City Sizes and Urbanization in the Roman Empire

Andrew Wilson

in Settlement, Urbanization, and Population

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199602353
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731570 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies on the Roman Economy

City Sizes and Urbanization in the Roman Empire

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This chapter looks at some of the physical evidence for Roman towns to see how we might establish the parameters of the plausible in estimating population densities for Roman cities in different regions, and therefore creating a set of possible estimates for population sizes of towns whose physical extent can be measured. A rough estimate is then presented for how the aggregate total of the urban population living in centres of 5,000 people or more in the mid-second century ad might relate to guesses about the total size of the population of the Roman empire.

Keywords: Roman towns; population densities; population estimates; urban population

Chapter.  9606 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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