In order to determine the number of inhabitants of the city of Rome in the imperial period, scholars have used four methods. The first one takes into account the amount of grain distributed each day to the population, the second one the quantity of grain imported to Rome every year, the third one the number of houses and insulae, the fourth one, less useful for the period discussed in this article, the amount of pork distributed to the inhabitants. It seems certain that at that time Rome could have had a million inhabitants, crowded in an unbearably small space. This number began to diminish in the 4th century A.D.
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