Story of Farming 


Development of Farming



European (middle ages)







Development of Cities



































Roman Cities

The following are raw research notes on the development of farming in Ancient Rome


Rome also developed with the combination of small farming communities around a romehilltop fortification. (9C)

Greek and Roman colonies were planted for trade and to exploit the areas agricultural base for excess crops which were needed in the home states. (10C)

Roman cities were planned with two major streets running East –West and North-South intersecting at the forum, which was the center of commerce in the city. (9C)

"Virtually all Roman cities had schools, and the larger ones had libraries. Streets were generally paved after Julius Caesar’s time and large centers had pavements." (9C)

"Augustan Rome with a population estimated at between 700,000 and one million, was the only megalopolis in the West. It's street plan which at its greatest extent had 85 km of road, was an irregular maze. Most streets were footpaths or could accommodate only one cart at a time. The central city had only two viea (streets on which two carts could pass each other), on opposed sides of the main forum, although the outlying areas had twenty." (pg. 6) (9C)

"The Roman Republic made significant contributions to city design, that of the application of planning the city following the pattern of a military camp." (5C)

Nero, after a large fire in 64 AD, tried to rebuild it in a more planned manner. (5C)

Romans in the third century built walls around most of their major cities because of increasing threats of invasions from the northern "barbarians". (9C)

During the early times of Rome many public buildings were financed by wealth families. They received honor and notice for their building, and it was a way to develop political power. By the fourth century private building had stopped completely due to drying up of commerce. (9C)

Constantine made an edict of toleration in 312. This caused many Christian churches to be developed in cities. Cities where bishops were located often prospered because of the increased traffic in that city. (9C)

"By the fifth century bishops were virtually unchallenged rulers of most cities in both Italy and Gaul; only from the late sixth century would their power be cured in some places by the rise of counts." (pg. 17) (9C)

"Rome was faced with major problems both in governing this vast area and maintaining peace and security within it. In order to achieve these aims, the central government relied heavily upon the city. Cities were the primary level of the administrations of the empire, upon which the central government devolved a heavy burden of responsibility for the administration of both local affairs and certain imperial duties." (pg. 121)(10C)

"Until the reality of the Pax Romana, the largest and most expensive urban monuments were city walls. They were a sign both of the community’s independence and the unstable military and political situation in ancient Greece and Italy before the domination of Rome." (pg. 149) (10C)

"Because of the military influences on Roman colonization, Roman planning fully integrated urban defenses with the city plan and the street system. The walls and the streets were laid out concurrently as part of the coordinated planning of the city. The main streets led directly from the center of town to the gates, and the ‘pomerial’ road ran around the city immediately inside the walls." (pg. 150) (10C)

"The equivalent area of a Roman town was the forum and it developed in much the same way as the Greek Agora as the center of public life." (pg. 154) (10C)

"The forum differs most markedly form the Greek Agora in its concept as an open space. The Agora remained essentially an open public square which attracted public building. The forum on the other hand, surrounded by shops, offices and porticoes, evolved as an enclosed area, linked to but independent of the street system." (pg. 154) (10C)

"The city, wherever it existed, was the basic unit for tax-collection. This duty was entrusted to the local notables, and not the representative of central power." (pg. 231)(11C)

"Rome thus developed as a city-state to a pattern which is ultimately Greek, and this remained an important part of her nature....." (pg. 10) (14C)

"For the Roman emperors cities served as a distinct administrative purpose, relieving the central authorities of responsibility for local administration which was difficult to run centrally even with the improved communications which Rome created." (pg. 11) (14C)

Water supply was good until the 4th century BC. After that time, water of the rivers became too polluted so the Romans constructed 509 km of aqueducts to bring clean water into the city. (8C)

"Nero’s famous fire of AD 64 had left only four of the regions untouched;  three had been completely obliterated and seven others hopelessly damaged. Premeditated or not, this fire was needed to remove the worst excesses of high density, shoddy building and grossly inadequate streets, in order to give an opportunity for comprehensive rebuilding which the Romans would not otherwise have accepted." (pg.44) (8C)

During the early times of Rome many public building were done by wealth families. They received honor and notice for their building and it was a way to develop political power. By the fourth century private building had stopped completely due to drying up of commerce. (9C)

Rome was fortified seven times with seven distinct sets of walls each expanding the cities urban limits. (8C)

Rome in the later stages became a very large welfare state. In second century AD 175,000 people received public assistance from the city – which translates to about 1/3 of the population. In the later time of the empire many resources were spent on entertaining the citizens of Rome. The Circus Maximus was able to seat 255,000 at one time. The famous Colosseum held over 50,000 and was able to be flooded for mock naval battles. (8C)

"Under Julius Caesar that was still in force, carriages were forbidden to use these streets by day, since it was found that there was not room in them both for wheeled vehicles and pedestrians. Even the disastrous fire of AD 64 had not given the town-planners space enough to provide their Metropolis with the regularity and ease of communications which Hippodamos of Miletus had been able to bestow on Piraeus and Thurii as early as the fifth century BC." (pg. 34) (3C)

In Antonione’s time there were developed within the city limits many gardens and parks for private estates as well as public parks. (3C)