The Roman Empire is one of the most renowned and historic empires ever to have existed. It is still, until this very day, talked of and taught to the younger generation. The Ancient Romans helped to shape the world into what it is today. The Roman Empire stretched all over the world and dominated the Mediterranean. Roman culture has had a profound and long-lasting influence over much of the territories once contained within its empire. It has contributed to the development of religion, law, language, philosophy, architecture, and government. The Latin language is also widely taught and spoken and is one of the Romance languages.
The Roman Empire adopted Christianity and spread it throughout its territory. While Roman Christianity, which later became known as Catholicism, is fraught with pagan systems of belief, the Roman Empire was a driving force in stopping pagan worship, which is why it is not widely practised to this day. The Roman Empire, as it conquered, developed, and built cities in the territories, it came across. By the time the Roman Empire dwindled and faded into obscurity, it had, undeniably, left its mark on the world. The Roman Empire will likely never be forgotten, and its architecture and historical sights are still studied until this very day.
Unsurprisingly, Rome, the capital of the Roman Empire, is still full of ancient Roman buildings and sights, and they are some of the most frequently visited destinations in the entire world.
Here are eight (of many) cities shaped by Roman culture.
Istanbul, known to the Romans as Constantinople, once known as Byzantium to the Greeks, became the Roman capital of the east. Constantinople was positioned on the shores of Propontis. It was built in 330 AD by Emperor Constantine. It was built and considered to be the new Rome and was known as the Queen of all Cities. It also served as a gateway to the Mediterranean Sea and the Euxine Seas. Within a few years of its construction, it became the main trading point for the entire Roman Empire and was crucial in the spice and silk trade. Constantinople grew terribly rich and became synonymous with luxury and indulgence. It was a city of sensualists. Istanbul was later conquered by the Ottoman’s after the Medieval Byzantine Empire. The Ottoman’s ruled Istanbul for hundreds of years, and it is now part of modern-day Turkey. Its streets are still lined with Roman architecture and are a wonderful example of a Roman city.
York is a city in Great Britain, home to a beautifully designed and preserved Roman colosseum. The professionals at adaptabletravel.co.uk, an international tour guide, say that York has the best Roman ruins in the entire United Kingdom despite only having a few Roman ruins. Many ruins are still hidden and are being excavated until this very day. Unfortunately, due to industrialization and roads being built atop ruins, many of the ruins cannot be accessed, nor can permission be granted to have the ruins excavated.
Ravenna, once an overlooked and overgrown swamp, is now one of the most beautiful examples of Roman architecture and has had its culture shaped and moulded by the Romans. It was built upon by Augustus as a military port, which led to further development. It eventually became a town significant to the Romans, and Trajan built canals around and through the city to ease transportation. Emperor Honorius moved the capital of Western Rome to Ravenna. It still stands to this very day.
Rome, of course, is a prime example that cannot be overlooked. Rome is where the Romans came from, and therefore, is the city that influenced the rest. Ancient Rome, once the capital of the world, still stands in splendour and beauty to this very day. Many of the ancient Roman ruins remain. In Rome, you can find the Vatican, home of the Catholic Church, and of course, you can find the astounding modern architecture of the last five-hundred-years. Rome is known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and rightfully so. It is a beautiful, hot, and luscious city, abundant with life, culture, and laughter.
Carthage, situated on the island of Tunisia, was a very important Roman city that was first established by Phoenician queen Elissa in BC 814. The city was a very important trading hub for the Romans. It saw frequent invasions during the Punic Wars, during which it became a Roman settlement, and the Carthaginians came under the rule of the Roman Empire. It was completely devastated after the Byzantine invasion in AD 698. It still exists as a seaside suburb in the capital city of Tunis today.
Alexandria, located in Egypt, still stands until this very day. It was founded by Alexander the Great in BC 33. The city developed so rapidly that it became the main trading hub, overtaking cities like Carthage, as mentioned previously. Within a hundred years of its conception, it became one of the most important cities in the world and boasted a massive Greek and Jewish population. It was a very important city for education, also, and was indelibly shaped by the Romans.
Athens, famous for its invasion by the Spartans. Athens was a very important city in ancient Rome, and it became a centre for education and hedonism. Athens is one of the most famous cities in the world and still exists and is visited regularly until this very day. It gradually faded out of popularity and into obscurity in the Roman Empire, and eventually was conquered and dominated by the aforementioned, Spartans.
How could any list be complete without Milan? Milan, a beautiful, lush city, was once the acting capital of the Western Roman Empire. It also became the seat of Saint Ambrose, who had the authority to challenge the Roman Empire in his decisions and power. Milan is now one of the most famous and visited cities in the world.
Now you know eight cities changed indelibly by Roman culture and civilization. The Roman Empire has changed the entire world with religion, philosophy, and art, and is an empire that will never be forgotten for as long as man walks on this planet.