Ancient Roman trade was severely hampered by slow transportation and by the absence of a state that helped traders enforce their contracts. In
Trading Communities in the Roman World: A Micro-Economic and Institutional Perspective Taco Terpstra offers a new explanation of how traders in the Roman Empire overcame these difficulties.
Previous theories have focused heavily on dependent labor, arguing that transactions overseas were conducted through slaves and freedmen. Taco Terpstra shows that this approach is unsatisfactory. Employing economic theory, he convincingly argues that the key to understanding long-distance trade in the Roman Empire is not patron-client or master-slave relationships, but the social bonds between ethnic groups of foreign traders living overseas and the local communities they joined.
Processes of Cultural Change and Integration in the Roman World is a collection of studies on the interaction between Rome and the peoples that became part of its Empire between c. 300 BC and AD 300. The book focuses on the mechanisms by which interaction between Rome and its subjects occurred, e.g. the settlements of colonies by the Romans, army service, economic and cultural interaction. In many cases Rome exploited the economic resources of the conquered territories without allowing the local inhabitants any legal autonomy. However, they usually maintained a great deal of cultural freedom of expression. Those local inhabitants who chose to engage with Rome, its economy and culture, could rise to great heights in the administration of the Empire.
The economic success of the Roman Empire was unparalleled in the West until the early modern period. While favourable natural conditions, capital accumulation, technology and political stability all contributed to this, economic performance ultimately depended on the ability to mobilize, train and co-ordinate human work efforts. In
Work, Labour, and Professions in the Roman World, the authors discuss new insights, ideas and interpretations on the role of labour and human resources in the Roman economy. They study the various ways in which work was mobilised and organised and how these processes were regulated. Work as a production factor, however, is not the exclusive focus of this volume. Throughout the chapters, the contributors also provide an analysis of work as a social and cultural phenomenon in Ancient Rome.
The Roman Empire has long held pride of place in the collective memory of scholars, politicians, and the general public in the western world. In
Money, Culture, and Well-Being in Rome's Economic Development, 0-275 CE, Daniel Hoyer offers a new approach to explain Rome's remarkable development.
Hoyer surveys a broad selection of material to see how this diverse body of evidence can be reconciled to produce a single, coherent picture of the Roman economy. Engaging with social scientific and economic theory, Hoyer highlights key issues in economic history, placing the Roman Empire in its rightful place as a special—but not wholly unique—example of a successful preindustrial state.
Rome and the Indian Ocean Trade from Augustus to the Early Third Century CE Matthew Adam Cobb examines the development of commercial exchange between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean worlds from the Roman annexation of Egypt (30 BCE) up to the early third century CE.
Among the issues considered are the identities of those involved, how they organised and financed themselves, the challenges they faced (scheduling, logistics, security, sailing conditions), and the types of goods they traded.
Drawing upon an expanding corpus of new evidence, Cobb aims to reassess a number of long-standing scholarly assumptions about the nature of Roman participation in this trade. These range from its chronological development to its economic and social impact.
Recently there has been a welcome revival of scholarly interest in the economy of classical Greece. In the face of increasingly compelling arguments for the existence of a market economy in classical Athens, the Finleyan orthodoxy is finally relinquishing its long dominion. In this book, Barry O’Halloran seeks to contribute to this renewed debate by re-interrogating the ancient evidence using more recent economic interpretative frameworks. The aim is to re-evaluate accepted orthodoxies and present the economic history of this emblematic city-state in a new light. More specifically, it analyses the economic foundations of Athens through the prism of its navy. Its macroeconomic approach utilises an employment-demand model through which enormous naval defence expenditures created an exceptional period of demand-led economic growth.
In recent years, storage has come to the fore as a central aspect of ancient economies. However studies have hitherto focused on urban and military storage. Although archaeological excavations of rural granaries are numerous, their evidence has yet to be fully taken into account. Such is the ambition of
Rural Granaries in Northern Gaul (Sixth Century BCE – Fourth Century CE). Focusing on northern Gaul, this volume starts by discussing at length the possibility of quantifying storage capacities and, through them, agrarian production. Building on this first part, the second half of the book sketches the evolution of rural storage in Gaul from the Iron Age to Late Antiquity, setting firmly archaeological evidence in the historical context of the Roman Empire.
Over the past decades, archaeological field surveys and excavations have greatly enriched our knowledge of the Roman countryside Drawing on such new data, the volume
The Economic Integration of Roman Italy, edited by Tymon de Haas and Gijs Tol, presents a series of papers that explore the changes Rome’s territorial and economic expansion brought about in the countryside of the Italian peninsula. By drawing on a variety of source materials (e.g. pottery, settlement patterns, environmental data), they shed light on the complexity of rural settlement and economies on the local, regional and supra-regional scales. As such, the volume contributes to a re-assessment of Roman economic history in light of concepts such as globalisation, integration, economic performance and growth.
Studies on Pre-Capitalist Modes of Production British and Argentinian historians analyse the Asiatic, Germanic, peasant, slave, feudal, and tributary modes of production by exploring historical processes and diverse problems of Marxist theory. The emergence of feudal relations, the origin of the medieval craftsman, the functioning of the law of value and the conditions for historical change are some of the problems analysed. The studies treat an array of pre-capitalist social formations: Chris Wickham works on medieval Iceland and Norway, John Haldon on Byzantium, Carlos García Mac Gaw on the Roman Empire, Andrea Zingarelli on ancient Egypt, Carlos Astarita and Laura da Graca on medieval León and Castile, and Octavio Colombo on the Castilian later Middle Ages.
Contributors include: Chris Wickham, John Haldon, Carlos Astarita, Carlos García Mac Gaw, Octavio Colombo, Laura da Graca, and Andrea Zingarelli.