Italy’s Economic Revolution: Integration and Economy in Republican Italy – Oxford University – book

Italy’s Economic Revolution: Integration and Economy in Republican Italy

Saskia T. Roselaar | Oxford University


This book explores the connection between economic activities and integration—how did economic activities contribute to the unification of Italy in the Republican period in the civic, legal, social, and cultural senses? On the one hand, this book will investigate whether Italy became more integrated in an economic sense after the Roman conquest, and will trace the widely varying local reactions to the globalization of the Italian economy. On the other hand, it will investigate whether and how economic activities carried out by Italians contributed to the integration of the Italian peoples into the Roman framework. Throughout the Republican period, Italians had been able to profit from the expansion of the Roman dominion in the Mediterranean; through overseas trade and commercial agriculture they had gained significant wealth, which they invested in the Italian landscape. They were often ahead of Romans when it came to engagement with Hellenistic culture. However, their economic prosperity and cultural sophistication did not lead to civic equality with Roman citizens, nor to equal opportunities to exploit the territories that the Italians had conquered under Rome’s lead. Eventually, the Italians rebelled against Rome in the Social War (91–88 BC), after which they were granted Roman citizenship. This stimulated further interaction and integration between Romans and Italians in the economic, political, social, and cultural senses. This book will investigate how, if at all, economic interaction was related to civic integration, as well as cultural change, and will highlight the importance of the Roman citizenship as an instrument of integration.


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