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View Poll Results: Most livable part of the Roman world?
Egypt 11 18.64%
Italy 28 47.46%
Asia Minor 11 18.64%
Gaul 2 3.39%
Hispania 3 5.08%
Britannia 1 1.69%
Syria 3 5.08%
Voters: 59. You may not vote on this poll

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Old October 28th, 2015, 08:38 AM   #1

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Which part of the Roman world was most livable?


We are speaking about general safety, living conditions, development both economic and cultural as well as perceived effectiveness of administration, though the last one might be hard to speculate about.

To sum it up, where could a Roman citizen enjoy a relatively peaceful, stable atmosphere, with access to most or all advancements of Greco-Roman civilization?

I will include a poll.

PS I think it would be interesting to analyze each of the provinces in the poll from the perspective of categories I've included, I will also try to provide an insight regarding this question.

Last edited by Valens; October 28th, 2015 at 08:43 AM.
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Old October 28th, 2015, 08:49 AM   #2

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I went with Italy because that was where all the goods from all across the Empire usually headed towards.
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Old October 28th, 2015, 09:00 AM   #3

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I went with Italy because that was where all the goods from all across the Empire usually headed towards.
In this case, all factors combined should be taken into consideration. Italy was rich and it enjoyed all of the advances of Roman civilization, yet it was subjected to political instability from time to time, and civil wars were not that uncommon, even prior to the III century.
Common citizens had probably been relatively safe from political upheavals in Rome, still we must consider also the position of the upper classes.
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Old October 28th, 2015, 09:09 AM   #4
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If I was rich, in Roman Italy, if I was poor, in Roman Egypt. Since I'm more likely to be poor, I chose Egypt.

Both areas had good security and were relatively peaceful for centuries through much of the Imperial period. All roads did lead to Rome, but Alexandria in Egypt was quite important. Being as advanced and multicultural as Rome, it was ably administrated by the Emperors (not Caracalla) who treated the province like a private fiefdom which wasn't subject to the Senate. As an Imperial city it would've received many of the same goods that could also be obtained in Rome. Food was certainly plentiful, much more so than Rome, which was dependent on food imports just to sustain its population and suffered the occasional famine.
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Old October 28th, 2015, 09:16 AM   #5

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Originally Posted by jalidi View Post
If I was rich, in Roman Italy, if I was poor, in Roman Egypt. Since I'm more likely to be poor, I chose Egypt.

Both areas had good security and were relatively peaceful for centuries through much of the Imperial period. All roads did lead to Rome, but Alexandria in Egypt was quite important. Being as advanced and multicultural as Rome, it was ably administrated by the Emperors (not Caracalla) who treated the province like a private fiefdom which wasn't subject to the Senate. As an Imperial city it would've received many of the same goods that could also be obtained in Rome. Food was certainly plentiful, much more so than Rome, which was dependent on food imports just to sustain its population and suffered the occasional famine.
Don't you agree it would be comfortable for an upper class Roman of settling in Egypt? Providing he does not have considerable political ambition, Egypt might be as good as Italy.
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Old October 28th, 2015, 09:30 AM   #6
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Don't you agree it would be comfortable for an upper class Roman of settling in Egypt? Providing he does not have considerable political ambition, Egypt might be as good as Italy.
I think it would be, for the wealthy maybe the best in the Empire outside Italy. The revenue and production of Roman Egypt are astonishing. The Emperor Nero himself wanted to retain Egypt, if he were allowed to abdicate. So there must have been some attraction for the rich, who would've done what they could to have the comforts of Italy brought to them.
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Old October 28th, 2015, 10:11 AM   #7
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I think you forgot Northern Africa with Carthago as a center. It was among most important imperial cities and Libya supplied whole Italy with wheat, replacing in that role Egypt which was turned to supply Constantinople after it became capital.
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Old October 28th, 2015, 10:17 AM   #8

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Dacia ofc!

... ok im just joking Italy, definitely !
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Old October 28th, 2015, 10:18 AM   #9

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I think you forgot Northern Africa with Carthago as a center. It was among most important imperial cities and Libya supplied whole Italy with wheat, replacing in that role Egypt which was turned to supply Constantinople after it became capital.
Yes, I see it now, I've missed Africa Proconsularis. It was surely one of the most urban Roman provinces with Carthage being among most populous cities in the Empire, as well as an important seat for early Christians.

As for grain, you're completely right, in the Western half in was North Africa and Sicily which also produced wheat on a large scale.

I'm not sure, but I think that prior to the conquest of North Africa and Egypt, Sicily served as a principal breadbasket of Rome.
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Old October 28th, 2015, 10:23 AM   #10

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Originally Posted by arras View Post
I think you forgot Northern Africa with Carthago as a center. It was among most important imperial cities and Libya supplied whole Italy with wheat, replacing in that role Egypt which was turned to supply Constantinople after it became capital.

I came to tell that, the area called Africa Proconsularis, with Carthage, was one of the most developed centres of the Empire.

In the poll, I voted for Asia Minor. The province of Asia, comprehending western Anatolia, could be even more developed than Italy.
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