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Article

Antony Spawforth

The Forum was originally (i.a.) a market-site, the word surviving in this sense in the specialized markets of Rome (e.g. *forum Boarium), although by the 1st cent. bce macellum was the usual term for an alimentary market. A daily retail market existed in Rome by 210 bce (Livy 26. 27. 1–4) and later was joined by others; wholesaling took place at the riverine Emporium, built in 193 bce (Livy 35. 10. 12). The state supervised Rome's markets through *aediles. State-authorized periodic markets and fairs (nundinae, mercatus) have recently been shown to be commoner than usually thought in the Roman world. In cities they included both weekly (‘peasant’) markets, as for instance in some 25 towns in central Italy of the first cent. ce (attested by inscribed market-calendars), and also regional fairs, as with those following annual games at Rome itself (Inscr. Ital.

Article

David Tandy

The single Greek word for market, agora, did not originally refer to a place for exchange; rather, it was a place for the gathering of chattel (as early as Linear B, e.g., Knossos Co 903) and of people. In Homer, the agora is strictly a place of gathering for political action, including military muster. The heroes in epic do not buy and sell; there are no regular markets for the acquisition of food and other necessary things. Heroes take what they want from neighbouring communities by raids. On the fringes of the narratives, however, Homer reveals the presence of one-time or spot markets, most clearly at Iliad 7.467ff.:

Many ships from Lemnos filled with wine lay at anchor, which Jason’s son Euneos had sent … On the side Jason’s son gave the Atreidae Agamamnon and Menelaos a thousand measures of wine to carry off. There the flowing-haired Achaeans got wine, some with skins, others with whole cows, others with spear-captives. And they threw themselves a jolly feast.

Article

Frederick Norman Pryce, Mabel L. Lang, and Michael Vickers

Measures (of length), capacity, and weight were linked to water weight in ancient systems of mensuration. The basic units are recorded in near eastern sources from the early third millennium bce.Measures of length were based on parts of the human body, with the foot as unit both for fractions like finger and palm and for multiples like pace and arm-span. *Pylos tablets designate tables as six-footers (we-pe-za) or nine footers (e-ne-wo-pe-za); whether this is a measure or description of supports is uncertain. Homer is acquainted with the foot-standard, but the length of his foot is unknown. In historic Greece many standard feet are found, the absolute values for which are derived from surviving stadia (preserved with starting and finishing lines; see stadium)), and literary evidence providing correspondences with the Roman foot. The Olympic foot, said to have been taken from that of *.

Article

For there to be mercenaries, three conditions are necessary—*warfare, people willing to pay, and others to serve. Warfare existed almost throughout Greek history, and there were probably also always those whom love of adventure, trouble at home, or poverty made willing to serve. Alcaeus's (1) brother, Antimenidas, and *Xenophon (1) himself are, perhaps, examples of the first; the latter's comrades, the Spartans *Clearchus (1) and Dracontius, of the second. But in the heyday of the city-state, when military service was the duty of all citizens, mercenaries usually only found employment with tyrants or with near eastern potentates. *Psammetichus I of Egypt, for example, used *Carians and *Ionians to seize power around 660 bce, and Pabis of Colophon and Elesibius of *Teos were among those who carved their names on the statue of Ramesses II at Abu Simbel, while serving Psammetichus II.There was probably always also a market for specialist troops like Cretan *archers and Rhodian *slingers, particularly when warfare became more complex.

Article

Jonathan Coulston

Contact with foreign powers such as *Carthage and Macedon exposed Rome's weakness in cavalry and light-armed troops. This deficiency she remedied principally by obtaining contingents outside Italy. Some came from independent allies like *Masinissa, others were raised by forced levies or paid as mercenaries. Gauls served in the First *Punic War, 600 Cretan archers fought at Lake *Trasimene, Numidian cavalry (see Numidia) turned the scale at the battle of *Zama. During the next two centuries the number and variety of contingents increased. Spain was a favourite recruiting-ground for cavalry and light infantry, while Caesar obtained his cavalry from Numidia, Gaul, and Germany, and his archers and slingers from Numidia, Crete, and the Balearic Islands.

Under the Principate such troops became formalized within the *auxilia, but supplementary irregular troops were always employed on campaign (Germans, Cantabrians, Dacians, Palmyrenes, Sarmatians, Arabs, Armenians, Moors, etc.).

