Based of the amphitheater density I would say France and England (together with Tunisia) were the most important parts of the Empire?
Is this wrong?
Western Europe was of very little importance to Rome apart from parts of Spain which were heavily urbanised or gold rich, and parts of Gaul near the frontier and the main roads. Britain wasn't very important at all and Italy less so as time marched on. The most important parts of the Roman world were western Anatolia and Constantinople, the province of Africa, Egypt and Syria.
Following up. The reason more amphitheatres have been excavated from western Europe is because modern day western Europe is rich as fuck and can afford to generously provide for museums and universities to dig shit up. Places like Libya and Iraq, despite sitting on a goldmine of antiquities have barely unearthed many of their greatest treasures.
egypt and africa were the breadbaskets of rome, so those were probably the most important regions
in the late antiquity the eastern provinces become especially important as thats were the trade adn the shekels are - while the west declines
I keep hearing the same tired old shit. If the Eastern parts were so much richer it would be teeming with building activity. But this doesn't seem to be the case.
>area is a barren wasteland compared to Western Europe today. Was it much different during that area?
Agriculture and the first cities first sprung up there, so what do you think? North Africa has long since desertified and Muslims aren't quite as good at irrigation.
>Anatolia was the frontier against Persia.
No, Syria was the frontier against Persia, and it was rich as fuck. Frontiers meant trade. Gaul near Trier and Mainz was rich for just that reason despite being raided every few years.
>The Roman Empire was a Western European entity.
It never really was, they always looked east from the start of their expansion. All the wealth and what they viewed as culture was there, all the cities, all the politics, all the philosophy.
>it devolved into the East
>broke up into feudalism.
Mostly in the west where urban culture never really caught on. Places like Britain only enjoyed true urban culture briefly in the 4th century.
>if they were richer then why hasn't anything survived
Because Syrians prefer to spend their money on barrel bombs instead of archaeological digs.
There are hundreds of cities in Africa and the east that are only known from lists of lost episcopal sees from the Catholic church.
Check out this pretty neat map too. http://pelagios.dme.ait.ac.at/maps/greco-roman/
>No, Syria was the frontier against Persia, and it was rich as fuck. Frontiers meant trade. Gaul near Trier and Mainz was rich for just that reason despite being raided every few years.
Stupid faggot, the Romans and Parthians bickered over Armenia. Anatolia was were the two began their conflicts.
> >it devolved into the East
The Western Roman administration devolved from Rome to the provinces, this ultimately became a Thracian dominated empire until finally Constantine made the capital in Byzantium.
> Mostly in the west where urban culture never really caught on. Places like Britain only enjoyed true urban culture briefly in the 4th century.
You are a faggot.
>Is this wrong?
yes. The reason for the lack of amphitheatres in the eastern empire is quite simple, they couldn't draw crowds in those parts. The Greeks and other cultures of the east really didn't like the idea of them
>Romans and Parthians bickered over Armenia. Anatolia was were the two began their conflicts.
Why would you even discuss the Parthians? Their wars with Rome were meme tier wars on the whole. It was only when the Sassanians appeared on the scene that fighting got stepped up a notch to become something more than the occasional punitive expedition.
90% of the fighting was on the Syrian frontier near Dara, Nisibis and Dura Europos.
>The Western Roman administration devolved from Rome to the provinces, this ultimately became a Thracian dominated empire until finally Constantine made the capital in Byzantium.
Roman administration was always based around local elites, so in a sense it was always devolved no matter where you were in the empire. Western Empire only properly came into existence in 395.
>Thracian dominated empire
If you mean the barracks emperors of the 3rd century i'm not quite sure what you link you're trying to make between them and power devolved to the provinces. I'm not sure what you're trying to say.
>You are a faggot.
No, I just sort of know what i'm talking about.
>Agriculture and the first cities first sprung up there, so what do you think?
I wonder when it went down hill in the middle east?
I know the Arab invasion totally destroyed North Africa. But I wonder of the decline in the Middle East might have begun much earlier. From what I heard their fertile land was pretty fragile. Easy to till but very fragile.
>90% of the fighting was on the Syrian frontier near Dara, Nisibis and Dura Europos.
The greatest battles at Nisibis were between the PARTHIANS and Romans.
