Historians have long argued about the place of trade in classical antiquity: was it the life-blood of a complex, Mediterranean-wide economic system, or a thin veneer on the surface of an underdeveloped agrarian society? Trade underpinned the growth of Athenian and Roman power, helping to supply armies and cities. It furnished the goods that ancient elites needed to maintain their dominance - and yet, those same elites generally regarded trade and traders as a threat to social order. Trade, like the patterns of consumption that determined its development, was implicated in wider debates about politics, morality and the state of society, just as the expansion of trade in the modern world is presented both as the answer to global poverty and as an instrument of exploitation and cultural imperialism. This 2007 book explores the nature and importance of ancient trade, considering its ecological and cultural significance as well as its economic aspects.
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(228mm x 152mm x 8mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Author Biography - Neville Morley
Neville Morley is a Senior Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Bristol. His previous publications include Metropolis and Hinterland: the City of Rome and the Italian Economy (Cambridge University Press, 1996) and Models and Concepts in Ancient History (2004).