Universiteit Leiden

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Book

The Economy of Pompeii

This volume presents fourteen papers by Roman archaeologists and historians discussing approaches to the economic history of Pompeii, and the role of the Pompeian evidence in debates about the Roman economy.

Author
Miko Flohr and Andrew Wilson (eds)
Date
11 January 2017
Links
Oxford University Press

Four themes are discussed. The first of these is the position of Pompeii and its agricultural environment, discussing the productivity and specialization of agriculture in the Vesuvian region, and the degree to which we can explain Pompeii's size and wealth on the basis of the city's economic hinterland. A second issue discussed is what Pompeians got out of their economy: how well-off were people in Pompeii? This involves discussing the consumption of everyday consumer goods, analyzing archaeobotanical remains to highlight the quality of Pompeian diets, and discussing what bone remains reveal about the health of the inhabitants of Pompeii. A third theme is economic life in the city: how are we to understand the evidence for crafts and manufacturing? How are we to assess Pompeii's commercial topography? Who were the people who actually invested in constructing shops and workshops? In which economic contexts were Pompeian paintings produced? Finally, the volume discusses money and business: how integrated was Pompeii into the wider world of commerce and exchange, and what can the many coins found at Pompeii tell us about this? What do the wax tablets found near Pompeii tell us about trade in the Bay of Naples in the first century AD? Together, the chapters of this volume highlight how Pompeii became a very rich community, and how it profited from its position in the centre of the Roman world.