The Roman Empire lasted from 27 BC – 476 AD . During this period, power was exercised by the emperors. There was also the senate, the governors of the provinces and the generals. Features of Roman Empire
The first centuries of the Roman Empire were marked by a prosperous and stable phase with regard to the political context. At its height, the Empire occupied five million square kilometers and represented 21% of the world’s population.
Know now 7 important characteristics of this period:
1. Senators held office for life
In Rome, senators were chosen taking into account the wealth and social status occupied by citizens. They belonged to a social stratum called patricians and were the owners of agricultural production properties.
Initially, the selection process for these positions took place among citizens who were part of the nobility. However, in other periods it also contemplated the social strata of the commoners.
During the Empire, senators always represented the highest rank of the Roman State. Features of Roman Empire
2. The Roman Empire was polytheistic
Polytheism consists of a belief that contemplates the worship of different deities and the belief of the Romans included elements that belonged to different types of cults.
The polytheism of the Roman Empire was mainly influenced by Greek, Etruscan and Oriental beliefs.
The period of decline of polytheistic belief in the Roman Empire occurred due to the rise of Christianity, between the 1st and 4th centuries, which later became the official religion of the Empire.
3. Military coups were one of the forms of conquest
The coming to power and obtaining new territories from the Empire often happened through coups d’état and advances made with the help of the Roman army. Features of Roman Empire
The army also had the function of protecting the territories already conquered through military coups.
4. The economy was based on agriculture and mining
The Romans were responsible for improving harvesting processes through the incorporation of an irrigation method using aqueducts. It is also believed that, in addition to using animals to plow the land, the Romans resorted to mechanized resources.
Another important activity for the economy of the Roman Empire was mining, mining explorations included open pit and underground mines.
The main ores handled during the period were lead, copper, tin, iron, gold and silver.
5. Had a great impact on the architecture domain
Roman architecture is well known for its numerous temples, courts, palaces, arches and public baths, having importance in world architecture to the present day. It was influenced by Greek architecture and its architectural orders (Doric, Ionic and Corinthian). Features of Roman Empire
Aqueducts are a highlight of Greek architecture. They are refined water supply systems that were created to irrigate cities.
Roman architecture is essentially characterized by its grandiose works, the use of columns and arches and a strong presence of wealth and luxury in the buildings.
Examples of some of the most famous works of Roman architecture, located in the city of Rome: Coliseum, Roman Forum and Pantheon.
Roman architecture directly influenced other architectural styles such as Renaissance architecture.
6. Emergence of Latin
Latin emerged during the Roman Empire, being initially spoken in Lazio, the Italian region where the city of Rome was founded. It was the official language of the Roman Empire during its existence. Features of Roman Empire
With the passage of time it spread to the rest of the Italian territory and to other parts of the European continent.
It was popular Latin, used by Roman citizens, that reached other regions. In addition to this, there was also erudite Latin, which was used by writers and the most literate citizens of the time.
The Latin language has great importance in world history as it gave rise to several other languages , called Latin languages, such as Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Galician.
7. Creation of Roman Law
During the period of the Roman Empire, rules were created that influence the law until the present day. Such rules began to be used at the beginning of the foundation of Rome, which took place in the year 753 BC.
At that time there was a complex legal system that was initially based on the customs of the local society. It is also from the period of the Roman Empire that the concept of citizenship emerged, which is so important for the functioning of the legal universe to this day. Features of Roman Empire
The principle of legislation during the Roman Empire is marked with the Law of the Twelve Tables , which established norms corresponding to a Constitution. This law also defined some rules of behavior and social interaction.
The Twelve Tables Law dealt with matters that are still protected by law, such as: property rights, successions, crimes and issues of public law.