NCERT Solutions for Class 11 Humanities History Chapter 3 Theme 3: An Empire Across Three Continents are provided here with simple step-by-step explanations. These solutions for Theme 3: An Empire Across Three Continents are extremely popular among class 11 Humanities students for History Theme 3: An Empire Across Three Continents Solutions come handy for quickly completing your homework and preparing for exams. All questions and answers from the NCERT Book of class 11 Humanities History Chapter 3 are provided here for you for free. You will also love the ad-free experience on Meritnation’s NCERT Solutions. All NCERT Solutions for class 11 Humanities History are prepared by experts and are 100% accurate.
Page No 76:
If you had lived in the Roman Empire, where would you rather have lived – in the towns or in the countryside? Explain why.
If I had a choice, I would have preferred to live in a town of the Roman Empire. My decision would have been influenced by the several amenities that the town life had to offer. The facilities offered by the urban centres allowed its citizens to lead a much peaceful and comfortable life compared to those offered by the villages (countryside). Some important aspects or amenities provided by the towns have been discussed below.
1) Opportunity for cultural upliftment: The Roman towns and cities were symbols of higher culture. To reach the level of this culture, peasants moved out of their villages to settle in the towns. This movement provided them the opportunity to bring an end to the barbaric lifestyle and establish themselves as noble beings.
2) Economic opportunities: The towns provided ample job opportunities to the people. There were several professions for the people to opt for based on their skills. The educated population could get jobs in the administrative machinery and could work as clerks or tax collectors. The craftsmen could make weapons, utensils or jewelleries. Entertainers such as musicians, dancers and actors also found ready patrons in the Roman towns and cities.
3) Effective administration: To establish a life of peace and security for the inhabitants of towns, a proper administration mechanism was crafted. The cities were divided into districts for better management. Control over anti-social practices was made possible with the assistance of the police and detective or spy units.
4) Food security: The availability of food throughout the year was not a problem in the Roman towns and cities. This was possible because the towns were well connected to several villages and ensured an uninterrupted flow of food grains for the large city population. Apart from trade links, large storehouses in the towns and cities enabled the storage of food grains for the entire year. This reduced the chances of food shortage during famines and other natural calamities.
5) Leisure: The towns provided plenty of options to the wealthy people to spend their leisure time. Live theatres, chariot racing and fight of the gladiators were very popular modes of entertainment. People also loved to spend time in the baths where they could swim, read, talk and socialise.
Page No 76:
Compile a list of some of the towns, cities, rivers, seas and provinces mentioned in this chapter, and then try and find them on the maps. Can you say something about any three of the items in the list you have compiled?
Some of the towns, cities, rivers, seas and provinces mentioned in this chapter have been tabulated below:
Let’s now discuss three items from the table provided above.
The word ‘Mediterranean’ has been derived from the Latin word ‘mediterraneus’, which means ‘in the middle of the world’. This meaning stands true for this sea, as it is enclosed from three sides by land. The main countries encircling it are Anatolia and Europe in the north, North Africa in the south and Levant in the east.
The Mediterranean Sea for a very long span of history served as an important route for trade and cultural exchange between the people of the Mesopotamian, Carthaginian, Phoenician, Egyptian, Iberian, Macedonian, Greek, Thracian, Illyrian, Levantine, Roman, Gallic, Albanian, Arabic, Armenian, Berber, Slavic Jewish, and Turkish cultures. Friedrich Hegel rightly states, “For the three quarters of the globe, the Mediterranean Sea was the uniting element and the centre of World History.”
The Romans have also referred to the Mediterranean Sea as Mediterranean Mare Nostrum, which means ‘our sea’. The statement is true as every country encircling the sea was at that time under the reign of the Romans.
It is the longest river in the Middle East. The rivers Euphrates and Tigris have been the cradle of several civilisations of the world such as that of Assyria, Babylonia and Sumer. The Euphrates also had a paramount role to play in the Roman civilization. The river formed the eastern margin of the Roman land referred to as Augusta Euphrantentis. It also supported the stretches of fertile lands whose crops could feed the large population of the civilization. The Euphrates was also the lifeline of the flourishing towns and cities, which, over time, emerged as centres of art and literature.
The city of Pompeii was an ancient Roman city situated near the modern Naples. It was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. The eruption left the city buried down in at least 13–20 feet of ash and pumice. The excavation of this dead city proved highly significant in understanding the life in the Roman past. The remains of the advertisements and graffiti on the walls all over the city form good evidence of literacy in that period.
Page No 76:
Imagine that you are a Roman housewife preparing a shopping list for household requirements. What would you add on the list?
