Culture of ancient Rome
The culture of ancient Rome existed throughout the almost 1200-year history of the civilization of Ancient Rome. The term refers to the culture of the Roman Republic, later the Roman Empire, which at its peak covered an area from Lowland Scotland and Morocco to the Euphrates.
Life in ancient Rome revolved around the city of Rome, its famed seven hills, and its monumental architecture such as the Flavian Amphitheatre (now called the Colosseum), the Forum of Trajan, and the Pantheon. The city also had several theaters, gymnasia, and many taverns, baths, and brothels. Throughout the territory under ancient Rome’s control, residential architecture ranged from very modest houses to country villas, and in the capital city of Rome, there were imperial residences on the elegant Palatine Hill, from which the word palace is derived. The vast majority of the population lived in the city center, packed into insulae (apartment blocks).
The city of Rome was the largest megalopolis of that time, with a population that may well have exceeded one million people, with a high end estimate of 3.6 million and a low end estimate of 450,000. Historical estimates indicate that around 30% of the population under the city’s jurisdiction lived in innumerable urban centers, with population of at least 10,000 and several military settlements, a very high rate of urbanization by pre-industrial standards. The most urbanized part of the Empire was Italy, which had an estimated rate of urbanization of 32%, the same rate of urbanization of England in 1800. Most Roman towns and cities had a forum, temples and the same type of buildings, on a smaller scale, as found in Rome. The large urban population required an endless supply of food which was a complex logistical task, including acquiring, transporting, storing and distribution of food for Rome and other urban centers. Italian farms supplied vegetables and fruits, but fish and meat were luxuries. Aqueducts were built to bring water to urban centers and wine and oil were imported from Hispania, Gaul and Africa.