Roman Trade System Essay
At its height, the Roman Empire had a trade network not seen in the ancient world up to that point of time (Carthwright, 2013). Merchants traded products such as grains, oil and wine in tremendous quantities while precious metals and spices were imported at significant levels (Carthwright, 2013). In my learning journal entry for this unit, I will examine how the system of interconnectivity between the local provinces and Rome allowed for an extensive trade system to develop.
Economically, Rome depended heavily on the outlying provinces for tax revenue and imported products (Kamm, 2009). Subsequently, this was the result of Rome’s substantial slave population, which contributed insignificantly to consumer spending and to the fact that a considerable portion of the citizens of Rome were dependent on government welfare (Kamm, 2009).
Unlike the Italian towns whose chief responsibility …show more content…
Moreover, the Roman Empire produced a plethora of products on a massive scale for consumption by the masses (Carthwright, 2013). Ancient figures place consumption of wine per year in the city of Rome alone at a level of 1,000,000 hectoliters and the quantity of oil exchanged per year at 23,000,000 kilograms (Carthwright, 2013). These numbers are uncanny and are further evidence that Rome and the provinces shared a mutual benefit in their economic arrangements which allowed both to prosper.
Further acting to strengthen the economic ties between the provinces, Rome maintained a state owned merchant fleet, which served to keep the trade routes perpetually open (Carthwright, 2013). Furthermore, this streamlined the tax collection process so that Rome was able to easily tax the imports and exports of products between the provinces as Rome controlled all of the merchant ships (Carthwright,