Britain imported olive oil, wine, pottery, and papyrus from Rome. Other than Britain main trading partners of the Romans were the Middle East, North Africa, France, and Spain. (See Why was Carnegie Steel considered a Vertical Monopoly?)
6. How did Rome become an Empire?
How was Rome a site of encounter? Rome was known to be a multicultural empire where there were several ethnic groups and people related to different cultures. However, after the foundation of the Roman Republic in 509 BC after overthrowing the last ruling Etruscan King, the government was a representative democracy. Though it was a democracy, certain situations paved a way for an uproar and downfall of the democracy and the rise of an Empire once again. (See How would you Explain the Rise of Napoleon?)
7. Who has the Power in Democracy?
It was under the power of Patricians, one of the wealthiest families in Rome. Only people belonging to this family were allowed to hold a political or religious office whereas everyone else was considered a Plebeian, probably a low-class person. This situation continued for about 200 years during which Plebeians continuously fought for gaining their place and share of power in the government. Also, check out Who gives the Authority to Colonize in a Charter Colony?
8. When was the Council of Plebs Founded?
In 494 BC, there was a situation when plebeians put up a strike and refused to carry out any work or orders given to them by the Senate, the advisor of the republicans on matters related to the administration of cities and towns. This strike proved to be useful and helped Plebeians to establish Concilium Plebis or the Council of the Plebs. Moreover, these plebeians had a voice in the government. It led to the formation of the Roman government’s new law-making or legislative bodies, known as assemblies. (See Why Rome is so famous?)
9. How was Republic Affected?
For several centuries the management of the government was carried on efficiently but with the increase in power and territory, internal conflicts emerged. Citizens and families were struggling and fighting with each other for more power. Take a look below for some notable events that took place during that time:
- Marcs Cicero, a famous Roman Orator, uncovered a plot by a Roman senator, Lucius Catiline in the 1st century BCE. He aimed to overthrow the Roman government.
- Gracchus brothers, common citizens began to start some government reforms and social reforms for helping the poor.
10. What was the Result of the Fight for Power?
Apart from explaining how was Rome a site of encounter it is now interesting to understand how things changed in the country. Among all these plots and plans, factions emerged which included small or large groups of supporters. People loyal to patricians, plebeians, specific military generals, senators, etc. formed separate factions (small groups among large organizations). All this led to an increase in hostilities which was the root cause of several civil wars in the republic. The nation suffered a lot during these wars but a prominent statesman and general rose to power. He was Julius Caesar who conquered the province of Gaul and commanded loyalty from his soldiers. Must read Fall of Constantinople Effects.
11. Why Leaders feared Caesar?
After marching into Rome with his army and winning the civil war against Pompey, his political rival, Caesar was named a dictator. Other leaders feared his power. They were afraid that the title and power would make him a tyrant which could be a problem for the nation. To prevent this from happening, a group of senators was formed that assassinated Caesar resulting in his death. (See What Language did They Speak in Rome?)
12. Who was the New Emperor?
After the death of Caesar, Augustus defeated the senators and established himself as the first Roman Emperor. Augustus was the nephew of Julius Caesar and his heir. With this, the power from representative democracy was shifted to centralized imperial authority. In this, the Emperor was the most powerful of all the authorities.
The answer to how was Rome a site of encounter was in its Colosseum. So, what kind of exchanges occurred in Rome? It can be found in the various imports and exports taking place from the ports. And lastly, the answer to how did Rome become an empire lies in the weakness of the Senators and the power held by Augustus. Hope you liked this article and if you do, share it with your friends. (See Who was the Greatest King of ALL TIME?)