Article

metics  

David Whitehead

As the Greek *polis evolved it sought to differentiate, amongst its inhabitants, between insiders and outsiders. Insiders par excellence were its own members, the citizens; palpable outsiders were its slaves, indigenous or imported (see slavery); but this simple dichotomy would have sufficed only for communities like *Sparta which discouraged immigration. Elsewhere it was necessary to recognize free persons who lived, temporarily or permanently, in the polis without becoming its citizens. Several-oikos words are attested of such persons, with metoikos (‘metic’) most common. The precise nature and complexity of metic-status doubtless varied from place to place; evidence approaches adequacy only for Athens, atypical in its allure and, consequently, the numbers of those who succumbed thereto (half the size of the (reduced) citizen body of c.313 bce (Ath. 272c); perhaps proportionately larger in the 5th cent. bce (R. Duncan-Jones, Chiron 1980, 101 ff.)). With *Solon having created only indirect incentives to immigration, Athenian metic-status probably owes its formal origins to *Cleisthenes (2), after whom the presence of metics was recognized in law and could develop in its details at both city and local (*deme) level.

Article

Andrew M. Riggsby

There is a large body of evidence for Roman use of weights and measures. In theory, they would have been able to measure a variety of quantities with great precision, given the variety of different-sized units at their disposal and an elaborate system of fractional subdivisions of those units. Moreover, those measurements could have been accurate with respect to a shared system because of publicly available exemplary standards, a theoretical connection between the definitions of the most important measurements, and the existence of state officials who could enforce the standards. As a result, Romans could, in principle, have conveyed very specific metrological information across a great deal of space and time. In practice, measurement was considerably less predictable and less precise. Actual measurement did not necessarily avail itself of the full resources of the theoretical system, and sometimes did not appeal to any general system. Moreover, overtly competing systems coexisted with the “official” ones at all times. Finally, it is not clear how coherent that official system was, nor were the actual systems of enforcement particularly robust. As a result, measurement was often imprecise and/or tightly localized (which probably generated weak expectations of being able to replicate measurement across different contexts).

Article

John Ellis Jones

Greeks obtained *gold and *silver and ‘utility’ metals, copper, *tin (for bronze), *iron and *lead by mining and by trade; *colonization extended their scope for both. Literary evidence for mining is mainly historical not technical; later references to Egyptian and Roman methods are only partly applicable. Epigraphical, archaeological, and scientific evidence has extended knowledge of industrial organization and techniques, and proved the early exploitation of certain ore-fields. Climate, geography, and geology dictated methods: panning for gold (as in Asia Minor and Black Sea regions) and hushing of placer deposits were rarely practicable in Greece and its islands, while low rainfall reduced mine-drainage problems and accounted for the elaborate catchment channels, cisterns and ore-washeries designed to recycle water in the *Laurium area. There the Athenian lead-silver mines were extremely extensive (copper and iron ores were also exploited). *Thoricus has revealed sherd evidence for mining in the early bronze age (third millennium bce), late Mycenaean (see mycenaean civilization), and late Roman times, with marks of prehistoric hammer-stones and later metal chisels and picks.

Article

Jonathan Edmondson

Imperial expansion gave Rome control over a wide variety of mineral resources. The Iberian peninsula (see spain), *Gaul (Transalpine), *Britain, the Danubian provinces (*Dalmatia, *Noricum, and *Dacia), and Asia Minor came to be the major mining regions of the Roman empire, and gold, silver, copper, lead, and tin the main metals extracted. *Iron was found in many parts of the empire and despite the presence of large-scale iron-mining districts in Noricum and the Kentish Weald was usually exploited in smaller local units of production. It is difficult to trace precisely the history of Roman mining, since mining areas and individual mines came into and went out of production, and because archaeological research has been more thorough in some areas than others; but the main lines can be drawn. Italy contained few precious metals, and so Rome initially had to rely on imports from mines controlled by Hellenistic kings in the east and the Carthaginians in the west. After the defeat of *Hannibal in 201 bce, Romans and Italians were soon exploiting the *silver-mines in SE Spain around New Carthage (*Carthago Nova).

Article

money  

Colin P. Elliott

Money is any object that is used as a medium of exchange, but moneys often also function as stores of value, accounting units, and means for making payments. Through the use of physical money—especially coinage stamped with symbols of society, state, and the divine—individuals were connected to a wider framework composed of strangers, governments, deities, and customs.1 In classical antiquity, money comprised a range of materials and goods, both physical and virtual, and these moneys performed a variety of economic, social, and cultural functions. Money was issued by different polities and powers, mostly by states but also by economic and religious elites and institutions.Aristotle insists that money use arose out of barter—certainly a possibility, although the archaeological record is ambiguous at best. The earliest known coin hoard, dated to the mid to late 7th centurybce and found in western Asia Minor, contains standardized globules of electrum which are both stamped (“coins”) and unstamped, giving credence to Aristotle’s claim that early coins “had a certain stamp, to save the trouble of weighing, and to express its value” (Arist.

