NCERT Solutions for Class 11 History Chapter 2 - An Empire Across Three Continents

90. If you had lived in the Roman Empire, where would you rather have lived – in the towns or in the countryside? Explain why.

Ans. If I had lived in the Roman Empire then I would have lived in towns because of the following reasons:

(a) As famines were common, so there would be no scarcity of food items in town.

(b) Better facilities were available in towns as compared to the countryside even during famines.

(c) Cities provided a much higher level of enjoyment and entertainment.

(d) Towns were hub for art, music and culture with various learning activities.

(e) Better employment facilities were available in towns.

91. 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?

Ans. Towns –Pompeii, Alexandria, Cairo, Mecca

(a) Pompeii was an ancient Roman city in Italian region.

(b) Alexandria was a port city handled by Jewish merchants. They had direct trade as mentioned in the Genzia collection. Their trade was exported to Europe and other continents.

(c) Mecca is a city in the Arabian Peninsula in Saudi Arabia. It is the birthplace of great Islamic scholar and founder of Islam, Muhammad.

(d) Cairo is the capital of Egypt. It is one of the biggest metropolitan city in Africa.

Rivers – Rhine, Danube, Euphrates

(a) Rhine– it has been vital navigation for carrying trade and goods in waterways. It has a significant name in the Holy Roman Empire and lately become a symbol of the German invasion.

(b) Danube is Europe’s second largest river after the Volga, located in Central Eastern Europe.

(c) Euphrates is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia.

Seas – Black Sea, Red Sea, Caspian Sea

(a) The Black Sea, is most used waterways for trade and transport. It is situated between southeast Europe and Western Asia. The trade was mainly held among Central Asia, Mesopotamia and Greece.

(b) The Red Sea is in the Indian Ocean lying between Asia and Africa.

(c) The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed inland body of water on earth by area. It is located close to Russia.

Provinces – Cyrenaica. Tripolitania, Gallic

92. Imagine that you are a Roman housewife preparing a shopping list for household requirements. What would be on the list?

Ans. If I were a Roman housewife preparing a shopping list for household requirements then wheat, vegetabless, various kinds of pulses, milk, butter, spices, oil, eggs, clothes, ornaments, etc. would have been on my list as these things were available and produced in the empire.

93. Why do you think the Roman government stopped coining in silver? And which metal did it begin to use for the production of coinage?

Ans. Silver was obtained from the mines of Spain. Due to extreme extraction these mines were exhausted and there was no stock of silver with government to support a stable coinage in silver. That’s why the Romans shifted to mint gold coins and started using it in their coinage system.

94. 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?

Ans. If the Romans had held on to India for several centuries, India might be different today in the following ways:

(a) Ancient Roman law would have helped Indian Law.

(b) Indian agriculture would have been benefitted.

(c) There might be aristocracy prevailing in India in the place of democracy

(d) Instead of being secular nation, Christianity might have been the state religion.

(e) Indian women would have been given right to property and easy divorce much earlier.

(f) There might be different patterns and change in the art, literature and architecture of the country.

(g) Indians might worship the Roman gods and goddesses such as Jupiter, Juno, etc., along with The Indian gods and goddesses.

95. Go through the chapter carefully and pick out some basic features of Roman society and economy which you think make it look quite modern.

Ans. Some basic features of the Roman society:

(a) Society was divided into upper, middle and lower class.

(b) There was widespread prevalence of the nuclear family.

(c) Women retained full rights in their father’s property. They could own and manage property and its related issues.

(d) There was vast diversity of religious cults and local deities, the plurality of languages that were spoken, the styles of dress and costume, the food people ate and their forms of social organisation.

(e) The king could not act arbitrarily and had to abide by certain rules and regulations.

(f) People made an active use of the law for protection of their rights and its effective implementation.

Some Basic features of the Roman economy:

(a) The empire had a substantial economic structure of harbours, mines, brickyard, etc.

(b) Constant exchange of commodities between different cities.

(c) Roman trade was flourish and prosperous across several continents.

(d) Widespread use of monetary such as silver denarius and gold solidus.

(e) The level of productivity in agriculture was very high which led to good market values and agricultural trade.

(f) There was an organised commercial and banking system and also money was widely used.

(g) Competition among different regions to have control over olive oil markets.

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