Oxford Roman Economy Project University of Oxford

The Romans and Trade


The Romans and Trade
By André Tchernia
Oxford Studies on the Roman Economy, Oxford University Press, 2016.

André Tchernia is one of the leading experts on amphorae as a source of economic history, a pioneer of maritime archaeology, and author of a wealth of articles on Roman trade, notably the wine trade. This book brings together the author's previously published essays, updated and revised, with recent notes and prefaced with an entirely new synthesis of his views on Roman commerce with a particular emphasis on the people involved in it.

The book is divided into two main parts. The first is a general study of the structure of Roman trade: Landowners and traders, traders' fortunes, the matter of the market, the role of the state, and dispatching what is required. It tackles the recent debates on Roman trade and Roman economy, providing, original and convincing answers.

The second part of the book is a selection of 14 of the author's published papers. They range from discussions of general topics such as the ideas of crisis and competition, the approvisioning of Ancient Rome, trade with the East, to more specialized studies, such as the interpretation of the 33 AD crisis.

Overall, the book contains a wealth of insights into the workings of ancient trade and expertly combines discussion of the material evidence-especially of amphorae and wrecks-with the prosopographical approach derived from epigraphic, papyrological and historical data.

For more information visit the Oxford University Press website.



PART I: The Romans and Trade
1: Landowners and Traders
2: Traders' Fortunes
3: The Matter of the Market
4: The Role of the State
5: Dispatching what is Required

PART II Scripta varia
6: Dreams of Wealth, Borrowing, and Seaborne Trade
7: The Sale of Wine
8: The plebiscitum Claudianum
9: The Crisis of AD 33
10: Staple Provisions for Rome: How to Quantify them?
11: Food Supplies for Rome: Coping with Geographical Constraints
12: Claudius's Edict and Ships of 10,000 modii
13: The Dromedary of the Peticii and Trade with the East
14: Winds and Coin: From the Supposed Discovery of the Monsoon to the Denarii of Tiberius
15: D. Caecilius Hospitalis and M. Iulius Hermesianus (CIL, VI, 1625b and 20742)
16: Delivery of Oil from Baetica to the Limes in Germania: Wierschowski Versus Remesal
17: Warehousing and Complementary Cargoes on the Alexandria Grain Run
18: Wine Exporting and the Exception of Gaul: Current Interpretations
19: The Economic Crisis in Imperial Italy and Competition from the Provinces


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