Article

Paul C. Millett

Monopolies, in the sense of exclusive control of the supply of a product or service, were known in antiquity, but restricted in scope. In no case was the declared aim an increase in productivity through efficient planning or economies of scale. Instead, monopolistic control aimed above all at increasing revenues and was the prerogative of the state: ‘cornering the market’ by individuals was an almost mythical occurrence (Arist.Pol. 1259a5 ff.). State control and leasing of silver deposits in Attica (see Laurium) marks a long-term revenue-raising monopoly. Other Greek states invented and sold monopolies in time of fiscal emergency ([Arist.] Orationes Philippicae2). In Ptolemaic *Egypt, monopoly control of goods and services, usually by sale and lease of rights, was a way of life (from oil and textiles to beer and goose-breeding). In the Roman empire, sale of monopolies by cities was a regular revenue-raising device. See economy, Greek, Hellenistic, and Roman.

Article

munus  

Arjan Zuiderhoek

In the sense most commonly encountered in our sources, munus (pl. munera) means a public service rendered by a citizen to his community, in the form, for instance, of a (financial) donation, military service, or holding public office. Under the empire, munera was the term for those civic public contributions or services carried out by citizens that did not necessarily bring prestige (dignitas), unlike magistracies (honores), which did. The term munera covered an extraordinarily wide range of public duties. Best known among these are the financial contributions, often tied to particular offices, made by members of the city councils (decuriones, curiales). An especially notable munus was the organizing and financing of gladiatorial shows, for which the term munera became shorthand.Munus (pl. munera) originally means a gift, an act of kindness, or a service freely and dutifully rendered (e.g., to the gods, in the form of sacrifice; or to the dead, in the form of proper burial or funeral games), yet it was most commonly used as a term for a public service provided by a citizen to his civic community. This might for instance encompass a public gift, military service, or the holding of a magisterial post. .

Article

Dominic W. Rathbone

The “Muziris” papyrus (PVindob. G40822) provides unique details about the trade between Roman Egypt and India. It was purchased in 1980 for the Austrian National Library, and first published in 1985, and has been much discussed since then.1 Its provenance is unknown, but was probably middle Egypt. It preserves parts of two texts, one on its front (recto) and one on its back (verso), written in two different hands which have both been assigned to the middle decades of the 2nd century ce.The first text is part of a contract, from near the contract’s end, between a merchant (“I” in the text) and a financier (“you”), who was apparently based in Alexandria; this contract accompanied a separate contract between them for a maritime loan “to Muziris.”2 Muziris was a port in the Malabar region of soutwest India (Kerala), which Periplus of the Red Sea, ch.56, from the mid-1st-century ce, says was visited by large ships from Egypt to acquire pepper and malabathrum (a cinnamon-like plant, whose leaves were pressed to make a perfume), and also pearls, ivory, silk, nard, and gemstones.

Article

Dominic W. Rathbone

Navicularii were private shipowners. In the Principate navicularii who contracted to provide a certain minimum tonnage for the service of the annona, the public *food supply of Rome, were given special rewards by emperors: *Claudius offered benefits of status, and by the time of *Hadrian the great boon of exemption from the public liturgies imposed locally by cities had been added (see liturgy, roman). Most of the known navicularii were members of municipal élites, often freedman or their descendants. The navicularii were encouraged to form associations (collegia or corpora: see clubs, roman) which made it easier for the state to supervise their activities and check entitlement to the privileges. In the late empire shipment for the annona (now to *Constantinople too) became a public obligation imposed corporately on these associations, whose membership was made hereditary.

Article

Jeremy Paterson and Antony Spawforth

Negotiatores, the businessmen of the Roman world. In literary sources of the republican period, most notably *Cicero, negotiatores, or people who negotia gerunt (‘conduct business deals’), are found as members of resident communities of Italian and Roman citizens in all the provinces of the empire, most frequently in the major urban centres and ports. The term is used very broadly and is rarely defined in any particular way. It is clear that many who are described by Cicero as negotiatores were of high equestrian status (see equites). There were close links and involvement with the work of the *publicani (tax companies), bankers, landowners, and shipping. Indeed, one rhetorical remark of Cicero's (Font. 46) about ‘all the publicans, farmers, cattle-breeders, and the rest of the negotiatores’ suggests that the term negotia could cover all those activities. The considerable expansion of trade in the Mediterranean in the Roman period depended upon organization of markets, investment in shipping, and, in a world where the money-supply was uncertain, *credit to facilitate deals (see also banks; maritime loans).

