Epigraphy and the Economy of the Roman Empire

Giovanni Salmeri

in Epigraphy and the Historical Sciences

Published by British Academy

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780197265062
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754173 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Epigraphy and the Economy of the Roman Empire

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Rostovtzeff's study of the Roman Empire (1926) cites many inscriptions in the notes but rarely does their evidence figure in the argument of the main text. Since then, many have used inscriptions for more local or specific themes, notably by L. Robert in reconstructing the trading economy of cities in Asia Minor (Nicomedia and Kaunos). Rostovtzeff's dismissal of the economic significance of fairs and markets has also been successfully challenged by studies based on epigraphic evidence. M. Finlay's insistence (1973) on the primitive character of the Roman economy has stimulated arguments that still continue. Trading patterns have been detected in some commodities, e.g. sulphur, from Sicily and Aegean Melos. Monumental construction by emperors, notably Trajan, have been ascribed to economic motives but most have opted to place them in a military or general political context.

Keywords: M. Rostovtzeff; trade; markets; M. Finley; sulphur; motives for building

Chapter.  9367 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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