The Roman Bazaar: A Comparative Study of Trade and Markets in a Tributary Empire

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Overview

It has long been held by historians that trade and markets in the Roman Empire resembled those found later in early modern Europe. Using the concept of the bazaar, however, Peter Bang argues that the development spawned by Roman hegemony proves clear similarities with large, pre-colonial or tributary empires such as the Ottoman, the Mughal in India, and the Ming/Ch'ing in China. By comparing Roman market formation particularly with conditions in the Mughal Empire, Bang changes our comparative horizons and situates the ongoing debate over the Roman economy firmly within wider discussions about world history and the 'great divergence' between east and west. The broad scope of this book takes in a wide range of topics, from communal networks and family connections to imperial cultures of consumption, and will therefore be of great interest to scholars and students of ancient history and pre-industrial economics.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Bang's well-researched and clearly written (and much-warranted) investigation will prove valuable to anyone interested in the comparative history of premodern empires and economies. Bang is surely right to claim the need for more studies of comparable ancient structures rather than more comparisons between ancient and modern ones. His is a first big step in the right direction."
The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Brent D. Shaw, Princeton University

"This is an extremely rich and stimulating book..." --American Historical Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521855327
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/31/2008
  • Series: Cambridge Classical Studies
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Bang is an Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen.

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Table of Contents

Prolegomena; Part I. The Roman Empire and the Comparative Study of Pre-Industrial Society: 1. Beyond the ancient economy? Trade in the Roman empire and the problem of comparative history; 2. An agrarian empire between market and tribute - situating interregional trade in the Roman empire; Part II. Imperial Bazaar: 3. A rough trading world - opaque, volatile and discontinuously connected markets; 4. A thin line - portorium, protection and predation; 5. Community - cult, courts, credit and collaboration in the bazaar; Epilegomena: taking stock - the world of goods.
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