If I was a Roman housewife, then I would prepare a list of the following items:
1) Basic and essential food items such as grains, pulses, meat, chicken, lentils, beans, breads, cheese and dates
2) Trending items in the market like olive oil and wine too would be a part of my grocery. Trading terms with Spain, the Gallic provinces, North Africa, Egypt and Italy filled the Roman market with these items. Subsequently, products such as olive oil and wine became popular household grocery items.
Page No 76:
Why do you think the Roman government stopped coining in silver? And which metal did it begin to use for the production of coinage?
The Roman silver coins or dinars were made of silver and were imported from Spain. Thus, it can be inferred that the purity and quantity of silver coins being minted in Rome depended on the amount of silver brought in from Spain. This relation of demand and supply was hit hard once the silver mines of Spain started getting exhausted. This made the import of silver expensive for the Romans. To deal with the situation, the Romans had to stop the production of silver coins. Instead of silver, the Romans used gold for the production of coins. The gold coin or the aureus had a fixed value of 25 denarii.
Page No 76:
Suppose the emperor Trajan had actually managed to conquer India and the Romans had held on to the country for several centuries. In what ways do you think India might be different today?
Trajan is regarded as one of the most efficient rulers of the Roman world. He was a great warrior and an exceptional civilian administrator. However, just like all great personalities, several initiatives taken by him were criticised. If India would have been under the rule of Trajan, the country would have gained in some aspects but might also have compromised on some aspects such as secularism. Let us now discuss these aspects in the following points:
1) Extension of country's boundaries: Trajan was highly admired for his military campaigns. He had won over Dacia and Parthia and extended the boundaries of Rome. If India was under him, it would have been reckoned for its expansionist achievements. However, such moves would have forced the country to make more enemies than friendly neighbours.
2) No secularism: India, as we know, is a secular nation. Here, people of all religions are treated as equals. Everybody has the right to practice, profess and propagate one’s own religion. However, it would not have been the same under the rule of the Roman emperor Trajan. Trajan practised persecution of Christians during his reign. He was indeed the first Roman emperor to have officially sanctioned the persecution of Christians. It can thus be estimated that the condition of India under such a fanatic would have been such where persecution of the heretics would be the norm of the land.
3) Administrative transparency: The news of scams is not infrequent these days in India. However, there were chances of reduction of such issues under the rule of Trajan. Trajan accepted the authority of the Senate and citizens of the Roman Empire. He promised to respect the freedom of his people and also keep the Senate informed about of his decisions. These measures surely could have helped to keep the people better informed of the decisions of the ruling authority. A well-informed citizenry and an active executive body could have made India more successful as a democracy.
Page No 76:
Go through the chapter carefully and pick out some basic features of Roman society and economy which you think make it look quite modern.
According to me, some basic features of the Roman society that make it look quite modern are:
1) Nuclear family: Many historians believe that nuclear family as an institution is a modern one and it has its origin in the 18th century. However, the existence of nuclear families in the Roman civilisation seems to contradict this opinion. In Rome, adult sons did not live with their families. In fact, adult brothers did not prefer to live in the same household.
2) Rights of women: A woman in Rome had full rights in the property of her father. On her father's death, she could become an independent property owner. A woman had full individual property rights in her husband's property. In other words, a married couple was not regarded as one but two financial entities. Divorce was an easy task and required only a notice either by the husband or by the wife. All these aspects are very modern in the sense that countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Congo are still struggling to provide equal rights to women.
3) Literacy: Since the mid-4th century BC, there has been evidence of the existence of schools in the Roman Empire. In these schools, basic socialisation and rudimentary education were taught to the children. Gradually, the schools developed and the quality of education increased.Some basic features of the Roman economy that make it look quite modern are:
1) Economic infrastructure: The Roman Empire had strong infrastructure in the form of harbours, mines, brickyards, etc. The infrastructure provided an impetus to the Roman Empire to tread across the path of development and progress.
2) Trade: Trade was an important aspect of the Roman economy. The Roman Empire was crisscrossed with trade routes. Both sea routes and land routes were used for trading goods such as beef, corn, iron, leather, marble, olive oil, perfumes and wine with trading partners including Spain, the Gallic provinces, North Africa, Egypt and Italy.
3) Advanced technology: The Roman Empire developed several advanced technologies, for instance, the use of water-powered milling technology and hydraulic mining techniques in Spanish gold and silver mines. Such innovations show how modern the Romans were to understand and execute technology.
4) Money and banking: Efficient functioning of the economy requires several financial tools and institutions. These facts are known to us today when concepts like money and economy have emerged as rather complex mechanisms. The Romans were not ignorant of such concepts. There was the existence of organised money and banking networks in the ancient Rome. In fact, money changers or bankers were known as argentarius. Their stalls were found near markets and places where commerce was active such as the Roman Forum, theatres and harbours and ports.
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