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Roman Economy & Trade

The Roman economy was based on a complex system of trade and commerce that spanned the entire Mediterranean world. Explore the various industries and economic practices that fueled the Roman economy, from agriculture and mining to manufacturing and transportation. Gain insight into the economic policies and practices of the Roman government, and discover the lasting impact of Roman trade and commerce on the modern world.

Roman baths at Bath, England.	Source: bnoragitt/Adobe Stock

New Study Shows Britain Enjoyed Explosive Economic Growth in Roman Era

A fascinating new study has produced ample evidence to show that after the Roman Empire conquered Britain in the year 43 AD, the occupied region experienced a period of sustained and intensive...
The Tyrian Purple pigment found at Carlisle Cricket Club	Source:  Wardell Armstrong

A Regal Hue: The Discovery of Tyrian Purple in Roman Carlisle

In an extraordinary archaeological find at Carlisle, UK, researchers have unearthed what appears to be Tyrian Purple, a rare and historically significant pigment once reserved for the highest...
Two of the gems discovered along with thousands of Roman coins in the ancient Roman city of Claterna in Italy. Source: Soprintendenza Bologna

Massive Cache of Roman Coins and Gems Found in Ancient “Magical City”

Excavations at a spectacular ancient Roman site in northern Italy have produced some significant finds during the most recent archaeological season. The latest of these remarkable discoveries in the...
An AI generated Roman Legion, representative of Legio X Fretensis. Source: Noel Cook/ Adobe Stock

Coins Dug Up in Georgia Expose Dirty Work of Legendary Legio X Fretensis

Archaeologists in Georgia have discovered a hoard of ancient coins, which had symbols punched into their faces long after they were created. When the researchers learned the nature of the symbols,...
Example of a modified skull

Tiller the Hun? Farmers in Roman Empire Converted to Hun Lifestyle

Marauding hordes of barbarian Huns, under their ferocious leader Attila, are often credited with triggering the fall of one of history's greatest empires: Rome . Historians believe Hunnic incursions...
Three gold coins on the seabed. Source: Copyright University of Alicante.

Divers Find Huge 1,500-Year-Old Roman Coin Hoard off The Spanish Coast

Two amateur divers cleaning trash from the seabed of Alicante while holidaying off the coast of Spain have uncovered a cache of 1,500-year-old gold Roman coins. Numbering 53 in total, the gold coins...
The Egyptian emeralds would have looked this these (from Brazil) when taken from the ground. (Géry Parent / CC BY-ND 2.0)

Vast Roman-Period Emerald Mines Revealed in Egyptian Desert

A topographic scan of emerald mines in Egypt’s Eastern Desert has revealed scores of time locked chambers, tunnels and sacred spaces dating to the Graeco-Roman and Byzantine periods. Emerald mines...
The coffin of the high-status elite Roman Britain clan leader, who may have also been a major maker of illegal silver that the Romans couldn’t tax.		Source: Pre Construct Archaeology

Massive Illegal Roman-era Silver Site Discovered In Britain

Archaeologists in England have discovered a monumental ancient building. Not only was this the burial site of a powerful female clan leader, but it represents the largest illegal silver production or...
The extensive Roman road network has contributed to 2,000 years of economic prosperity for cities and towns that maintained them, according to a recent study. Source: Sean Gladwell / Adobe Stock

Study Reveals Lasting Prosperity Along the Roman Road Network

Some 2,000 years after the Romans established their extensive road network, regions lying along it remain the most affluent, a recent study has found. The Roman road network links contributed to...
Roman inflation from 90 BC onwards eventually brought the Roman Republic to its knees! The Roman Forum, the financial and political center of the city and the Republic would have been a busy place as Roman inflation began to destabilize the entire Roman world.		Source: Jebulon / CC0

Roman Republic Experienced Deep Financial Crisis in 90 BC, Study Shows

In the early first century BC, the Roman Republic experienced a multiyear financial crisis, which we can call “Roman inflation.” But while scholars knew that some kind of breakdown in the Roman...
English archaeologists have stumble upon a once-in-a-lifetime Romano-British settlement near Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire. This skeleton and a caltrop, a Roman era area denial weapon, similar to police spikes used to stop cars today, were unearthed at the Grange Paddocks site.		Source: East Herts District Council

Archaeologists Stumble Upon Key Romano-British Trade Center

Archaeologists performing excavations near Bishop’s Stortford, an historic market town in Hertfordshire, England, have uncovered the ruins of a Romano-British settlement that served as a commercial...
Example of Roman coins from a hoard at Llanvaches, Monmouthshire, Wales in 2006. Roman coins have been found in a few locations across Scandinavia as well.

Making Money Divine: Roman Imperial Coins had a Unique Value in Scandinavian Cultures

"My fleet sailed from the mouth of the Rhine eastward as far as the lands of the Cimbri to which, up to that time, no Roman had ever penetrated either by land or by sea, and the Cimbri and Charydes...
The Battle of Cannae was a major battle of the Second Punic War that took place on 2 August 216 BC in Apulia, in southeast Italy. The army of Carthage, under Hannibal, surrounded and decisively defeated a larger army of the Roman Republic

Analysis of Roman Coins Proves Roman Empire Got Rich on Iberian Silver

An analysis of Roman coins has revealed information about the defeat of the Carthaginian General Hannibal and the rise of the Roman Empire . The scientists who examined them suggest that the defeat...
Roman shipwreck artifacts found in the Spanish fish shop.     Source: Civil Guard

Illegal Roman Shipwreck Artifacts Found in a Spanish Fish Shop

During a recent routine inspection of a seafood store, Spanish authorities came across a number of important historical artifacts that date to the Roman Empire . They found over a dozen storage...
The Roman economy represents an ancient economy that was large and powerful enough to create an empire that spanned the Mediterranean and lasted several centuries. Source: Manuel Gross / Adobe Stock

Following the Boom and Bust of the Roman Economy

The Roman Empire is ironically known for both its greatness and its weaknesses. The Roman economy is no exception. The Roman economy represents an ancient economy that was large and powerful enough...