Sometimes in the progressivist view of history that the liberals like to propagate, we forget that the Roman/Byzantine empires were as about as advanced a pre-industrial society that you could get. They were even masters of logistics that rivals our own time. It took to somewhere between the Revolutionary and Civil Wars before we finally surpassed them. There was nothing crude or primitive about them.
Other than its quite modern view of currency, Rome also had a benighted view of the free market, which puts it in the post-industrial category.
I wholeheartedly agree about Roman logistics — besides aqueducts, sewers, roads, bridges (some set without mortar and still in use today), amphitheaters, and tunnels which still exist, they maintained a huge empire using an all-purpose army (they played the role of local gendarmes, tax collectors, etc etc as well as defenders of the Empire) that varied in the range of one-half percent to one percent of the population under governance. That included naval forces plus the Roman equivalent of construction battalions.
Even during the calamitous third century, 3/4s of which was spent splintered into rival ‘empires’ in civil war with each other, the Empire didn’t collapse from outside attackers, and in fact business was booming, laying the groundwork in a way for the commerce during the Middle Ages (Byzantine trade continued far and wide, including with formerly Roman Britain).
The political framework was always the weak link in Roman affairs, but the first of Rome’s conquests was of Ostia, during late prehistoric (because no writing; probably whatever archives there were burned during the Gallic sack of Rome) times, sometime in the 7th c BC, and the last remnant of the empire in Constantinople fell to the Turks in the mid-15th century AD, iow, over a 2000 year span. Just how long do we expect a polity to last, anyway? :’)