Ancient Roman Cities

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Ancient Roman Cities
The content of this Ancient Roman Cities category provides details, articles, facts and information about Londinium, one of the ancient Roman cities of the Roman Empire. The Romans built a fort, called Londinium, on the site of present day London on the North Bank of the River Thames in 43AD. Londinium was not the capital of England at the time the biggest of the ancient Roman cities in England was at Colchester or, given its Roman name, Camulodunium.

The facts and information about the Roman city of Londinium provides useful information about the building of, and life in, Ancient Roman cities.

Facts and Information about Londinium
Londinium was situated on the north bank of the river Thames (Thamesis). The River Thames is tidal and Londinium was situated 64 km (40 miles) from its estuary on the North Sea. The original fort of Londinium was built between two hills (Cornhill and Ludgate) and the original size of Londinium was 30 acres. The second building of Londinium increased the size to to 62 acres. The city gradually increased in size and became one of the biggest Roman cities covering over 300 acres containing a population of over 15,000 people

Description of the City of Londinium
The city of Londinium boasted a large courthouse (basilica) and market place (forum) which was located on the site of present day Cornhill. The following facts and information provides a description of the city.

  • Fact 1: A procuratorís palace was built in Londinium (Cripplegate). A Procurator was a high ranking Roman officer responsible for the finances of an imperial province, including tax collection and the payment of troops
  • Fact 2: Londinium was as an important port and trading post from which goods were imported from all over the Roman world
  • Fact 3: The town hall, government offices and courtrooms were in the basilica at Cornhill
  • Fact 4: The market place (forum) was situated next to the basilica
  • Fact 5: Rich Romans lived in town houses
  • Fact 6: Numerousslaves served their wealthy owners in the city undertaking household and administrative tasks
  • Fact 7: The Amphitheatre was located at the site of the Guildhall Art Galley. It was a massive structure which could hold up to 8000 spectators
  • Fact 8: Many of the original wooden Roman structures of Londinium were re-built in stone and marble
  • Fact 9: There was even a Fire Brigade who were stationed around the walls and gates
  • Fact 10: Latin was the language inflicted on the native people of the city

Destruction of the City of Londinium by Boadicea
The army of Queen Boadicea army burned Londinium to the ground and massacred the 25,000 inhabitants who had not fled. The Romans gained controlled of the Iceni rebels and a new Roman city at Londinium was quickly erected following the defeat of Boadicea. The Romans had learnt the lesson taught to them by Queen Boadicea and looked to defending the town of Londinium. By the 200BC all except the river side of Londinium was totally enclosed by a massive defensive wall. A section of the Roman Wall has been preserved in the Tower of London. The town of Londinium had several gates and exits from the enclosure wall. The Roman Roads led to the Londinium gates which had a 100 foot wide gate house and was flanked by square towers.

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