Market exchange systems within the Roman economy of the first and second centuries A.D
A primary hypothesis is proposed concerning the presence and importance of market exchange systems within the Roman economy. In Part I this hypothesis is placed in its context with a number of contrasting models of the Roman economy being summarised and discussed. Those produced by classical historians are supplemented by the less familiar but often theoretically more sound models derived from the work of a selection of social and economic historians. Problems of economic theory are further highlighted in the closing chapter. In Part II the relevance of archaeology and in particular the evidence of ceramic data to the testing of the primary hypothesis is examined. An analysis of a set of ceramic data from an area in Northamptonshire is preceded by a resume of the archaeology and pottery of that county. The analysis concludes that market exchange systems were indeed operating in second century Northamptonshire. Part III takes this conclusion as a starting point for reassessing archaeological models of the Romano-British economy and then extends the discussion to incorporate the Roman economy as a whole. The use of ethnographic and historical analogies in this context is examined, and the latter used to produce a modified, dynamic model of the Roman economy. The concluding chapter assesses the validity of the final model, stressing the fact that even though the Roman economy seems never to have been fully Imarketized' this does not mean that it was in any way a failure. The increase in material wealth enjoyed by almost the entire population of the empire is confirmed by archaeologists and economic historians alike. The thesis closes with a section in which suggestions are made about directions for future research into the subject of the Roman economy.