The Roman economy was operated significantly above subsistence level, with production being stimulated by both taxation and trade. Some regions became wealthy on the basis of exporting low-value agricultural products across the Mediterranean. In contrast, it has usually been assumed that the high costs of land transport kept inland regions relatively poor. This volume challenges these assumptions by presenting new research on production and exchange within inland regions. The papers, supported by detailed bibliographic essays, range from Britain to Jordan. They reveal robust agricultural economies in many interior regions. Here, some wealth did come from high value products, which could defy transport costs. However, ceramics also indicate local exchange systems, capable of generating wealth without being integrated into inter-regional trading networks. The role of the State in generating production and exchange is visible, but often co-existed with local market systems.
Contributors are Alyssa A. Bandow, Fanny Bessard, Michel Bonifay, Kim Bowes, Stefano Costa, Jeremy Evans, Elizabeth Fentress, Piroska Hárshegyi, Adam Izdebski, Luke Lavan, Tamara Lewit, Phil Mills, Katalin Ottományi, Peter Sarris, Emanuele Vaccaro, Agnès Vokaer, Mark Whittow and Andrea Zerbini.
Luke Lavan is Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Kent, Canterbury, where he co-ordinates the Centre for Late Antique Archaeology. His doctorate (2001) considered Provincial Capitals in Late Antiquity. He is series editor of
Late Antique Archaeology and directed the Kent section of Kent-Berlin Late Antique Ostia Project 2008-2012.
"A new addition to the respected Brill series 'Late Antique Archeology' overseen by Luke Lavan,
Local Economies? is a collection of papers generated from a conference held in London in 2010 [...]. The focus is on local exchange and production in provincial interiors, regions usually less understood than coastal zones. [...] There are many pointers, ideas and questions generated by exploring these micro-economies in Late Antiquity, making this a fundamental book for understanding the economic characteristics and the role of the different agents on regional and super-regional scales in this vital transitional period." Pilar Diarte-Blasco,
Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow - University of Leicester, in:
Medieval Archaeology 61/1 (June 2017), p. 191.
All those interested in economic apects of the Roman Empire, its rural landscape, basic social structures, and the impact of the state, as seen through all types of evidence, especially ceramics and settlement evidence.