Veni, vidi, visa
Economic matters
in A writer’s guide to Ancient Rome
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This chapter discusses how Rome was overall an agrarian economy and the effects of slavery on small farms and peasant farmers, especially with the growth in size from the Republic to the Empire. It also looks at the main problems in the Roman economy: inflation, which the Romans did not understand, and how the Romans coped with runaway prices. Industry (or lack thereof) is covered; how Rome was not a consumer economy despite the great drain of the City itself in its demands for luxury goods. It also considers the role of the army in the Roman economy – as a means of economic expansion, but also as one of the driving forces behind the army (keeping it fed and paid).


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