The Roman Market Economy

The Roman Market Economy

by Peter Temin
     
 

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The quality of life for ordinary Roman citizens at the height of the Roman Empire probably was better than that of any other large group of people living before the Industrial Revolution. The Roman Market Economy uses the tools of modern economics to show how trade, markets, and the Pax Romana were critical to ancient Rome's prosperity.

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Overview

The quality of life for ordinary Roman citizens at the height of the Roman Empire probably was better than that of any other large group of people living before the Industrial Revolution. The Roman Market Economy uses the tools of modern economics to show how trade, markets, and the Pax Romana were critical to ancient Rome's prosperity.

Peter Temin, one of the world's foremost economic historians, argues that markets dominated the Roman economy. He traces how the Pax Romana encouraged trade around the Mediterranean, and how Roman law promoted commerce and banking. Temin shows that a reasonably vibrant market for wheat extended throughout the empire, and suggests that the Antonine Plague may have been responsible for turning the stable prices of the early empire into the persistent inflation of the late. He vividly describes how various markets operated in Roman times, from commodities and slaves to the buying and selling of land. Applying modern methods for evaluating economic growth to data culled from historical sources, Temin argues that Roman Italy in the second century was as prosperous as the Dutch Republic in its golden age of the seventeenth century.

The Roman Market Economy reveals how economics can help us understand how the Roman Empire could have ruled seventy million people and endured for centuries.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Temin is a professional economist, and his book glows with the fervour of the true believer."--Peter Thonemann, Times Literary Supplement

"[T]his important book should be a challenge to ancient economic historians of all persuasions to engage seriously with both economic theory and comparative history, as well as with its specific claims about the development and performance of the Roman Empire."--Neville Morley, Sehepunkte

"In The Roman Market Economy Peter Temin accomplishes the quintessential task of the economic historian: to take shards of pottery, folios of brittle parchment, and patinated tools and fashion from them a credible, comprehensive and vivid picture of a society long gone."--Plamen Ivanov, LSE Review of Books

"The Roman Market Economy effectively demonstrates the elegance and simplicity of economic demonstration. But Temin's methodological point would have been more persuasive had it shown that an economic methodology can lead to new, or challenge old, understandings of the ancient economy."--Sitta von Reden, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781400845422
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
12/16/2012
Series:
Princeton Economic History of the Western World
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Peter Temin is the Gray Professor Emeritus of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His books include The World Economy between the World Wars.

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