The economy in Roman times and in Antiquity

The economy in Roman times and in Antiquity

Perhaps you think that ancient Rome, or any of the great societies of antiquity, enjoyed an economic system as great as the place they occupied in history.

However, this is not the case, as the economics of ancient Rome and the Roman Empire were actually quite basic compared to the economic systems we have today.

The economy of the Roman Empire was based on agriculture and focused mainly on aspects such as cultivation and trade. In fact, there was a great dependence on slave labor for both skilled and unskilled labor.

Although agriculture was the cornerstone of ancient Roman economics, this is not to say that other  aspects of the economy of this time are not worth looking into .

For example, the Roman Empire had a single currency , although in contrast to today, the money supply was not highly regulated. In addition, there was also a wide variety of trade routes, both by land and by sea, connecting the Empire with lands as diverse as:

  • Africa
  • China
  • India

Of course, there were some features of the ancient Roman economy that we would not easily recognize today. An example of this would be the existence of barter , which was a very widespread practice in ancient economies. In fact, instead of paying taxes with coins, bartering was used as one more option to settle any tax debt .

Since bartering has practically disappeared from many world economies today, it is very easy to draw some differences with current economic systems and, therefore, to know how these have changed in the last thousands of years.

History of the economy
The history of the economy can be a fascinating subject. The economy in Roman times and in Antiquity

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