Question 1: If you had lived in the Roman Empire, where would you rather have lived – in the towns or in the countryside? Explain why.
Answer: A city in the Roman Empire was better equipped to deal with food shortage. The city life was good; in terms of public facilities. Public baths were numerous in cities. People were also spoilt for choice because of facilities of entertainment. Hence, I would have preferred to live in a town rather than in the countryside of the Roman Empire.
Question 2: Compile a list of some of the towns, cities, rivers, seas and provinces mentioned in this chapter, and then try and find them on the maps. Can you say something about any three of the items in the list you have compiled?
Answer: Do it yourself
Question 3: Imagine that you are a Roman housewife preparing a shopping list for household requirements. What would be on the list?
Answer: Wheat, olive oil, wine, fruits, cloth, etc.
Question 4: Why do you think the Roman government stopped coining in silver? And which metal did it begin to use for the production of coinage?
Answer: The silver mines became exhausted. Due to this, the Roman government stopped coining in silver. The government then started to use gold for making coins.
Question 5: Suppose the emperor Trajan had actually managed to conquer India and the Romans had held on to the country for several centuries. In what ways do you think India might be different today?
Answer: Some of the Roman influences can still be seen in architecture of the Mauryan Empire. Considering all other historical developments as they had happened, I think we could not have witnessed too many changes in the way we live today. As this chapter suggests, the Roman Empire died after the spread of Islam around the Mediterranean Sea. During the medieval period, a major part of the world came under the influence of spread of Christianity and Islam. These developments had had a long lasting impact throughout the world. Whatever costume or food or lingo we follow today is a result of such developments. Many Indians can effectively communicate in English. We also use many words of Arabic origin in our day to day lingo. We use Roman numerals and Gregorian calendar; which came from the Roman period. In other words, whatever we do today in terms of culture is a result of a complex interplay of various factors and developments which have taken place during the last 2000 years. So, nobody can claim with surety that there would have been significant differences in the way we live.
Question 6: Go through the chapter carefully and pick out some basic features of Roman society and economy which you think make it look quite modern.
Answer: Some of the features of Roman society and economy which make it look quite modern are as follows:
- Monetary system
- Freedom and rights for women
- Facilities for public convenience and entertainment
- Well developed economic infrastructure
- A long period of political stability and peace