What Proveded Evrything For Survival In Ancient Rome

Food Supply

Ancient Rome was able to support a vast population through its food supply. The Roman Empire was heavily reliant on food imports and the storage of grain to support the population during times of hardship, such as during military campaigns or crop failures. The large population meant that the food industry was active in the city, with a wide variety of goods available to consumers, including fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, and other staples. Agricultural production was also aided by the use of innovative farming techniques, such as the use of terraced farms and irrigation. These techniques allowed for larger yields and improved the availability of food for the city. Additionally, ancient Rome also benefited from investments in infrastructure and infrastructure investment such as roads, aqueducts and harbours. This enabled the supply of food to more remote areas.

Markets and Trade

The proliferation of markets in ancient Rome is a testament to the importance of trade in the city. The establishment of the Forum Romanum in the 7th century BC marked the beginnings of the city’s commercial trading sector. Markets were organised in the city to provide consumers with a variety of goods, such as food, clothing, jewellery, pottery, and other goods. Markets were also used to sell slaves and other goods produced on the farms of free citizens or by slaves. Ancient Rome was heavily reliant on trade to provide goods to its population, with merchants regularly engaging in long-distance trade with cities as far away as India and China. The widespread use of coins also enabled the purchasing power of the population to be increased, furthering the trade of goods in the city.

Human Labour

In the ancient Roman state, labour was the primary source of production and wealth. Slaves were eventually freed under the edict of Caracalla in 212 AD, however, by this time most of the labour had been transferred to artisan craftsmen, merchants and soldiers. Artisans crafted various goods for consumption, merchants established trade networks between cities, and soldiers maintained military garrisons and defended the boundaries of the state. The importance of human labour in production was further emphasised by the growth of the guild system. The establishment of the guilds enabled artisans to exchange knowledge and expand on their production techniques, leading to an increase in the quality and quantity of goods produced.

Architecture and Infrastructure

The engineering genius of Ancient Rome gave the city an efficient system of roads, public buildings and other public spaces. The various civil engineering projects undertaken by the Romans enabled the transport of goods and people to and from the city, allowing for the expansion of trade networks and the movement of large numbers of people. The establishment of aqueducts also enabled the city to have access to a reliable source of water, and the construction of baths provided citizens with access to public bathing facilities. Additionally, the construction of monuments and public buildings such as temples, amphitheatres, and theatres enabled the Romans to bring closer together their disparate cultures and beliefs.

Education and Development

Ancient Rome was renowned for the level of education it provided to its citizens. Schools were set up to teach children how to read, write and understand basic mathematics, while adults were taught in the military academies and in private schools on such topics as philosophy, rhetoric, law, and medicine. The development of literacy and numeracy enabled the citizens of Rome to efficiently manage their affairs, as well as manage legal cases and commercial transactions. Moreover, education enabled a class of elite Romans to hold positions in the government, the courts and the senate, increasing their presence in the public sphere and allowing them to have a greater influence over the politics of the state.

Religion and Culture

The religious and cultural life of Ancient Rome was central to its survival, with citizens adhering to the pantheon of gods, believing in the afterlife and venerating their own emperor. This adherence to religion and culture brought the city together under a common set of beliefs and norms, thus allowing the city to thrive and grow in size. Additionally, the festivals and ceremonies held by the Romans were seen as a way to foster unity among the citizens and enable them to come together under a common goal. This unity and common goal galvanised the citizens of Rome and allowed them to face difficult situations with strength and fortitude.


The military strength of Ancient Rome was a key factor in its survival. After initially suffering from a lack of trained soldiers, Hannibal’s defeat of the Roman army in the Second Punic War, led to a radical restructuring of the army, with all male citizens required to attend military service. This new regime enabled the army to take on larger and better-equipped enemies, as well as expand into new territories. The exploration of new lands enabled the Romans to expand their empire, while also providing sources of wealth and resources to enable them to survive during times of crisis. Additionally, the Roman navy was also essential in the protection of Rome’s borders, with Roman fleets regularly patrolling the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea and other parts of the known world.

Social Welfare System

The social welfare system of Ancient Rome was integral to its survival. This system provided benefits and assistance to citizens in times of need, such as the elderly, widowed, or wounded. Politically, this system enabled the citizens to better trust their government and be more willing to abide by the laws of the state. Additionally, it helped to create a sense of shared identity, as those who received a benefit felt more connected to their fellow citizens who also needed some form of assistance. Moreover, by creating incentives for citizens to participate in the public life of the city, such as providing access to cheap food, the Romans were able to gradually expand their territories and increase their population.

Economic System

The Roman economy was heavily reliant on taxation, with citizens regularly paying taxes in exchange for goods and services. Additionally, the trade networks established by the Romans provided them access to resources and goods that were otherwise inaccessible. This enabled them to create a booming economy that flourished throughout the Roman Empire. Furthermore, the widespread use of coins enabled the Romans to establish a monetary system, allowing for more efficient trade between citizens and the government. This system ensured the stability of the Roman economy during times of crisis, while also providing the government with important revenue streams.

Moshe Rideout is a professional writer and historian whose work focuses on the history of Ancient Rome. Moshe is passionate about understanding the complexity of the Roman Empire, from its architecture to its literature, political systems to social structures. He has a Bachelor's degree in classic studies from Rutgers University and is currently pursuing a PhD in classical archaeology at UMass Amherst. When he isn't researching or writing, he enjoys exploring ruins around Europe, drawing inspiration from his travels.

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