What Kept the Roman Empire Together?

Table of Content

The Romans were people from a city called ‘Rome’, this was the greatest city of it’s time, at one point, there was nearly 1 million people living there. The Romans were very powerful people, who were extremely good at planning and fighting for Rome. The Roman Empire was a place, where the Roman army would gather to discuss their plans on how to make things better in the army. In my opinion, the least important reason for ‘What kept the Roman Empire together’ was the Roman Emperor.

His name was Octavian, he had a war against Mark Anthony, Octavian won and became the most important man in Rome. He made a plan, which he called a meeting of the senate, he pretends to give up his powers, retire and go back to the Republic. He did this so people though he was modest. He was forced no to retire, so now no-one thought he was king. After this was agreed, Agrippa suggested he was given a special title; Augustus. Now no-one will call him Octavian, he will be Augustus, he says “A new name, means a new beginning. Augustus was a good emperor; because he kept everything calm he did this by helping people even when he had no time, this meant that everybody was happy. He’d repaired water channels, roads, bridges and many more things, some, because they’d fallen down with age in several places. Also, he had the right skills needed to rule, he built buildings and made things a lot easier. This wasn’t the most important reason for ‘What kept the Roman Empire together’. The second least important reason is the frontiers. These are ‘Lines’ or boarders separating the Roman Empire from other countries.

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They were used to keep, what the Romans called ‘Barbarians’ out. They’d only be allowed in to buy or sell goods, as long as they’re unarmed. The Roman Empire made lines themselves; they had a ‘Fortification’ system, which made the lines stronger. The Northern Boarders had rivers such as ‘Rhine’ and ‘Danube’ this helped defend the Roman Empire from the North side. The Southern Boarders are already there, they’re natural boarders. They lay along the deserts of ‘Arabia’ in the Middle East, and the ‘Sahara’ in North Africa.

The Eastern boarders changed many times, the longest was the Euphrates River, this defended the East side of the Roman Empire. The Western Boarders where mainly protected by the Atlantic Coast and unfortified, this means the Roman Empire was protected and strengthened against attack, it was surrounded and provided with defensive military works. This wasn’t too important in ‘what kept the Empire together’. Next was Trade, this was very important in the Roman Empire, because it helps people get what they want and need, also you get money when you sell your products in trade.

Big cities like Rome had to import large amounts of food from all over the Empire. Luxury goods came from Europe, Africa and near East, it consists of: Wine – Soap – olive oil – horses – cotton – silver – wild animals – fish – silk – jewellery – perfumes – spices – pottery – wax and linen. Silk came from camel caravans from China ships bought spices, jewels, and perfumes from India. Transporting goods on land was expensive and often dangerous if not done correctly, most was commerce through shipping.

Each section of trade goods where all part of the Roman Economy. Trade helped the Roman Empire stay together because it meant that people were happy with each other, for buying each other’s goods. Also it means that people and ideas were carried to other places. This kept the Roman Empire together because people weren’t arguing too much. The second most important reason for ‘What kept the Roman Empire together’ was the ‘Roads’ because they were very strong, the Romans were famous for them, and they were superbly made.

Rome made a lot of money from trade in Europe some of this trade involved transport by sea, but now they use roads a lot more. When some of Western Europe was conquered by the Romans, the Romans needed roads to move their troops around quickly, poorly built roads would not help this because, if they’re not smooth things wouldn’t be able to move quickly. When the Romans arrived in England there was no roads to use, they had to use tracks. It was usual for the tracks to be in poor condition, because they were on high grounds and open to all types of weather.

Good road systems meant that it was easier for the emperors to control their empire as messages and orders could be sent very quickly. They were often known as straight and well-made roads, but the Romans usually built them around natural obstacles instead of through it. So to sum up, roads were very important in the Roman Empire because, they would help messages, orders, armies and trades get to places a lot quicker, and they were often safer than ships because they were straight and well-made.

Now, the most important reason for ‘What kept the Roman Empire together’ was the army, they managed to conquer so many counties because they had such a good army. The emperor used the army to protect Rome and to control the people it had conquered. The army consisted of men only, and they were all Roman Citizens, and had to be at least 20 years of age. They were not supposed to be married as Roman soldiers. Most of them came from countries outside Italy. Some were from Africa, France, Germany, the Balkans, Spain and the Middle East.

Soldiers had to stay in the army for at least 25 years. Then they could retire with a pension or a gift of land to farm. Old soldiers often settled down, in a military town of Colonia. There were about 30 legions in the Roman army. Each legion had about 4,000 and 6,000 soldiers called legionaries. Each legionary had 10 cohorts. Each cohort was made up of six troops of about 80 legionaries called centuries. Each century was led by a centurion. A centurion carried a short rod to show his importance. He could also use his stick to beat any soldier who disobeyed an order.

The officer commanding the whole legion was called a ‘Legate’. The army would wear armour made from strips of iron and leather. On their heads they would wear a metal helmet. They would carry a rectangular shield, curved to protect their bodies; this was made from wood and leather. Their main weapons were a short sword for stabbing, and a long spear or javelin for throwing. This had a sharp iron point, and a thin, bendy shaft. When it hit an enemy’s shield the point stuck in but the shaft bent. This made it difficult to pull out.

The long spear shaft got in the way, so the enemy soldier had to throw away his shield. This meant he had one less weapon to protect himself with. So briefly, the army kept the Roman Empire together the best because they had the best army in the world. Their fighting was good, their weaponry was good, they barely ever argued, they had very good team work, so that they could work together in the battles and they were generally good all together. So in my opinion, this is the most important reason for ‘what kept the Roman Empire together.

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What Kept the Roman Empire Together?. (2016, Oct 23). Retrieved from


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