Article

Michael Crawford

Nummularius, a banker, whether one who exchanged coins of different monetary systems or one who tested coins to see whether they were forgeries; and in the 3rd cent. ce a mint official, though it is not clear whether he tested incoming or outgoing coin. The principal surviving evidence for the activities of a nummularius has been seen since the work of R. Herzog in the small bone or ivory labels now known as tesserae nummulariae (see tessera). They typically bear the name of a slave, his owner, the statement spectauit, ‘he inspected’, and a date by day, month, and year; and they are supposed to have been attached to sealed bags of coin which had been inspected. The interpretation is attractive, but not without problems, since it is quite unclear why it should matter on which precise day a bag of coin had been inspected. See banks.

Article

olive  

Lin Foxhall

The olive is probably native to the Mediterranean region. It is long-lived and highly drought-resistant, though sensitive to frost, and thrives best at relatively low altitudes. Olives generally only crop every other year, and usually trees are regionally synchronized. Despite the attempts of farmers from antiquity to the present to break this habit, it has never successfully been circumvented.

Olives are easily propagated by cuttings, ovules (trunk growths, Gk. premna), or by grafting, a well-known technique in the classical world. Domesticated scions were frequently grafted onto wild stocks. Trees grown from cuttings planted in a nursery beds seem to have been more characteristic of Roman than Greek regimes. Greek farmers apparently preferred planting ovules, which have a greater success-rate under conditions of water-stress than cuttings. Olives do not grow true to type from seed. Many varieties were known and cultivated for both oil and table use in classical antiquity.

Article

Ostia  

Nicholas Purcell

Ostia, city at the mouth of the *Tiber, colonia at least by the late 4th cent. bce, heavily involved with Rome's naval history, commerce, and communications, and one of the best-known Roman cities archaeologically. Abandoned in the 5th cent. ce, Ostia was covered with drifting sand from coastal dunes, and the area was sparsely populated until this century because of malaria. With the coast southwards, and the remains of *Portus, this therefore makes an archaeological site of the highest importance.Tradition ascribed the foundation to King Ancus *Marcius, and claimed that the trade in salt from the adjacent lagoons (which was certainly significant in historical times) dated back to that epoch (cf. the *via Salaria). The Latin civilization is well represented in the immediate hinterland by the important discoveries at Castel di Decima on the via Laurentina and Ficana, overlooking the confluence of the Tiber and the Fossa Galeria, an important route leading inland towards *Veii, and dominating the coastal plain just inland from Ostia.

Article

Vladimir F. Stolba

Panskoye I is one of the most prominent and best-studied settlements in the rural territory of Chersonesus on the Tarkhankut Peninsula (north-western Crimea). Founded in the late 5th century bce as a fortified outpost (tetrapyrgia) protecting the south-eastern frontiers of Olbian territory, around 360 bce it was subjugated to Tauric Chersonesus, a close relationship which it maintained until the settlement’s catastrophic destruction around 270 bce. In 1969–1994, a significant part of the settlement and associated necropolis were investigated by the Tarkhankut Archaeological Expedition of the Leningrad Institute of Archaeology, Academy of Sciences of the USSR (since 1991, Institute for the History of Material Culture, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg). The settlement’s stratigraphy and size, as well as its unique structure and layout, representing an agglomeration of compactly placed free-standing farmsteads, adjoining house blocks, and monumental buildings accommodating more than one household, distinguish it from other rural settlements in the area. Its rich and original material culture shows a remarkable intermingling of various cultural components, both Greek and non-Greek.

Article

Jeremy Trevett

Pasion was the wealthiest banker and manufacturer of his time in Athens (see banks). He began his career as a slave with a banking firm in the *Piraeus, was made a freedman and subsequently acquired ownership of the bank. By his wife Archippe he had two sons, *Apollodorus (1) and Pasicles. He later became an Athenian citizen, having spent lavishly on donations to the city. Although associated with *Callistratus (2) and *Timotheus (2), he appears to have taken no part in politics. Information about his business activities derives from a speech written in the 390s for a disgruntled client (see Isoc. 17), and from the later speeches of Apollodorus (see esp. Dem. 36, 45, 46). He left real estate of 20 and outstanding loans of almost 40 talents.