10 Facts About the ‘Glory of Rome’

The Eternal City; the Roman Republic; the Roman Empire – a civilisation that conquered and transformed much of the known world at the time. The ‘Glory of Rome’ refers to the epic achievements of Ancient Rome, whether military, architectural or institutional – from the Colosseum to the spread of Roman Law.

Here are ten facts and examples of what was the Glory of Rome.

1. In the 2nd century AD, the Roman Empire had an estimated population of around 65 million people

Ancient Roman citizens

Probably around a quarter of the world’s population at the time.

2. The period from 96 AD to 180 AD has been labelled the time of the ‘Five Good Emperors’

Bust of the Ancient Roman Emperor Nerva

Emperor Nerva

Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius each chose his successor while in office. There was stability of succession but no hereditary dynasties were established.

3. During Trajan’s reign (98 – 117 AD) the Empire reached its greatest geographical extent

Extent of the Roman Empire in 117AD

Map by Tataryn77 via Wikimedia Commons

It was possible to travel from Britain to the Persian Gulf without leaving Roman territory.

4. Trajan’s Column was built to celebrate final victory in the Dacian Wars of 101 AD to 106 AD

An Ancient Roman soldier shown on Trajan's Column

It is one of the most important visual sources on Roman military life. About 2,500 individual figures are shown on its 20 round stone blocks, each of which weighs 32 tons.

5. In 122 AD Hadrian was able to order the building of a wall in Britain ‘to separate Romans from barbarians’

Hadrian's Wall

The wall was about 73 miles long and up to 10 feet high. Built of stone with regular forts and customs posts, it is an extraordinary achievement and parts of it still survive.

6. At its height the Roman Empire covered 40 modern nations and 5 million square km

Roman Empire over modern boundaries

7. The Empire built great cities

Ancient Alexandria

The three largest, Rome, Alexandria (in Egypt) and Antioch (in modern Syria), were each twice as large as the largest European cities at the start of the 17th century.

8. Under Hadrian the Roman army has been estimated to have been 375,000 men in strength

Ancient Roman soldiers

9. In order to fight the Dacians, Trajan built what was for 1,000 years the longest arched bridge in the world

Emperor Trajan's Bridge over the Danube

The bridge across the Danube was 1,135 m long and 15 m wide.

10. The Pax Romana (Roman Peace) dates from 27 BC to 180 AD

Fortuna, Ancient Roman goddess of luck and fortune

There was almost total peace within the Empire, law and order was maintained and the Roman economy boomed.

Colin Ricketts studied history at the University of Birmingham, graduating in 1992. He's a qualified librarian, a former journalist and currently a freelance writer and editor.

  • John McCollum

    “…almost total peace” – except for that one time where around 1.1 million civilians died when Jerusalem was besieged and then flattened. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Jewish%E2%80%93Roman_War

    • JamesCarson

      ‘Almost’ being the key word – yes there were wars within this period… Trajan’s spring to mind. But Pax Romana http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pax_Romana did occur then over 206 years. this statement is correct.

    • Chris Browne

      They upset the Pax Romana, would not honour the Roman Emperor under who’s protection they lived and had to be taught a lesson, The jews were a conquered people and had been since the time of Solomon.

    • Marcel Scuderi


  • Jitendra Desai

    What about Jesus Christ? Was he not crucified during this period?

    • Aarstad

      No, he really never existed.

      • Jitendra Desai

        You mean Jesus was not a historic figure, transformed in to God by by followers?

        • James Rustler

          Jesus the annointed is the star of a popular story that came about several hundred years after the above events.

          • Jitendra Desai

            Thanks for this fact which may not be known to large number of non Christians.What about the stories and myths related to the son of the carpenter and all? If you have more info through net, pl send me the link.Curious.

          • acgogo

            Don’t know if there are any Jewish men out there. But in this day an age just try to imagine a 33 year old Jewish man who is still single. With a living mother and aunt to scold him? In those times a Jewish boy and girl were betrothed in their early teens and married not a long after. As a single Jewish man, 33 years of age, Jesus would have been considered very odd, indeed. Yet Christians insist Jesus was single and if you pressed them, they would probably say he was a virgin. How ludicrous!

          • Jitendra Desai

            Thanks “acgogo” for this info.

          • Tevita Taufoou

            Who are you to judge if Jesus was married or not, virgin or not? If you believe in God the bible is yours read. No one had authority over Jesus and thats why he is where he is.

          • Aarstad

            hahaha, you can’t argue with this type of mind…. THE BIBLE IS YOUR ONLY NEED!!! No thanks, tons of better, more interesting and better written papers.

