The Roman Economy: Pandemic, Slavery & Trade Networks

In this recent interview, Daniel Freeman, Managing Editor, delves into the intricate economic and social dynamics of the Roman Empire during the Antonine Plague with Associate Professor at Indiana University, Colin Elliott, author of Pox Romana. Elliott sheds light on the impact of this devastating pandemic on the Roman economy, military campaigns, and societal structures, offering insights into the resilience and vulnerabilities of one of history’s most iconic civilizations.

Throughout the conversation, Elliott explores various aspects of the Roman economy, including trade networks, agricultural production, and the role of slavery. Although Roman cities are first thought as economic producers, Elliott highlights their extractive characteristics and challenges conventional wisdom. He discusses the challenges faced by the Roman state in managing resources and maintaining stability amidst the spread of disease, highlighting the interconnectedness of economic factors and societal well-being in ancient times.

With thought-provoking insights Elliott navigates the complexities of the Antonine Plague era, offering a nuanced understanding of its implications for Roman society. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or intrigued by the parallels between ancient and modern economies, this interview provides an insightful view on this pivotal period in Roman history. Don’t miss out on this illuminating discussion with one of the foremost experts on the subject.