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.
Cambridge University Press; November 2005
- ISBN 9780511133510
- Read online, or download in secure PDF format
- Title: The Grain Market in the Roman Empire
- Author: Paul Erdkamp
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
In The Press
"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