      • Tevita Taufoou

        Everything comes to an end and when this world does we all will see that Jesus Christ will show all unbelievers the truth. God is good and God bless you.

        • Aarstad

          Yup, and so will Al-lāh to non muslims, and moses to non jews. This is so childilsch. Do you realize you believers have been saying this for thousands of years? Religion is a tale and you are gullible. The real connection with nature happens through the realization that we are organisms made of matter in a highly complex arrangement. Stop believing in man made ghosts and start taking full responsibility for our human acts. (Not to mention the other hundreds of different divinities, gods, pseudogods and what not, of all other religions, atheism is the only hope).

          • http://www.tucsonsmobilemechanic.com/ AutomotiveMasters

            I’m sorry to hear that…You have missed out. I wonder why?

          • Aarstad

            It’s pretty simple, I like to read and investigate. Atheism is not a belief, is a conclusion.

          • http://www.tucsonsmobilemechanic.com/ AutomotiveMasters

            it only tells me that you have not seen or experienced God. thats all..

          • http://www.jameshooker.net James Hooker

            If atheists don’t believe in God, why does he keep them awake nights and in a blather all during the day? Can’t they just let us go on our merry way?

          • Marcel Scuderi

            We try but you spiritualists keep knocking on our doors trying to get us to get into some church.

          • Wilberforce Abolition

            I don’t believe in Atheist’s . They don’t exist. They know there is a God, a divine Creator.

          • Marcel Scuderi

            Not so much as one God but something bigger and better than you or me. Even Michael Jordan….The universe is way to huge for one God to see all. It is folly to think so but hey, you do your thing…..

          • Wilberforce Abolition

            You have way more faith to believe that everything came from nothing out of organisms. Yeah, that’s the fairy tale (means not true) You see to believe what you believe is to believe that humans were evolved out of nothing and that these ooze made humans would have to be getting smarter, right. Well there goes your evolution people are so much more ignorant than they were even 100 years ago. And you know their is a creator God but you suppress that truth because you love you sin. Sin is why Christ had to come, there was not one human that could have been the perfect sacrifice, the perfect Lamb of God to satisfy the Wrath of God against a wicked people. He literally took on our sin and paid for that sin on our behalf. When we repent and turn to Christ, God sees Christ’s righteousness and not our sin. Such Love as this no man can find or give. Pretending that there is no God will not keep you from standing before him on your last day. There are no other gods. They have all been made up or died . Christ died and rose again. Even Pilate could find no fault in him. He is perfect. Childish is believing that everything came from nothing on its very own , out of the blue. Childish is believeing there is not consequence for sin. Either Christ stands in ones stead= righteous. Or you stand alone, no excuse and no salvation, just wrath and damnation.

          • Marcel Scuderi

            Nice church sermon… save it for that, Shecky…

          • ziad moncef

            ok so if we can’t evolve from nothing , from where did god evolved ? , who created god ? The god of god ? And who created god of god ? He can’t come from nothing? the god of the god of god ! Ok … so next question … from where evolved the god of the god of god ? …. MMMM LET ME GUESSS ..GOD of the god of the god of god !!! it’s obvious ! Stupid atheist isn’t that logical ??

      • Chris Browne

        Josephus the Jewish historian wrote about Jesus in his Jewish histories so Jesus did in fact exist as a real person in history outside of the bible,

    • Chris Browne

      He was indeed!

  • http://comprehensivehistory.blogspot.com/ Yasir Abbasi

    No doubt it was a golden period of ancient civilization from its beginning with the Roman kingdom to the fall of the Western Roman empire.


  • http://www.blondahl.ca Samuel Blondahl

    Damn shame their empire didn’t hold really. A little Pax Romana would be nice right about now.

  • Acgogo Acgogo

    The Romans never did enough to purge and discourage the Christians. They destroyed the empire and sent Europe back to the stone age. Christians are nothing short of pestilential. And they are still trying to destroy the world with their hateful culture wars.

    • Phil McCracken

      Yet it was the Christians in Ireland that maintained the tradition of literacy through the dark ages. Your assertion without argument rings empty.

      • Acgogo Acgogo

        The Irish monks did a fantastic and admirable job of preserving knowledge. But their efforts would never have been necessary had it not been for the excesses of Christians in the Greco/Roman world and in other areas of Europe. They destroyed books, sculpture and painting Closed schools of philosophy and medicine. And they are still exercising their hateful influence on the culture.

        • Phil McCracken

          Rome fell and was sacked due to the breakdown of the nuclear family and uncontrolled immigration.

  • Aydın Algül

    Antioch is in Turkey, not Syria. Get your facts straight.