chapter  7
28 Pages

Planning in the Roman Empire

WithE. J. Owens

In the parts of Africa and the Greek east where cities already existed and had a long history of development, Rome’s problems were different. The Romans continued to plant colonies and cities in these parts of the empire as the opportunity arose or necessity demanded. However, in the urbanised parts of the empire the success of Rome in the field of urban planning and design was built upon the radical transformation of the existing native cities. The emergence and eventual triumph of Christianity also affected the cities of the empire. The military crisis of the third century ad also affected cities throughout the empire. Verulamium is typical of a Romanised native town of Britain, and its success was such that it achieved the status of a municipium. The achievements of Roman planning in the western half of the empire differ from those in the east. However, overall Rome was highly successful in encouraging Romanised urban life throughout the provinces.