At the beginning, the Romans were mostly agricultural people, mostly farmers. Unlike the Greeks and other Mediterranean civilizations, “commerce did not rate highly in the Roman system of values; it was left in the hand of inferior social classes, even slaves”. However, the Roman Empire was being developed; its first major step was taken when the spread of a “uniform Roman law” was evident. It provided the legal framework for the economic activity throughout the Empire.
By 117 AD, the Roman Empire has reached its peak.
Figure 1. The Roman Empire was not merely a political and military organization but also an intricate economic network through which goods from Armenia and Syria were traded for Western products from as far as Spain and Britain
The economy of the country has also vastly developed. “The urban character of the Roman Empire both stimulated and was made possible by highly developed commercial network and the fine division of labor that supported it”. This boom in the economy and trade was possible due to a number of factors. First, there was Pax Romana, “the long period of peace that allowed commerce to develop under the most favorable conditions”. Pax Romana also brought upon a huge population growth – “from 60 million to 100 million”.
“Beware! If the population grows out of hand, the nation
may no longer be able to provide food for its people.”