Ancient Rome was only 5.3 square miles

That is, if we include all and only the area within the Aurelian Walls.

For comparison, Manhattan is 33.77 square miles. Manhattan could hold 6.3 Romes.

If we include only the Republican city within the Servian Wall it’s even smaller, but I can’t seem to find a cite for the area. Nor for that within the Pomerium.

All that historical action in such a small space!

Just thought that was interesting.

That’s good because I’m going there for the first time next month and that makes it easier to walk around :smiley:

And historical London (what’s now called The City) is but a single square mile.

Remember that most transportation at the time was by foot, so you really needed everything pretty close together.

All of that cultural significance, too.

That’s interesting about Manhattan, Dublin is bigger in area, at 45.5 square miles.

One million people there in such a small place.

But New York City 130 years ago was just lower Manhattan. Much of upper Manhattan was near wilderness. “The Age of Innocence” has a scene showing this.

The Roman Forum is quite small and crammed with interesting stuff.
Hint we got from a guidebook which worked - buy your ticket at the Forum, not the Coliseum. The ticket is good for both, and the line is much, much, shorter. However the signs at the forum did not match the audio tour. This was shocking since we had just been in Berlin where museum audio tours and signs are perfect.

Is that why they had to send out their armies to conquer the world? There just wasn’t enough space for all those soldiers in the city limits.

Were you really that shocked that Italians would be less organized than Germans? :wink:

I’ve read that the one million figure is inflated. The classical population was probably closer to 100,000.

I was in Ephesus, in Turkey, a few years ago and was shocked at how ENORMOUS the city was. Now that was a damned big city, way bigger than the modern Turkish city of Selcuk, which is on that spot today.

During the Republican period it would have been that small, but during the 1st and 2nd century AD the lowest estimate is 450,000 and the average is one million. The census indicates over 40,000 apartment buildings called insulae in the city. The walls didn’t come close to enclosing the whole city.

Of course most of these people lived under conditions that were worse than the slums of Calcutta or Rio today.

I don’t know about that: pretty piled up, but there was running water and sewerage.

That’s significantly bigger than the city of New York was at the time. Rome these days is, of course, significantly bigger than it was 2000 years ago.

London was pretty small a few hundred years ago, too. Now it’s enormous.

Good call, thanks.

Interesting statistic I came across recently in a history of the American Revolution. Boston in 1776 had a population of just 16,000 people.

That’s nuts - that’s, like, half of the attendees at the American Library Association’s annual conference.

Keep in mind that Rome had good public facilities. The average Roman had a hike to a public fountain or toilet or bath. Only the rich had running water and even they probably wouldn’t be connected to the sewage system. Most of the sewage ended up being dumped in the streets. A lot of the pipe they did have was made out of lead. Disease was always a constant problem and epidemics would periodically sweep through the city.

Even at that, it was better than what London or Paris had well up into the 19th century.

But somehow, Fenway Park still sold out every game.

Well, if they didn’t keep banning my relatives, maybe it would have been bigger!