Early authors often measured cities to be centers of learning and culture, and a qualification for a civilized society. It was these ancient authors who believed that territories were an important and essential part of a city, which acted as a center for people. Strabo, in his first century AD writings about the Allobroges, noted that the ‘absence of a city’ included savagery, war, and unsettled times, where as a ‘city’ made for peace and civilization (Huskinson). The opposition of savagery in Roman civilization devalued the social and political development of these ‘savage’ societies; the elite of the Roman society would associate civilizations within a city as superior to the ‘barbarian’ way of life in the villages. The elite way of thinking depicted a cultural separation between the rustic living by the ‘barbarians’ and the urbanitas, or sophisticated values of those in the city.
In ancient times the term ‘city,’ also known as urbs or civitas in Latin and polis or asty in Greek, carried a variety of ass...
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...r nuclear one. This change is usually credited to a population decline in the era, but sometimes that wasn’t the case. The replacement of the settlement pattern, with a smaller and more compact populated city, is seen as more of a cultural change to reflect the Romanization rather than a population decline.
Huskinson, Janet. "Urbanism and Urbanization in the Roman World." Experiencing Rome: Culture, Identity and Power in the Roman Empire. London: Routledge in Association with Open UP, 2000. 213-44. Print.
Lomas, K. "The Idea of a City: Elite Ideology and the Evolution of Urban Form in Italy, 200 BC - AD 100." Roman Urbanism: beyond the Consumer City. By Helen Parkins. London: Routledge, 1997. 21-41. Print.
"Urbanization." Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 19 Nov. 2011.
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