How did the process of Romanization of the empire occur?

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Romanization refers to the assimilation of conquered territories into the Roman Republic and later Empire. In an attempt to create a cultural link between the Romans and those they conquered, it was encouraged to assimilate and acculturate conquered peoples into Rome.

There were different ways of romanizing the provinces. Sometimes...

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Romanization refers to the assimilation of conquered territories into the Roman Republic and later Empire. In an attempt to create a cultural link between the Romans and those they conquered, it was encouraged to assimilate and acculturate conquered peoples into Rome.

There were different ways of romanizing the provinces. Sometimes it would happen from the top down; upper Patrician classes in Roman provinces would adopt Roman culture, and it would then filter down to the peasants and those further from the cities. Occasionally, children would be taken from outlying region and be educated in city-centers with Roman values; we could see this as either the children were wards of Rome or captured hostages meant to keep Roman provinces from rebelling.

Other ways Romanization occurred was by sending Roman citizens to the outlying regions of the Empire, such as retired soldiers who were given plots of land throughout the empire. These soldiers would then encourage Roman laws, customs, and values. We would explain this as cultural diffusion.

In other regions, cultural syncretism occurred, when Roman culture and local cultures mixed to create something that was a mix of both, like in Gaul (modern-day France), where considerable Romanization occurred but existed alongside the Gaulish language, creating a hybrid culture.

Additionally, sometimes local elites in newly dominated provinces wanted to acculturate and Romanize in order to curry favor with Rome, hoping for a increase in social standing or rise in local power.

Regardless of the method, Romanization occurred in many different ways throughout the Empire; it was dependent on the provinces and local people.

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Romanization was a gradual and relatively organic process. In general, as long as provincials did not rebel and paid their taxes, the Romans were reasonably willing to let them have their own languages, religions, and cultures. This meant that Romanization was often syncretic in nature, creating hybrid forms of culture. In fact, one could argue that Romanization in the Greek East was an extension of Hellenization, with the Roman Empire spreading the Latin language and culture in a similar manner as the movement begun by Philip and Alexander of Macedon and their successor empires.

One of the major ways Roman culture spread through the empire was through the army. The Romans, in a practice dating back to Alexander the Great, would give plots of farm land in the provinces to retired soldiers. Rome also would do military recruiting from all parts of the empire, offering the soldiers land and citizenship on retirement, teaching them Latin and perhaps basic literacy while they served. This spread Latin culture across the empire.

Next, Roman provincial officials and local elites would construct temples, aqueducts, gymnasia (actually a Greek tradition), theaters (culturally Greek), and sporting facilities, creating a cosmopolitan culture. Local elites often adopted Graeco-Roman clothing styles, language, architecture, and other cultural elements as a matter of prestige. Learning Latin could help advance careers of aspiring young provincials.

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Romanization refers to the acculturation of people throughout the Roman Empire as they adopted the customs and traditions of their Roman conquerors. It was widespread throughout the majority of the empire. At the height of the Roman Empire in the early second century, millions of people from Spain to the Levant, and from Britain to North Africa, were all adopting the Roman way of life.

Overall it was a top–down process, as the aristocracy and elites in the provinces were often the first people to adopt Roman customs. Often they were eager to ingratiate themselves with the Roman colonial authorities, and becoming "Roman" helped this process. Additionally, many elites sent their children to Rome as hostages. There, they were given Roman educations and essentially became romanized at the epicenter of the culture. When they returned to their provinces as young adults, they brought the culture and customs back with them.

Many people in the provinces were also eager to benefit from Roman luxuries and technology. Roman roads, aqueducts, entertainment, and bathhouses were appreciated by many of the provincial people throughout the Roman Empire. To be Roman, they thought, was to be modern and comfortable.

Another process that facilitated romanization was the settlement of hundreds of thousands of retired Roman soldiers in the provinces. This practice occurred during the Republic and continued through the reign of Emperor Trajan. A large part of a veteran's retirement package involved land in conquered territories. These veterans promoted Roman culture, religion, language, and laws in their new lands.

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The process of Romanization of the people of the empire occurred mainly through the spread of the army and of Roman government officials.

During the time of the Pax Romana, the armies of Rome were spread out across the empire, along with Roman officials to govern the empire.  With them came Roman culture.  Since the Roman culture was the culture of the conquerors and rulers, it had prestige in the places that it reached.  Local elites would want to adopt Roman ways so that they could be identified with the powerful Romans and perhaps be accepted by them.  For this reason, people throughout the empire started to take Roman names and to speak Latin.  They came to partake in Roman things such as baths and gladiatorial games.  Through this process they came to be Roman in terms of their culture.

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