Good Diplomacy is a key to prospering in Travian.
Building a strong relationship with allies will prove to be more beneficial than building large army (unless you are a top player).
Talk to your neighbours, cooperate with them, help them out and ask for help when you need it.
Participate actively in endeavours of your alliance.
A player can prove to be very valuable to the game-play even without possession of any troops.
You will advance much further and much quicker with a Sword and Word, than with a Sword Alone.