Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Economy, Roman

  • Miko Flohr
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_1471

Introduction and Definition

The Roman economy was the economic system created by the geographical expansion of the political power of Rome over the Mediterranean and Europe between the third-century BCE and the first-century CE and maintained during the first centuries of our era until its gradual decline in late antiquity. The Roman economy can be seen as the acme of a long period of technological development and economic growth in the Mediterranean, which began in the early first millennium BCE and led to population increase, intensification of land use, economic and political integration, and urbanization. Its decline in late antiquity marks the beginning of a long period of transformation and urban regression in Europe as well as in large parts of the Mediterranean.

Historical Background

Academic History

The history, structure, and performance of the Roman economy have been hotly debated issues since the late nineteenth century. Debate about the Roman economy has long been...

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Further Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands