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Trade, commerce, and the state in the Roman…

Trade, commerce, and the state in the Roman world

by Andrew Wilson (Editor), Alan Bowman (Editor)

Other authors: Colin Adams (Contributor), Michel Bonifay (Contributor), Barbara Davidde (Contributor), Danièle Foy (Contributor), Michael Fulford (Contributor)11 more, David F. Graf (Contributor), William V. Harris (Contributor), Philip Kay (Contributor), Elio Lo Cascio (Contributor), Dario Nappo (Contributor), Emanuele Papi (Contributor), Ivan Radman-Livaja (Contributor), Paul Reynolds (Contributor), Ben Russell (Contributor), Boudewijn Sirks (Contributor), Roberta Tomber (Contributor)

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This book is the fourth in a series of conference proceedings organized by the editors as part of the Oxford Roman Economy Project (OxREP). After an introduction, the book is divided into three sections, one on the state and institutions, one on trade within the empire, and one on trade across the frontiers.

Wilson and Bowman’s introduction presents their view of the current state of scholarship on Roman trade and the importance of the state. They are confident in the new, optimistic perspective that has emerged recently. Unfortunately, in clearing away the old arguments of the twentieth century, they neglect one of the most important of the twenty-first: the extent of economic integration. While few now would endorse a minimalist view of long-distance trade, real questions remain about the integration of areas off the main trade routes and the relative importance of macro-regional versus empire-wide trade. Instead, they ask to what extent trade was market-driven and how the state impacted trade in various ways. In synthesizing the contributions to the volume, they offer some answers to their questions. The state had a major influence on commerce through the establishment of common institutions, the construction of infrastructure, and the efforts to supply privileged consumers. State influence precludes the description of the ancient economy as simply market-driven, but substantial private trade coexisted with imperially controlled exchange and performed quite well for a preindustrial economy. Wilson and Bowman rightly insist on the importance of extra-imperial trade and demonstrate its significant contribution to the state’s revenues. They do not address its significance for the rest of the Roman economy and its integration with intra-imperial networks, which only demonstrates how little extra-imperial trade has influenced debates until now. Hopefully this volume will inspire others to address these questions.

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wilson, AndrewEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bowman, AlanEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Adams, ColinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bonifay, MichelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davidde, BarbaraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Foy, DanièleContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fulford, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Graf, David F.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harris, William V.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kay, PhilipContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lo Cascio, ElioContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nappo, DarioContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Papi, EmanueleContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Radman-Livaja, IvanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Reynolds, PaulContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Russell, BenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sirks, BoudewijnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tomber, RobertaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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