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Full Access How Much Trade was Local, Regional and Inter-Regional? A Comparative Perspective on the Late Antique Economy

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How Much Trade was Local, Regional and Inter-Regional? A Comparative Perspective on the Late Antique Economy

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AbstractOne question lies at the heart of a fundamental debate in the study of the Roman world in Late Antiquity, namely whether the economy was essentially driven by state demand or the workings of the market. Although the growing volume of archaeological data has allowed a richer and more complex picture of the late antique economy, the fact that it can be harnessed by one side as well as the other, means that the debate itself has moved little further forward. For that we need the new models and new questions which can come from comparative approaches. Evidence from Late Medieval England is discussed here, with the suggestion that this rich material, long the focus of a sophisticated literature, has implications those who study Late Antiquity should not ignore.1

10.1163/22134522-12340030
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AbstractOne question lies at the heart of a fundamental debate in the study of the Roman world in Late Antiquity, namely whether the economy was essentially driven by state demand or the workings of the market. Although the growing volume of archaeological data has allowed a richer and more complex picture of the late antique economy, the fact that it can be harnessed by one side as well as the other, means that the debate itself has moved little further forward. For that we need the new models and new questions which can come from comparative approaches. Evidence from Late Medieval England is discussed here, with the suggestion that this rich material, long the focus of a sophisticated literature, has implications those who study Late Antiquity should not ignore.1

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