Parthian Empire = 247 BC–224 AD
> Western Empire only properly came into existence in 395.
I'm not replying to you any longer, you're obviously a moron.
First contact between the Parthians and Romans was in the mid-1st century BC, there were barely any major wars until Corbulo in the mid 1st C AD. Trajan's campaign and a few minor ones later on in the 2nd and early 3rd.
Meanwhile the frontier became essentially a giant battleground after the Sassanians gained power as they were far more aggressive and wanted to "reclaim" all the lands that Cyrus and Darius had once conquered. That went on for 4 centuries straight.
>I'm not replying to you any longer, you're obviously a moron.
Calm down kid. It was only on the death of Theodosius that the empire became permanently divided and it started to be seen as two distinct areas. Before that it had been a temporary measure only by certain emperors. Shit, Constantine, Theodosius and many other emperors in the 4th didn't even split it up.
Now then, try and explain to me your justification for why you think the Western Roman Empire existed before 395.
The most important parts were middle and south Italy, together with Sicily and Corsica. Metaphorically speaking they could be rightfully regarded as the heart of the Empire. Next to them in matters of importance to the Roman populace were pretty much all Eastern provinces, especially Greece. Rome has a long tradition of worshipping the Greek peoples as their ancestors and also brothers in heart and mind. Romans were incredibly in favor of everything that had to do with Greek culture, be it the religious cult, the arts and crafts or their infamous military potential. I think agricultural reasons played a noteworthy role as well, but it had largely to do with the Roman claim that Greece is virtually a brother and forefather to Rome. All provinces at the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea (plus Egypt) had a connection to Greece because the reigning dynasties were descendants of the generals of Alexander the Great, whom the Romans absolutely considered a Greek, a fantastic one at that. This made all Eastern provinces incredibly attractive. Also, Egypt was the breadbasket of the Empire.
Carthage was also pretty attractive, but for all the other reasons. The Romans just saw a powerful people/enemy in them and wanted to bring it under their control.
If I'm not mistaken Rome also had its eyes on the Mediterranean shore of Spain, but I think only for military reasons.
The east part of Rome and the Italy seemed a lot more important.
Let's be honest here. in 14 AD Gaul had only been recently conquered with a loss of a few millions either killed or enslave.
But three centuries later this fertile country was full of amphitheaters.
The Romans saw the Hellenic influence as foreign. Cato the Elder was the main proponent of this viewpoint. He espoused traditional Roman values. In the arts, the Hellenic viewpoint eventually won out but this was a long slow process.
what does the number of amphitheatres have to do with the price of fish?
There are far better places to look in the archaeological record and textual sources if you want to establish what the most 'important' regions of the empire were
Natural resources, particularly lumber, grains, and metals
Rich sea colony. Celtic tribes were actually extremely advanced, one of the 3 most advanced European civilizations in the past. Records of Celts come from Greeks, basically saying that them, along with the Macedonians, were gigantic douchebags to the north. England is actually extremely resource rich, with loads of iron and coal, on top of being an important port country when it comes to trade stops. Some of the later Roman emperors actually came from English cities, one particularly from York. Bath was also an extremely important city in England, and facilitated trade with the metal producing cities on the western face of England, along with the Cornish. This metal helped supply arms for troops, allowing them to more effectively invade the rest of Germania.
Italy, despite what you may believe, isn't that rich with Earthen resources. It has a lot of important crops, along with enough fish too feed the entire empire, but all it really had was marble and some gems. England and France were lousy with silver and Gold
The main hub of Carthage's empire. Carthaginians were pretty culturally in line with the former Phoenician empire, which was also a major part of Rome's empire. A lot of trade happened between Carthage, Utique, and Sabratha and Tripoli, Sidon, Tyre, and Antioch.
Malta was also an important trade hub, known as the Honey Isles. These islands were a major trading point between Italia, Lebanon, and Carthage. Trade made Rome rich, which is why you see Rome propping up a lot of trading towns with amphitheaters. Before warriors, they were merchants. Almost all of them are located close to Rome, or in major trading areas
Romans loved trade. They invaded people so that Romans could profit. That was the promise of joining the Legion - go and conquer so you can own a bit of land, and profit.
>Hellenic viewpoint eventually won out but this was a long slow process.
