From Rome to Byzantium

by Tom Green

'From Rome to Byzantium' provides a detailed overview of trading activity in the Roman and Byzantine Mediterranean, grounded in recent archaeological research. In particular, it is argued that while state-sponsored trading was undoubtedly important in both eras, 'free trading' led by consumer tastes and competition over prices must have played a significant role too. It is also contended that the so-called 'Dark Ages' of the seventh and eighth centuries saw more continuity with the Roman past in terms of both commercial activity and urban life than is often admitted. As such, the Byzantine economic and urban revival of the ninth century needs to be at least partly seen in the context of the 'legacy of Rome' and cannot be considered an entirely unrelated phenomenon, as it sometimes is.

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