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Business In Ancient Rome

By Edited Oct 18, 2015 1 0

 

The Ancient Roman Empire, was the longest lasting empire in the world.  In almost every aspect of life, the Romans have a profound impact. From the way we build roads, to the way we eat, we have been changed by the Romans. The Romans made many advancements in business. In this article, I will share some of those advancements with you.

 

There were two different classes of people in Rome, Plebeians and Patricians. The Patricians were considered the upper class and the plebeians were considered the lower class.  Businesses in the empire were generally owned by plebeians. There were many types of businesses in Rome. From Farming-Prositution, the Romans were involved in almost every business. Romans had slaves, which allowed the citizens of the empire to have a higher standard of living. Using slave labor, the Romans were able to become wealthier. Most people had slaves in Rome and some people had many slaves. In an average house, you could find at least 1 slave. Slaves were the backbone of the empire and of businesses. Almost every single good or service produced the the Roman economy was effected by slaves. Slaves gave the Romans a durable competitive advantage over their competitors. When the Romans sold their goods to other people, they benefited with the use of slaves. Slaves made producing goods cheaper which allowed the Romans to become very succesful traders.


Another important factor to consider is the fact that Roman conquest made way for many new business opportunity. With each area that the Romans conquered, merchants and other businessmen traveled to trade goods and make money. A great example of this, is the Roman conquest of Gaul. When the Romans conquered Gaul, they started trading things there. Merchants went to Gaul to trade for wool,wood and other materials. Before the Romans were unable to enter Gaul, but now with the Romans conquering the area, Merchants were able to safely trade with the people.

Lending was also a great innovation. Although the Romans did not invent the practise of lending money, they benefited a lot from it. Lending money lead to economic expansion and with the access to money, more people were able to start businesses.

 

The Roman government played a key role in business. The government did charge taxes and this too affected trade, but on top of that the government had a role in the monetary system and had  a role in spending.

   The Monetary system is Rome was at the hands of the Emperor. The Romans used coins as a form of money. These coins did have value since most of them were made with precious metal. The empire, controlled the supply of money into the economy. This at times helped businesses. Since Gold and silver were metals that were accepted as currency almost anywhere in the ancient world, the Roman traders had no issue selling and buying goods. As time went on though, the government used less and less metal in the coins and soon the value of the coins collapsed.

Government spending drove most of the Roman economy. The government spent a lot of money on infrastructure, more than many other governments, and War. The Roman government financed projects to build aqueducts and roads among other things. When at war, the economy was worked to full capacity. People were supplying things to soldiers fighting in distant lands. Most of the spending in the economy helped businesses thrive.

As you can see, there is a lot to learn about Roman Businesses. The Roman empire changed the course of history forever and  we still have a lot to learn about them. Using ingenious technology and innovation the Romans made an Empire that withstood the test of time.

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