By Tenney Frank
Passenger fares appear to us to were very low. Passengers even though seem to have been accountable for their very own sustenance, the quarters have been most likely faraway from sumptuous and naturally demise by means of shipwreck in contrast to lack of freight entailed no monetary loss to the service. -from "Chapter XVI: trade" during this vintage work-an enlargement of an previous 1920 edition-a revered classical pupil sketches the industrial lifetime of the Roman tradition throughout the republican interval and into the fourth century of the empire. notwithstanding later books unfairly supplanted it, this quantity continues to be a very good advent to the capital, trade, exertions, and of the rapid forerunner of recent civilization. In transparent, readable language, Frank explores: .agriculture in early Latium .the upward push of the peasantry .Roman coinage .finance and politics .the "plebs urbana" .the beginnings of serfdom .and even more. American historian TENNEY FRANK (1876-1939) was once professor of Latin at Bryn Mawr collage and Johns Hopkins college, and in addition wrote Roman Imperialism (1914) and A background of Rome (1923).
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Additional info for An Economic History of Rome
5 His theory however involves several difficulties. Bronze was still the trading metal in the Roman market and there is little evidence that enough silver had come to Rome to take a dominating place. Throughout the Republic moreover Rome shows a great dislike for fiat money, making time and again a desperate effort to keep bimetallism6 intact and her coins in both metals at par value. Finally the bronze as, being a crudely molded piece, could very readily have been counterfeited and would doubtless have been if the metal in it had represented only half of its market value, for it must be remembered that the as was still a rather valuable coin, worth a third of a double drachm or a tenth the price of a sheep.
If the former system nevertheless emerged victorious in the end, it was not for want of comprehension and interest but rather because the force of economic laws withstood the application of such remedies as were then available. That Rome bore so well the shock of the Gallic invasion, that she passed without bloodshed through the broils of the class struggles, survived the revolt of the Latins, and had the prudence to devise the liberal and flexible constitution which enabled her to unite Italy in an effective federation, all this seems now in no small measure due to the habit of providing by land-distribution a solid and interested citizen-body from the proletariat.
He who has had the misfortune of trying to make his way from Tivoli to Rome against the endless procession of sheep going moun-tamward during the first week of July knows well what Horace5 meant when he wrote: Jam pastor umbras cum grege languido... quaerit. This change, however, had serious consequences. Profitable sheep- and cattle-raising required capital, if indeed pastures were to be provided in two regions; and obviously, since the shepherding of a hundred sheep required little more labor than the care of half a dozen, the poor farmer with his small plot fell quite behind in the competition.