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  • Print publication year: 1994
  • Online publication date: March 2008

16 - Economy and society, 133–43 b.c.

from PART II
Summary
This chapter describes the facts and changes of the Roman economy. It indicates the interaction between economy and status. Economies are responses to the needs of people for goods - material goods and services. A trait common to all Italy is the importance of drainage in the coastal plains, and also up to a point in the plain of the Po, which was being populated and Romanized in the second century. Agriculture was essentially manual, utilizing human and animal labour. The only agricultural machinery were the grape- and olive-presses described by Cato, which could be quite powerful pieces of mechanism. Italian agriculture and industry underwent, in the second and first centuries BC, pari passu with Rome's conquests, considerable change and expansion. Land transport used pack animals more than wagons, because the defective technique of harnessing was one of the biggest obstacles to development in the ancient economy. The manipulation of money certainly became an important phenomenon in economy and society.
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The Cambridge Ancient History
  • Online ISBN: 9781139054379
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521256032
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