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Great empires and civilizations require a great deal of assistance from the land to be successful. In the case of Rome, the city was ideally situated to become a major world power. Rome is built on a hill that is surrounded by seven other hills. This protected the city itself from outside attack. The Alps and Apennines Mountain ranges insulated the Italian peninsula from the rest of Europe. If an outside force wanted to invade Rome, it needed to use narrow mountains passes. This gave Rome plenty of time to respond with an army should the invaders make it through the mountains.
Rome also has the fertile Tiber River valley to boost agricultural production. Unlike Greece, Rome’s soils were fertile because of thousands of years of fertile volcanic ash deposits. Because of the fertile soil, the Romans were able to have a tremendous surplus of agricultural goods which allowed for population growth.
The location of Rome near the Mediterranean Sea was also a key advantage. The Italian peninsula juts right out into the middle of the Mediterranean and allowed Romans to travel throughout the sea. This enabled an expansive trade network that contributed to the wealth of the Roman empire.
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