An Economic History of Rome by Tenney Frank

By Tenney Frank

Passenger fares appear to us to were very low. Passengers besides the fact that seem to have been accountable for their very own sustenance, the quarters have been most likely faraway from sumptuous and naturally dying via shipwreck not like lack of freight entailed no monetary loss to the provider. -from "Chapter XVI: trade" during this vintage work-an enlargement of an previous 1920 edition-a revered classical student sketches the industrial lifetime of the Roman tradition throughout the republican interval and into the fourth century of the empire. even though later books unfairly supplanted it, this quantity continues to be an outstanding advent to the capital, trade, exertions, and of the rapid forerunner of contemporary civilization. In transparent, readable language, Frank explores: .agriculture in early Latium .the upward push of the peasantry .Roman coinage .finance and politics .the "plebs urbana" .the beginnings of serfdom .and even more. American historian TENNEY FRANK (1876-1939) used to be professor of Latin at Bryn Mawr collage and Johns Hopkins collage, and likewise wrote Roman Imperialism (1914) and A historical past of Rome (1923).

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A mere scratch in the thin turf exposes the lava. In other places the conditions were more favorable since the ash and tufa are fairly productive for plants of powerful roots when covered with a humus of proper physical consistency and containing some nitrogenous matter. The surface was, however, new and therefore thin everywhere except in alluvial valleys. To add to the unfortunate conditions, the ash had fallen unevenly in knolls that time has not yet shaped down into a peneplain. In consequence the Campagna presents to the abrading rains of winter a very uneven surface, and when the Latin settlers had once stripped the turf and forest from that surface, the thin soil was in danger of washing away.

For a standard silver coin a four-scruple piece, the denarius, was adopted. 80 —). The adoption of so large a coin would obviously entail a loss to Rome in South-Italian trade if merchants began to exchange the Greek and the Roman silver at par, for the cheaper money of the South might threaten to drive the larger pieces into the melting pot. But Rome apparently decided to take the risk for the sake of a sound and respected currency. At best Rome might be strong enough financially to win in the An Economic History of Rome / 45 competition;11 at worst she might use political pressure to suppress the mints of the south.

This era of territorial expansion followed as we have seen a period of over-population and land hunger which had expressed itself constantly in a clamor for economic and social amelioration. Historians who have written of the period have always been disposed to conclude that land hunger was the driving force which led to the expansion. Possibly this conclusion is correct. There can be no doubt of the desire for more land. An agricultural people when hard pressed economically thinks in terms of territorial expansion, and the Romans though very legalistic were as quick as many other peoples have been to take mortal offense at a neighbor’s behavior when they need their neighbor’s food.

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