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The Origins of Business, Money, and Markets$
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Keith Roberts

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231153270

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231153270.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

The Principate, 31 b.c.e.–192 c.e.

The Principate, 31 b.c.e.–192 c.e.

(p.176) 10 The Principate, 31 b.c.e.–192 c.e.
The Origins of Business, Money, and Markets

Keith Roberts

Columbia University Press

This chapter focuses on the early empire under Augustus and his successors, a two-century period known as the Principate. Two developments during the Principate altered the history of business. First, Augustus created political changes that dramatically improved business conditions. Without his work, the provinces would have continued to be exploited, impoverished, and rebellious colonies. And Roman business would not have enjoyed the prolonged period of peace and security that was its most innovative and important business condition. Second, in Judea, part of the province of Syria, certain little-noted developments would later have an even more profound effect on business than Augustus's efforts. These include the formulation and dissemination of the idea of human equality, leading ultimately to modern consumer societies; the creation of Christianity and its powerful church, which would strongly influence the business environment for many centuries to come; and a dispersal of the Jews, which would position their communities to play a leading role in the trade and commerce of the Middle Ages.

Keywords:   Roman empire, Rome, Augustus, Principate, Roman business, Judea, human equality, Christianity, Jews

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