It wasn't slow at all. Cato was already a tiny minority, an old man ranting about the fads of everyone around him.
I get the feeling you're an English nationalist. I'm English too but even i'm not delusional enough to try and argue that we were an essential part of the empire. We had some tin, we had some hunting dogs, we had a few emperors crowned here, that was literally it. We were just a white elephant for Claudius, that was it.
I'm genuinely interested in the building activity in the Roman Empire. Please give me some examples that show the East was more important.
I'm very skeptic of the old cool stories.
I was told Visigoth Spain was shit and the Arabs caused a golden age. But from Archaeological research it turned out that Spain in Late Antiquity under the Visigoths was the most prosperous area in the West Roman Empire and the Arab invasion caused a complete collapse from which it would only recover in the 10th century.
American history enthusiast.
Resource maps are extremely interesting. Look at what Italy had, and what it didn't have. England had a lot of what it didn't have. It was also a major part on the supply line to help fight the Germans.
Spain is one of the most resource rich countries in Europe, barring Russia, Nor"We stole all of Denmark's Oil ;)"Way, and the Ukraine. Not only that, but Emperor Hadrian was from Hispania, and he made sure to encourage peaceful coexistence between the Italians and Hispanics. Even during the decline of West Rome, Hispania was the one province that suffered the least. When the empire finally fell, the emerging states were extremely prosperous.
I don't know a whole lot about what happened between the fall of Rome and the invasion, but I do know that most major Spanish and Portuguese cities popped up by then. Madrid, Barcelona, Coimbra, Porto, Lisbon, and Seville, and Cordoba in particular. Visigoths maintained and improved on these cities, though they founded very few of their own. A lot of beautiful architecture survives from this period, though a lot was "repurposed" by the Muslims.
>I'm genuinely interested in the building activity in the Roman Empire. Please give me some examples that show the East was more important
Building activity in Rome is sort of tricky to determine economic activity. You might easily say that because there are large villas in Gaul and southern Britain that these provinces were the imperial breadbasket, but we know this is false. It's simply that the villa system did not really extent to the big grain producing provinces of North Africa and Egypt. There is simply no one model for 'Romanisation' (which is what I think you're trying to get at) across the empire
They were the only people to actually build cities at the time to be fair.
>The Visigoths founded the only new cities in Western Europe between the fifth and eighth centuries... The first, Reccopolis, was founded by Liuvigild in 578 after his victory over the Franks, near what is today the tiny village of Zorita de los Canes. He named it after his son Reccared and built it with Byzantine imitations, containing a palace complex and mint, but it lay in ruins by the 9th century (after the Arab conquest).
Adrian Goldsworthy, Death of the Roman Superpower, p276
>"from the beginning the Eastern Empire was probably wealthier".
>uring the decline of West Rome, Hispania was the one province that suffered the least.
I wouldn't say that. Read the accounts by Orosius and Hydatius, they're fairly dire accounts of Spain in Late Antiquity. Germans wandering about trashing everything, militant Christians murdering one another, Celtic tribals from the north pillaging and raping. Definitely didn't have things as bad as Britain though. Spain just entered sort of an still quiet under Visigothic rule until the Arabs arrived really, not a whole lot went on.
That map looks pretty fucking inaccurate. Sardinia had like 5-7 amphitheatres:in Calaris, Nora, Tharros, Sulky, Bithia and probably Olbia and Turris.
Sicily probably had more than that map shows too but I haven't made any research about it.
It's always been a hot bed of warfare since teh dawn of time, as warfare got more potent it got more and more fucked
But the middle east has been a center of cultural power for, let me see
Dawn fo Civilization fastword to Persoan Alexadiran and ROman eras, eatern roman empire, caliphates ,Mongols ottoman empire... okay whenever teh Ottomans fucked shit up si when the mideast went to shit.
So that's a solid several milineas span of beeing a tier 1 region
>breadbasket and granary of Rome
>most prosperous and wealthy
Levant holdings in Syria, Jordan, and Palestine. Western Europe was where Roman colonies flourished in Gaul, Hispania, and Iberia and North Africa.
North Africa and Egypt were the most important since they held all the farmland, and the grain from Egypt especially was the lifeline of the empire. Western europe had resources but was pretty poor beyond that. Big cities only really existed in Italy, the east and in some Iberian enclaves.