The Romans - Trade - History
A Brief History | Minerals | Pottery | Agriculture | Art Trade and Travel | Towns and Villas | The Army | Forts and FortressesThe Roman invasion led to a great increase in British trade with the outside world. They had traded internally

A Brief History | Minerals | Pottery | Agriculture | Art
Trade and Travel | Towns and Villas | The Army | Forts and Fortresses

The Roman invasion led to a great increase in British trade with the outside world. They had traded internally using the barter method (as tribes had different coinage and some had no currency at all). After the invasion of Emperor Claudius in 43 AD, once Britain was becoming Romanised, trade increased massively. As all countries in the Empire used the same Roman currency, it was easier for the Britons to trade with other Roman countries than it had been before. Previously, the Britons had insisted on trade on a goods-for-goods basis rather than a goods-for-money basis. The famous Roman roads , which still criss-cross the country today, made trade a great deal faster.

Until the Britons learned Roman techniques, and for some time after, one of the most imported products was pottery, whether cheap or high quality such as Samian ware . A great deal of wine was also imported, particularly from the Loire valley. Fine quality silverwork was imported, as were high quality brass products and glassware. The glass came from Syria, Alexandria, and later from the Rhineland and Gaul 1 .

Roman Britain ( Latin : Britannia or, later, Britanniae , "the Britains") was the area of the island of Great Britain that was governed by the Roman Empire , from 43 to 410 AD. [1] : 129–131 [2]

Following the conquest of the Britons, a distinctive Romano-British culture emerged as the Romans introduced improved agriculture , urban planning , industrial production , and architecture . The Roman goddess Britannia became the female personification of Britain. After the initial invasions, Roman historians generally only mention Britain in passing. Thus, most present knowledge derives from archaeological investigations and occasional epigraphic evidence lauding the Britannic achievements of an emperor . [1] : 46,323 Roman citizens settled in Britain from many parts of the Empire. [8]

Britain was known to the Classical world; the Greeks , Phoenicians and Carthaginians traded for Cornish tin in the 4th century BC. [9] The Greeks referred to the Cassiterides , or "tin islands", and placed them near the west coast of Europe. [10] The Carthaginian sailor Himilco is said to have visited the island in the 5th century BC and the Greek explorer Pytheas in the 4th. However, it was regarded as a place of mystery, with some writers refusing to believe it existed at all. [11]

The Celts controlled most of central Europe and by 700BC they also conquered the lands of Northern Spain. The Celts were a force in Britain by 480BC. Celtic tribes continued to migrate to Britain and to dominate the country.

Use our interactive map of Celtic Lands and the Roman Empire to find out more about events that shaped their history. On the map you will see how their lands expanded but how they eventually were overtaken by the Romans. The map has features to read about their history on the timeline and to see where their key settlements and trade routes were.

The people of Britain began farming about 5,000 years ago during the Neolithic period (New Stone Age). The Bronze and Iron Ages witnessed a number of advances in farming...
Read more

A Brief History | Minerals | Pottery | Agriculture | Art
Trade and Travel | Towns and Villas | The Army | Forts and Fortresses

The Roman invasion led to a great increase in British trade with the outside world. They had traded internally using the barter method (as tribes had different coinage and some had no currency at all). After the invasion of Emperor Claudius in 43 AD, once Britain was becoming Romanised, trade increased massively. As all countries in the Empire used the same Roman currency, it was easier for the Britons to trade with other Roman countries than it had been before. