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The Provinces Illustration

Roman Provinces

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The Roman empire was expanding.  This brought a dilemma with it.  What should they call this new land?  You couldn't call it Rome; that name was already taken.  So the Romans called their new land provinces.  A province might be a whole country such as the province of Britain, or the province of Egypt, or it might be a part of a country such as the province of Venice (a city in northern Italy).

Rome's provinces made Rome rich.  They provided food, taxes, metals and other resources to Rome.  Rome gave the provinces peace and stability (see Pax Romana).  While some of the provinces were glad to be part of the Roman empire (Egypt, Turkey), others wanted the Romans to go home (Britain, Gaul).  While the provinces contributed to Rome's greatness, they also led to its downfall and destruction by barbarians.

As Rome grew and added new provinces to the empire, it also built roads to connect these provinces to Rome.  Remember the saying "all roads lead to Rome"?  This is its origin.  To learn more about Roman roads click here: Roman roads.

They also used waterways. The Rhone River in France was especially important as it linked Rome with several important provinces in France and Germany. They used the rivers to float huge barges that brought food to the provinces, much of it stored in amphorae, or clay pots with corks. This created a bit of problem - what to do with the pots when they were empty. The Romans solved this by throwing empties into rivers and tossing them in big piles on land. 

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