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Urban Craftsmen and Traders in the Roman World$
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Andrew Wilson and Miko Flohr

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198748489

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198748489.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 25 January 2022

Freedmen and Agency in Roman Business

Freedmen and Agency in Roman Business

(p.222) 10 Freedmen and Agency in Roman Business
Urban Craftsmen and Traders in the Roman World

Wim Broekaert

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses the role of freedmen in the economic network of their former owner. It argues that the specific social and legal position of freedmen brought both the freedman and his patron certain economic advantages: using the freedman as an agent reduced risk for the patron, and provided the freedman with ready access to capital and to the business network of his patron. There were various models along which freedman agency could take shape, with varying degrees of independence, but the bottom line is that, by working in close collaboration, freedmen and their former owners reduced transaction costs and enhanced chances of success.

Keywords:   Roman traders, Roman economy, freedmen, business, professional networks, Roman slavery

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