The ancient Romans were great conquors and they used their great might and power to gain large areas of land.In every new dominion that they conquored,they set out to "Romanize" the population in many ways.The main type of Romanization ,however, was the development of new and glorious cities.
All provincial cities followed a set plan and form and were built on a symmetrical scale.These cities always included at least one public bath and a public arena as it was consitered uncivilized by the Romans for any self respecting city within the empire to lack these necessities. Also,some major cities had a barracks which was located in the outskirts of the settlement.
The people of the 20th century are fortunate enough to have access to many Ancient Roman cities that have remained in very good cosmetic form throughout the centuries.Two of the best preserved cities in existance from the Roman world are Pompeii and Hercullanium.In 79 AD,the famous volcano Mount Vesuvius erupted and completly buried these towns under a deep covering of volcanic ash which left them untouched and undisturbed by the rest of the world until their excavations began in the early part of the 20th century.These cities have buildings and roads that are in such good condition that they tell us exactly what the average Roman city and town looked like so long ago.
With all pride the ancient Romans took in city planning, it is suprising to learn that Rome, itself, was a very poorly planned city.The Roman streets were crammed and were frequently over-travelled. Also, the Roman tennement buildings, the insulae,were crammed along the roadside and were way too tall.It is said that, in some areas of Rome, it was always dark due to the high buildings. Furthermore, unlike the planned cities which had straight and symmetrical roads, the roads of Rome were frequently jagged and antisymmetrical which made travel even more difficult. The main cause for this problem that Rome faced was that, unlike the planned cities, Rome was built over time and so the majority of the city was built before city design had reached it's height.