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An Introduction to Ancient Rome

Part 7: Construction, Culture, Economics

But Rome wasn't all wars and conquests. The Roman civilization is also famous for its construction and its culture.

The Romans connected the vast parts of their Empire with roads, which they made straight and solid. They also built aqueducts to carry water from the far reaches of the Empire to large cities. And, the Romans built many baths, which provided heated water through inventive means.

The backbone of Roman civilization was the farmer. Grain was a staple and was shipped all across the Empire to feed the growing population. Other popular Roman crops included wine and olive oil. As the population of the Empire grew, the need for other crops arose. One answer was the latifundia, a large farm that produced sheep or cattle to sell, rather than to be eaten.

Another major element of Roman civilization was trade. Roman ports sent ships to the far reaches of the earth, and goods from far-away places like China made their way to Roman markets as well. The famous Silk Road stretched from China to Roman markets in the Middle East. Major Roman exports included pottery, bronze, and cloth.

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