Here are some facts about the Roman Empire.
- The Roman Empire was one of the most powerful and extensive empires the world has ever seen. It reached its height in around 120 AD and began to decline in 285 AD.
- At its height, the Roman Empire stretched from northern England to North Africa, and from Spain to Syria. One in every four people in the world were under Rome’s rule.
- Rome was the centre of the huge empire. It had a population of over a million and it was not until the 19th century that another city, London, became larger.
- The Romans were wonderful architects and invented the arch and the dome, and built many bridges and aqueducts. They constructed over 70 dams in Spain alone, many of which are still used.
- They built over 100 huge amphitheatres all over their empire, including the famous Coliseum in Rome. The Coliseum could comfortably seat up to 80,000 people. (Click the link to learn more about Roman buildings)
- The Roman network of roads stretched for over 80,000 km all over Europe. Towns and cities had toilets and a water supply, and rich people enjoyed central heating and running water.
- Education was important to Romans, although often only boys attended school. Books were very expensive and each page had to be written by hand by specially trained scribes. (Click the link to learn more about Roman education)
- At one time, almost 35 percent of the people in the Roman Empire were slaves. Slaves were taken to the furthest corners of the empire.
- Claudius, Augustus and Maximinus were several important Roman emperors. Julius Caesar, another well-known emperor, has been portrayed in many films and the month of July was named after him.
- The Roman Empire declined for several reasons. These included poor political decisions, too much spending on the army, a failing economy and rebellions in several parts of the empire.
What next? Discover some more facts about the Romans.