Monday, August 12, 2013

Ancient Rome and Rich Farmland

Rich Farmland
"Tell me, all you who have journeyed through many lands, have you seen a more richly farmed land than Italy?" asked the Roman writer Varro in the first century B.C. From earliest times, the fertile land and mild climate of Italy attracted many settlers. The Italian peninsula had more arable (AIR »uh« buhl) land than the Balkan Peninsula, where the ancient Greeks lived. Arable land is land that can be used to grow crops. Early settlers were able to grow many different crops instead of importing them from other places.

Ancient Rome


Many rivers in Italy carry mineral-rich silt that creates good farmland. The peninsula's volcanoes have also made much of Italy's soil rich with volcanic ash. Most of the volcanoes have been extinct for a long time. An extinct volcano is a volcano that will never again erupt.

Ancient Rome
Around 1000 B.C. people from central Europe began migrating into the Italian peninsula. These people, who became known as the Latins, settled on land south of the Tiber River. There they raised crops, such as wheat and barley; peas, beans, and other vegetables; and figs, grapes, and olives. They also herded sheep, goats, and cattle. Latin women spun sheep's wool and wove it into fabric for clothing. These early farmers and herders were the ancestors of the Romans.

Ancient Rome
Why was the area along the Tiber River a good place to settle?

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