Forests and Water in Roman Empire

The following is a reblog from Environment and Society that highlights the pressures that the Roman Empire had in order to supply basic needs to its populations. Not only does the post provide interesting historical information, its a warning to the modern-day civilization about the consequences of depleting resources such as forests. If we do not learn from the past we might repeat it.

Environment and Society

If we do not learn from the past we might repeat it.

Deforestation during the Roman period was a result of the geographical expansion of the Roman Empire, with its increased population, large-scale agriculture, and unprecedented economic development. Roman expansion marks the transition in the Mediterranean from prehistory (around 1,000 BC) to the historical period beginning around 500 BC. Earth sustained a few million people 8,000 years ago and was still fundamentally pristine, but Rome drove human development in Western Europe and was a leading contributor of the deforestation around the Mediterranean.

A measure of Roman civilization was availability of water.

Roman Water Carriers – Aqueducts: The Romans are renowned for engineering marvels, among which is the aqueduct that carried water for many miles in order to provide a crowded urban population with relatively safe, potable water, as well as less essential but very Roman aquatic uses. Rome had nine…

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