Oxford Roman Economy Project University of Oxford

Structure and scale of Roman urban economies: the case of Pompeii


While Pompeii has been at the centre of scholarly attention for over two centuries, there has been relatively little debate about the economy of the city and its hinterland, and its role in local, regional and Mediterranean networks of trade and exchange. Recent years have seen a revival of interest in the material remains of Pompeii’s shops, workshops and infrastructure, which has led to some fundamental changes in our ideas about economic life in the city. Yet in current debates about the Roman economy, Pompeii plays little or no role, despite its unique material remains.

This conference brings together Pompeii specialists and leading economic historians of the Roman world to explore what Pompeii’s unique remains have to offer to the larger debates about structure and scale in the Roman economy. In doing so, the conference will foster debate contributing to both our understanding of Pompeii and that of the Roman economy. Pompeian studies, often too exclusively focused on Pompeii alone, could profit from the context provided by discussing Pompeii in the wider debate on the Roman economy; economic historians will be provided with a detailed case study of an urban economy on the micro-scale. Such case studies are essential in refining the macro-scale economic models currently dominating the field.

The topic will be approached from a variety of angles, with papers addressing issues of commerce, manufacturing, trade, transport, agriculture, finance and living standards. A wide array of evidence will be covered, including shops, workshops, the street network, villas, coins, wax-tablets, and archaeobotanical remains.

The conference is organized by the Oxford Roman Economy Project in collaboration with the Network on Structural Determinants of Economic Performance in the Roman World (Flanders Research Foundation). Confirmed speakers include: Wim Broeckaert (Gent), Philippe Borgard (Aix), Steven Ellis (Cincinnati), Miko Flohr (Oxford), Richard Hobbs (British Museum), Willem Jongman (Groningen), Estelle Lazer (Sydney), Nicolas Monteix (Rouen), Eric Poehler (UMass Amherst), Nick Ray (Leicester), Damian Robinson (Oxford), Erica Rowan (Oxford), Ferdinando de Simone (Oxford), Koen Verboven (Gent), and Andrew Wilson (Oxford). You can now download the program through the link below.

Attendance is free, but we kindly ask you to register with miko.flohr@classics.ox.ac.uk before June 15th in order for us to plan numbers.

June 29-29, 2012:
Pompeii Conference.


All Souls College, Old Library. Registration.

June 30-30, 2012:
Pompeii Conference.


Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, Lecture Theatre. Registration.

Webdesign, databasedesign: Miko Flohr, 2010-2021. Content: OXREP, 2005-2021.