Download A Companion to the Roman Empire (Blackwell Companions to the by David S. Potter PDF

By David S. Potter

A better half to the Roman Empire presents readers with a advisor either to Roman imperial historical past and to the sphere of Roman reports, taking account of the latest discoveries.

This better half brings jointly thirty unique essays guiding readers via Roman imperial background and the sphere of Roman studies.
Shows that Roman imperial historical past is a compelling and colourful subject.
Includes major new contributions to varied parts of Roman imperial history.
Covers the social, highbrow, fiscal and cultural historical past of the Roman Empire.
Contains an intensive bibliography.

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In terms of the study of the ancient economy, the chapters that David Mattingly and Dennis Kehoe have contributed to this volume show how the evidence does not sustain the strict ‘‘primitivist’’ line advocated by Finley, who essentially theorized A. H. M. Jones’ observation that wealth was held in land, or the ‘‘modernist’’ approach suggested by Rostovtzeff’s overt comparisons with the modern world. Mattingly argues from the archaeological evidence for the movement of goods that the economy of the Roman Empire was extraordinary by the standards of the pre-modern world in terms of the links that it forged between regions, a view that largely supports Rostovtzeff’s arguments, while conceding that the attitudes towards the accumulation of capital were far different from those of early modern Europe.

2 million sesterces, with his landed property divided up into a number of different estates, consisting, as Dennis Kehoe shows, of a central villa staffed by slaves set amidst a group of tenant farms. These estates guaranteed family status, and the protection of that status often dictated a rather conservative economic outlook: the primary concern of the largest landholders was to preserve what they had. If they Introduction 13 sought to increase their wealth, they would most likely do so through marriage to another wealthy family in their home district, a pattern illustrated in Evans Grubbs’ discussion of the multiple marriages of the younger Pliny.

At roughly the same time, two other developments were changing the scope of the subject. One was the growth of interest in ‘‘Late Antiquity,’’ which fueled interest in broad areas of social and intellectual history. The other was Moses Finley’s work on the economy of the ancient world. His work became the focal point of a debate between archaeologists who studied the evidence for trade and historians who questioned whether any amount of empirical data could overthrow an approach based on a theoretical model.

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