Pax Romana and the prosperity of the empire

It is easy to fell in love with the Roman empire. It involved near the totality of the “Known World”. If we bring it to the XIX century, it can be compared to the biggest empire ever, the British. In a world were the highest speed was a sailboat or a galloping horse, how could the Romans run that empire. My analysis is based on the behavior of the people. Is it possible to control by force that massive portion of land? No, it is not. The Romans approach, in some provinces, were more political than military. Rome was prosper. In an era were fight was in every corner, must of the times associated with civil war, Rome offered the Pax Romana (Roman Peace), were business and commercial relations were stimulated. European people from the II century could not imagine a world without Rome. I am not saying that there was no crime in the Roman empire, not at all, the banditry was a big problem. But war between tribesmen was less common. People always prefer peace and stability. Despite the cruel Roman approach to insubordination and the struggle for power in the city of Rome, the political apparatus was stabler than the previous political model of tribe and clan. In my point of view, the Pax Romana was one of the pillars of the Roman economic prosperity. The Roman iron fist was better than endless war.

11 thoughts on “Pax Romana and the prosperity of the empire

  1. But it was a Roman who characterised the Roman approach to colonisation as “making a wilderness and calling it peace”. That was harsh. Resistance and independence were brutally crushed, but local chieftains who played along were given titles and helped to wealth. Undoubtedly the Roman Empire benefited the economies of most of the conquered countries (not all – not Carthage, for example!), but in the end tax demands became unpopular in the poorer, outlying areas and it’s now widely thought that what happened in Britain was not a sudden withdrawal of the Roman forces but a disintegration of Roman authority, leaving locally-based garrisons to melt into the local population or become a local guard force. It’s also now questioned whether the replacement of Roman Britain by Saxon England was as much of a violent conquest and ethnic cleansing as we’d thought, or more a matter of local people who’d lost confidence in their Romanised landowners accepting Saxon rule instead. Ironically, precisely the areas least Romanised were those that retained most of Roman culture in that period as local princes regained independence and their old role while other areas, in one way or another, “went Saxon”.

  2. I’ve not completed reading a post, but I know I’m going to like this blog. My husband is a history buff and I’d love to see him teach. But, that’s neither here nor there. I LOVE history and current events and you don’t seem to bias one way to another: just the facts!

  3. Great blog you have here! I think part of what makes Rome so fascinating is how it shows both the benefits and detriments of “empire” in a clear light. Pax Romana is the perfect example. Many historians love to look at the decadence and self-destruction of Rome, but there is also a lot to be learned from its achievements. This is an important thing even in the modern world, where I feel that the basic idea of “empire” has perhaps mutated, but in some ways not disappeared. Look forward to reading more, and thanks for the “like” on my blog.

    • The Roman empire ended to many years ago, so the general population do not hate the Pax Romana. Actually, the Roman law left a huge legacy in southern Europe, as well as in our present languages. Because of that, we have some affection with Rome. Italians, Spanish and Portuguese have similar cultures, which represent the influence of Rome. They also left extraordinary pieces of engineering. In Segovia, Spain, the Roman aqueduct was used for 19 centuries!!! In general, we do not see the Romans has dictators. Thank you for the question, Bruce!

      • Thanks. I am interested in the Roman Empire for many reasons. Some people within my faith group (but not me) think the EU could be part of a new Roman Empire since the original EU countries were part of it.

      • And you are correct, Bruce. The correlation between Rome and UE is not a correct. The Roman empire had different principles. There was many reasons for the creation of the EU. One of them, and in my opinion it was the most important, was to avoid war within Western Europe. EU is not an “empire”, not at all, and there is no supreme power! Until the II WW the British Empire was like Rome, and now the USA is the only state in the world that can be compared to Rome. If you want to make a relation with the ancient Rome and the present Europe, you need to look at Germany, the real economic power of Europe.

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