Sunday, June 25, 2017
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Thinking Geographically




How did the small farming vil­lage of Rome grow to become the capital of a great empire? Part of the answer lies in Rome’s location.

Geographers study both the absolute and relative location of a place. The ab­solute location of a place tells where a place lies on the grid of latitude and lon­gitude. Rome’s absolute location is im­portant if you are trying to locate it on a map. However, if you are trying to ex­plain its rise to power, its relative loca­tion is more important.

Relative location refers to where a place is located in relation to other places. Rome lies on a peninsula near the midpoint of the Mediterranean Sea. From this central lo­cation, Rome is close to all the lands around the Mediterranean.

Rome occupied an ideal position from which to send out ships and armies. In time, it made that location even better by building roads throughout the Empire. By A.D 100, there were 50,000 miles (80,000 kilometers) of major roads and more than 200,000 miles (320,000 kilometers) of smaller roads.

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