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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Archaeology of the Roman Economy (PGHC11414)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines what archaeological evidence can add to debates about the structure and scale of the Roman economy. Covering a wide range of primary material and theoretical discussions of it, this course will consider what these different sources reveal and how they have been interpreted.
Course description In the forty years since Moses Finley's pioneering and influential study of the ancient economy the quantity of available archaeological data has increased massively; far more is now known about rural settlement patterns, urban production, maritime connections as revealed by shipwrecks, metal and stone extraction, and the origin and distribution of ceramic types on which so many discussions of the economy hinge. Alongside this material evidence, data from inscriptions and papyri, as well as the literary sources previously relied on, are continually being analysed from new perspectives. This course will explore the impact that the recent archaeological discoveries and new methodological developments have had on conceptions of the Roman economy. Drawing primarily on the archaeological evidence and focusing on those issues that these data are particularly well placed to illuminate, this course will also consider the discrepancies between different primary sources (notably archaeological vs textual) and how these have contributed to varying models of the economy. Topics covered include: the economic role of the city; investment in rural production and agricultural specialization; the exploitation and movement of natural resources; the role played by infrastructural projects in reducing transport and transaction costs; the shipwreck evidence; coin circulation and the extent of monetization; technological advances and their impact on productivity; the role of the state in the Roman economy.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate in class discussion and assessed coursework a detailed and critical command of a range of key methodological and theoretical approaches to the study of the Roman economy
  2. Demonstrate in assessed coursework an ability to analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship on the Roman economy, primary archaeological material, and conceptual discussions about approaches to the subject
  3. Demonstrate in class discussion and assessed coursework, an ability to understand and apply specialised research or professional skills, techniques and practices considered in the course, in particular the use of digital resources (such as online databases of materials)
  4. Demonstrate the ability to develop and sustain original scholarly arguments in oral and written form in class and in their dissertation proposal by independently formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence considered in the course
  5. Demonstrate in class discussion and assessed coursework originality and independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers; and a considerable degree of autonomy
Reading List
Duncan-Jones, R.P. (1974), The Economy of the Roman Empire, Cambridge

Finley, M.I. (1985), The Ancient Economy, 2nd edition, London

Greene, K. (1986), The Archaeology of the Roman Economy, Berkeley

Jones, A. H. M. (1974), The Roman Economy: Studies in Ancient Economic and Administrative History, Oxford

Mattingly, D. J. and Salmon, J. eds. (2001), Economies beyond Agriculture in the Classical World, London

Meijer, F. and Van Nijf, O. eds. (1992), Trade, Transport and Society in the Ancient World: A Sourcebook, London and New York

Morley, N. (2007), Trade in Classical Antiquity, Cambridge

Parker, A.J. (1992), Ancient Shipwrecks of the Mediterranean and Roman Provinces, Oxford

Scheidel, W., Morris, I. and Saller, R. eds. (2007), The Cambridge Economic History of the Greco-Roman World, Cambridge

Scheidel, W. ed. (2012), The Cambridge Companion to the Roman Economy, Cambridge

Tchernia, A. (2011), Les Romains et Le Commerce, Naples

Wilson, A. and Bowman, A. eds. (2009) Quantifying the Roman Economy: Methods and Problems, Oxford
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Keywordsarchaeology roman economy
Course organiserDr Benjamin Russell
Course secretary
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