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If you had lived in the Roman Empire, where would you rather have lived – in the towns or in the countryside? Explain why. - History

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Answer in Brief

If you had lived in the Roman Empire, where would you rather have lived – in the towns or in the countryside? Explain why.

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If I had a choice, I would have preferred to live in a town of the Roman Empire. My decision would have been influenced by the several amenities that the town life had to offer. The facilities offered by the urban centres allowed its citizens to lead a much peaceful and comfortable life compared to those offered by the villages (countryside). Some important aspects or amenities provided by the towns have been discussed below.

1) Opportunity for cultural upliftment: The Roman towns and cities were symbols of higher culture. To reach the level of this culture, peasants moved out of their villages to settle in the towns. This movement provided them the opportunity to bring an end to the barbaric lifestyle and establish themselves as noble beings.

2) Economic opportunities: The towns provided ample job opportunities to the people. There were several professions for the people to opt for based on their skills. The educated population could get jobs in the administrative machinery and could work as clerks or tax collectors. The craftsmen could make weapons, utensils or jewelleries. Entertainers such as musicians, dancers and actors also found ready patrons in the Roman towns and cities.

3) Effective administration: To establish a life of peace and security for the inhabitants of towns, a proper administration mechanism was crafted. The cities were divided into districts for better management. Control over anti-social practices was made possible with the assistance of the police and detective or spy units.

4) Food security: The availability of food throughout the year was not a problem in the Roman towns and cities. This was possible because the towns were well connected to several villages and ensured an uninterrupted flow of food grains for the large city population. Apart from trade links, large storehouses in the towns and cities enabled the storage of food grains for the entire year. This reduced the chances of food shortage during famines and other natural calamities.

5) Leisure: The towns provided plenty of options to the wealthy people to spend their leisure time. Live theatres, chariot racing and fight of the gladiators were very popular modes of entertainment. People also loved to spend time in the baths where they could swim, read, talk and socialise.

Concept: Focus: Roman Empire, 27 BCE to 600 CE
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NCERT Class 11 History - Themes in World History
Chapter 3 An Empire Across Three Continents
Exercise | Q 1 | Page 76
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