The Economics of the Roman Stone Trade
This innovative monograph series reflects a vigorous revival of interest in the ancient economy, focusing on the Mediterranean world under Roman rule (c.100 BC to AD 350). Carefully quantified archaeological and documentary data will be integrated to help ancient historians, economic historians, and archaeologists think about economic behaviour collectively rather than from separate perspectives. The volumes will include a substantial comparative element and thus be of interest to historians of other periods and places. The use of stone in vast quantities is a ubiquitous and defining feature of the material culture of the Roman world. In this volume, Russell provides a new and wide-ranging examination of the production, distribution, and use of carved stone objects throughout the Roman world, including how enormous quantities of high-quality white and polychrome marbles were moved all around the Mediterranean to meet the demand for exotic material. The long-distance supply of materials for artistic and architectural production, not to mention the trade in finished objects like statues and sarcophagi, is one of the most remarkable features of the Roman world. Despite this, it has never received much attention in mainstream economic studies. Focusing on the market for stone and its supply, the administration, distribution, and chronology of quarrying, and the practicalities of stone transport, Russell offers a detailed assessment of the Roman stone trade and how the relationship between producer and customer functioned even over considerable distances.
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