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date: 05 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Roman cities were just like Greek cities. Rome's early urban development is a fascinating example of how new urban forms reflect social and economic change in the Iron Age Mediterranean world. Communications were vital: in this Rome was like Corinth, Carthage, or Miletus. As Rome's military ascendancy increased, it became clear that simply expanding the city-state was no longer practical. At a distance from Rome, self-organising but dependent towns were more effective; hence the many new coloniae founded during the late fourth and third centuries. Tied as closely to Rome as the earlier expansionist settlements, they inherited other features from them – allotted landscapes, and links with Rome via a growing network of roads. Roman urbanism is distinctive in its relationship to larger structures – and, above all, those of the Roman state, which meant the state's centre: the city of Rome itself. So, between 340 and 180 BCE, Rome became a single state with numerous urban centres.

Keywords: Rome, cities, urbanism, urban centres, urban development, communications, roads, city-state, social change, economic change

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