Overlord and conqueror she may have been, but Rome was at the least a benevolent ruler, keen to offer comforts and diversions to her subjects. In return of course, for service in her armies and adoption of her customs and traditions. All voluntary you understand. The little folk saw the lay of the land, and weighed the benefits of bread and circuses against autonomy and constant strife. And chose the Pax Romana. The temple to Augustus rose over the sacred springs of Nemasus in modern day Nîmes, and the blood of wild beasts and gladiators stained the sands of her arenas.
But when in her turn, Rome fell, the little folk nibbled at her palaces and public squares, her temples and sanctuaries to build their houses, their churches, towns and villages, once again in their own images. Only the grandest of structures remained unpludrered. The amphitheatres of Nîmes and of Arles. The great theatre and triumphal arch of Orange. The grand aqueduct of Pont du Gard. Structures whose stones were too large for domestic recycling bear testament to the giants that once walked there.