As Petra flourished, the powerful Roman
Empire was expanding into the Middle East. The Romans were eager to expand the boundaries of their empire, and in A.D. 106 they
took control of the Nabataean capital. It appears the Roman takeover was peaceful, and life in Petra went on without much change.
But the empire left an unforgettable mark on the ancient city.
The distinct Roman style can be seen all over Petra, in the monuments, sculptures, public spaces, and even in the city's design. The
Romans built new roads, like the impressive Colonnaded Street that ran through the center of Petra. Lined with massive columns, this
long, straight street was unlike anything else in the city.
Rome ruled Petra for the next 300 years, tying the fate of the ancient city to the empire. Eventually, Rome moved the center of
trade north. The empire also turned to shipping by sea for much of its trade. Petra's importance in the ancient world began to fade.