By Tenney Frank
Passenger fares appear to us to were very low. Passengers despite the fact that seem to have been answerable for their very own sustenance, the quarters have been most likely faraway from sumptuous and naturally demise via shipwreck not like lack of freight entailed no monetary loss to the service. -from "Chapter XVI: trade" during this vintage work-an growth of an previous 1920 edition-a revered classical student sketches the industrial lifetime of the Roman tradition in the course of the republican interval and into the fourth century of the empire. notwithstanding later books unfairly supplanted it, this quantity is still an exceptional advent to the capital, trade, hard work, and of the fast forerunner of contemporary civilization. In transparent, readable language, Frank explores: .agriculture in early Latium .the upward thrust 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 university and Johns Hopkins collage, and likewise wrote Roman Imperialism (1914) and A heritage of Rome (1923).
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Additional info for An Economic History of Rome
After the wars with the Samnites and Pyrrhus had ended in complete victory in 272 Rome found herself the dominant power of a confederation that included the whole of Italy, and yet her currency consisted of a Greek silver coin minted for her by a dependency and a crudely molded bronze coin issued at home. Obviously the time had arrived for a more adequate and dignified system. In 269 a thoroughgoing reform was undertaken, the old coinage was discontinued, and the denarial system was instituted at Rome and at several branch mints throughout Italy.
These aided her for some time to avoid the immobility of an absentee landlord class and the listlessness of peasant-tenants or their substitute, the farm slaves. The Romans knew as well as we of course that the working landowner on his small farm was not always progressive. A master farmer like Cato, instructed in the agricultural lore of the Greeks and Carthaginians, could doubtless plant more wisely and secure greater returns by adapting his crops to the soil and to wider market needs. Like the Renaissance advocates of the enclosure system in England he knew that there was an economic advantage in concentration.
Cicero’s journeys on official business by private carriage, yachts, and hand-borne litters, his mail which had to be sent by private couriers, his skilled stenographers and copyists, his private attendants who were needed in the lack of street guards, were necessities and very expensive ones. His ground rent in the section of Rome where he must live does not seem cheap to the modern Roman. His furniture, plate and house decorations were doubtless as heavy an item as they would be to-day because the application of slow hand-labor, even though the labor was cheap, made them expensive.
An Economic History of Rome by Tenney Frank