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The Grain Market in the Roman Empire: A Social, Political and Economic Study

The Grain Market in the Roman Empire: A Social, Political and Economic Study

Paperback

By (author) Paul Erdkamp

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  • Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Paperback | 380 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 224mm x 26mm | 599g
  • Publication date: 30 July 2009
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521117836
  • ISBN 13: 9780521117838
  • Edition: 1
  • Illustrations note: 5 maps
  • Sales rank: 1,117,548

Product description

This book explores the economic, social and political forces that shaped the grain market in the Roman Empire. Examining studies on food supply and the grain market in pre-industrial Europe, it addresses questions of productivity, division of labour, market relations and market integration. The social and political aspects of the Roman grain market are also considered. Dr Erdkamp illustrates how entitlement to food in Roman society was dependent on relations with the emperor, his representatives and the landowning aristocracy, and local rulers controlling the towns and hinterlands. He assesses the response of the Roman authorities to weaknesses in the grain market and looks at the implications of the failure of local harvests. By examining the subject from a contemporary perspective, this book will appeal not only to historians of ancient economies, but to all concerned with the economy of grain markets, a subject which still resonates today.

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Author information

Paul Erdkamp is Research Fellow in Ancient History at Leiden University. He is the author of Hunger and the Sword. Warfare and Food Supply in Roman Republican Wars (264-30 BC) (1998). He is the editor of The Roman Army and the Economy (1998) and The Companion to the Roman Army (forthcoming).

Review quote

"Erdkamp's work is a successful discussion of an important and fundamental area of Roman history. The Grain Market in the Roman Empire is a valuable addition to the scholarly literature on the supply and distribution of food within the center of the Empire and the forces of the ancient market. Erdkamp's attention to the complexities of the economic, political, and social forces and his use of appropriate ethnographic evidence makes his case a persuasive one. Erdkamp's familiarty with the literary and material evidence and his fluency with the theoretical forces that drive the ancient market will ensure that his ideas remain an important element in the discussion of the Roman economy for years to come." Joseph Lemak, Elmira College, Bryn Mawr Classical Review "This is an original and important analysis of the grain supply of the Roman empire, methodologically ambitious, thoughtful, thoroughly researched. Erdkamp's work makes intelligent use of comparative evidence from medieval and modern Europe to model the Roman grain market, from production, through regional and international trade, to its sale to the consumer. It ought to be widely read by scholars and students of the Roman grain trade, agriculture, nutrition, and social welfare." -- Phoenix

Table of contents

Introduction; 1. Production and productivity in Roman agriculture; 2. The world of the smallholder; 3. Farmers and their market relations; 4. Market integration: connecting supply and demand; 5. Rome and the corn provinces; 6. Urban food supply and grain market intervention; Conclusions; References; Indexes.