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Gift and Gain – How Money Transformed Ancient Rome - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Gift and Gain: How Money Transformed Ancient Rome

Neil Coffee


The economy of ancient Rome, with its money, complex credit arrangements, and long-range shipping, was surprisingly modern. Yet Romans also exchanged goods and services within a robust system of gifts and favors, which sustained the supportive relationships necessary for survival in the absence of the extensive state and social institutions. In Gift and Gain: How Money Transformed Ancient Rome, Neil Coffee shows how a vibrant commercial culture progressively displaced systems of gift giving over the course of Rome’s classical era. The change was propelled the Roman elite, through their engagem ... More

Keywords: economy, Rome, money, gift, reciprocity, Cicero, Seneca, Roman law, culture

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780190496432
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190496432.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Neil Coffee, author
Associate Professor of Classics at the State University of New York, Buffalo