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Title: Locus classicus : origin brands in Roman luxury markets, c.100 BC-c.AD 130
Author: White, Roderick Thirkell
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 1946
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis examines the social and economic context for so-called’ origin brands’ (products referred to and associated with a particular town, region or country) in ancient Rome, and develops a hypothetical model of how a Roman brand’s reputation might grow. This thinking is illustrated by four detailed case studies of luxury brands. Chapter 1 examines the role of brands in the Roman world in the light of modern thinking on the nature of brands and branding. I discuss the role of the consumer, in relation to brands, both modern and ancient, leading into an explanation of how brands are adopted by consumers, and how this might apply to a Roman luxury brand. Finally, I introduce and develop the concept of ‘origin brands’ in the Roman world, and relate the phenomenon of the origin brand to the consumer context. Chapter 2 sets out the élite socio-economic context in which Roman brands developed. The last part of this chapter examines the potential role of literature and its performance in élite households in the communication of brand information. Chapter 3 examines the nature of brand communication in the Roman world. In ancient Rome this was primarily word-of-mouth. This is analysed in a structured way to reflect the entire process from the production of a commodity to its ultimate purchase and consumption, leading to the formulation of a schematic model of the process. The second half of the thesis consists of four extended case studies that narrate the history of selected luxury origin brands and how they achieved their success in the Roman élite marketplace. The four examples – Corinthian bronze, ivory, silk and fine wines – represent different competitive marketplaces, and differing ways in which the brands concerned developed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available