Navicularii et negotiantes. The Roman maritime economy during the empire

Start - End 
2006 - 2010 (completed)
Department of History
Research Focus 
Research Period 
Research Language 



This research project aimed at studying the Roman business world by identifying the people involved in organizing trade and transport. To this purpose, a database comprising all Roman merchants and shippers, attested in monumental epigraphy and inscriptions on instrumentum domesticum, was compiled. By analyzing the socio-economic background of each individual, various strategies have been traced, which Roman merchants relied on to cope with the intricacies of a volatile trading world. The most reliable commercial tools appear to have been setting up family businesses to find trustworthy agents and enhance the scale of commercial enterprises, and joining professional associations to construe networks of agents and partners. These constituents of the Roman business world obviously are not unique, but have been well-documented in other pre-industrial societies.


Phd Student(s)