The Roman Market Economy by Peter Temin
(The Princeton Economic History of the Western World)

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The quality of life for ordinary Roman citizens at the height of the Roman Empire probably was better than that of any other large group of people living before the Industrial Revolution. The Roman Market Economy uses the tools of modern economics to show how trade, markets, and the Pax Romana were critical to ancient Rome's prosperity.

Peter Temin, one of the world's foremost economic historians, argues that markets dominated the Roman economy. He traces how the Pax Romana encouraged trade around the Mediterranean, and how Roman law promoted commerce and banking. Temin shows that a reasonably vibrant market for wheat extended throughout the empire, and suggests that the Antonine Plague may have been responsible for turning the stable prices of the early empire into the persistent inflation of the late. He vividly describes how various markets operated in Roman times, from commodities and slaves to the buying and selling of land. Applying modern methods for evaluating economic growth to data culled from historical sources, Temin argues that Roman Italy in the second century was as prosperous as the Dutch Republic in its golden age of the seventeenth century.

The Roman Market Economy reveals how economics can help us understand how the Roman Empire could have ruled seventy million people and endured for centuries.


About Peter Temin

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Peter Temin is the Elisha Gray II Professor Emeritus of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His books include "Prometheus Shackled", "The Roman Market Economy "(Princeton), and "The World Economy between the World Wars". David Vines is Professor of Economics and a Fellow of Balliol College, University of Oxford. His books include "The IMF and Its Critics" and "The Asian Financial Crisis".
Published December 16, 2012 by Princeton University Press. 317 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, History. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Roman Market Economy

London School of Economics

In The Roman Market Economy, Peter Temin accomplishes the quintessential task of the economic historian: to take shards of pottery, folios of brittle parchment, and patinated tools and fashion from them a credible, comprehensive and vivid picture of a society long gone, writes Plamen Ivanov.

May 17 2013 | Read Full Review of The Roman Market Economy (The...

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