Oxford Roman Economy Project

Project Description:

The programme currently comprises a 5-year research study entitled “Quantifying the Roman Imperial Economy 100 BC-AD350: Growth, Integration and Decline”, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council for 2005-10. This research programme addresses the fundamentals of the Roman imperial economy and will provide a detailed analysis of major economic activities (agriculture, trade, commerce, mining), utilising quantifiable bodies of artefactual and documentary evidence and placing them in the roader structural context of regional variation, distribution, size and nature of markets, supply and demand. The chronological parameters are c.100 BC to AD 350, covering the period of greatest imperial expansion and economic growth (to c.AD 200), followed by a century conventionally perceived as one of contraction or decline. The project is developing a number of searchable databases. With the support of a private benefaction, the programme will continue for a further three years (2010-12). It will focus on the archaeological and historical evidence for Roman economic development, including further development of datasets, especially for areas not systematically covered in the AHRC project or which lies outside its chronological parameters of that project (100 BC-AD 350), such as urban production and the division of labour.