Imperial Mines and Quarries in the Roman World

Imperial Mines and Quarries in the Roman World : Organizational Aspects 27 BC-AD 235


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The control over marble and metal resources was of major importance to the Roman Empire. The emperor's freedmen and slaves, officers and soldiers of the Roman army, equestrian officials, as well as convicts and free labour were seconded to mines and quarries throughout Rome's vast realm. Alfred Hirt's comprehensive study defines the organizational outlines and the internal structures of the mining and quarrying ventures under imperial control. The themes addressed include: challenges faced by those in charge of these extractive operations; the key figures, their subaltern personnel and their respective responsibilities; the role of the Roman army; the use of civilian partners in quarrying or mining ventures; and the position of the quarrying or mining organizations within the framework of the imperial administration.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 568 pages
  • 156 x 236 x 38mm | 1,120.37g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 23 in-text illustrations
  • 0199572879
  • 9780199572878

About Alfred Michael Hirt

Alfred Michael Hirt is a researcher at the University of Zurich, and visiting scholar, Cambridge University.

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Review quote

Alfred Michael Hirtas monograph is a major and welcome contribution to this end, and the first comprehensive study of Roman mine and quarry organization since the 1930s. R. Bruce Hitchner, Journal of Roman Studies This book is an impressive piece of scholarship ... He has marshalled together large bodies of evidence, and the care and diligence taken in gathering this information are obvious. Hannah Friedman, Classical Review

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Table of contents

1. Introduction ; 2. Geological Constraints and Organizational Implications ; 3. Mining and Quarrying Districts ; 4. Imperial Officials and Extractive Operations ; 5. The Roman Army and Imperial Extractive Operations ; 6. Imperial Officials and the Allocation of Responsibilities ; 7. Private Partners to Imperial Operations: Occupatores/Coloni and Conductores ; 8. The Emperor and Imperial Extractive Operations ; 9. Imperial Mining and Quarrying Administration: A Conclusion

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