The Importance of Egypt to Imperial Rome

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
The following video discusses why the Roman takeover of Egypt was much more important than simply becoming a granary for Rome. The ambitious globalizing Romans used Egypt's geographical position to establish far-flung lucrative trade that financed the administration of the empire.

Also discussed was that the famous "bread and circuses" served as a form of Keynesian 'pump-priming' of the economy, allowing the lower classes to participate more in the wider economic sphere.

Is it any wonder that Roman Emperor Augustus was considered the son of a God? It is true that he "inherited" that title at first, but he took that designation seriously, not frivolously as some of his successors did, and became one of the most successful human beings who ever lived. He even posthumously benefited the succeeding Flavian dynasty, as the equestrian Prefect of Egypt, Tiberius Julius Alexander, was an important supporter of Vespasian for the Imperial throne, and it was Augustus who stipulated that an equestrian, not a Senator, should govern Egypt to keep it loyal to Rome, and had the Emperor pick the governor himself. In the case of Augustus, sacrificing to the "genius" of the Roman Emperor was well deserved and appropriate.