- Module code: CX260
- Module name: Slaves, Gold and Fish Sauce: The Roman Economy
- Department: Classics and Ancient History
- Credit: 30
Module content and teaching
Nothing is more likely to provoke furious debate among Roman archaeologists and historians than ideas about the nature of the Roman economy. Did the Roman Empire experience economic growth? Did slavery contribute to increased productivity, or did it stifle innovation? Did the empire run out of gold and silver? Why was there long distance trade in the Mediterranean, and beyond the boundaries of the empire? Was there a market economy, and was there an important merchant class in the Roman world? To these simple questions there are no easy answers, as we will discover through an examination of the textual and archaeological evidence.
Principal learning outcomes
How can we reconstruct economic activity without any hard figures? Students learn how the material evidence and literary sources can be used in conjunction with theory, and how wider trends in economic history can affect approaches to antiquity. Topics covered include modelling the ancient economy, ancient technology, pottery, coinage, the role of the army, and case studies of provinces.
Timetabled teaching activities
There will be two 1 hour classes a week, plus two seminars a term.
|Assessment group||Assessment name||Percentage|
|30 CATS (Module code: CX260-30)|
|C (Assessed/examined work)||Assessed Course Work||25%|
|Assessed Course Work||25%|
|Examination - Main Summer Exam Period (weeks 5-9)||50%|
|Assessed Course Work||100%|
This module is available on the following courses:
- Undergraduate Italian and Classics (RQ38) - Year 3
- Undergraduate Ancient History and Classical Archaeology (Part-Time) (VV17) - Year 2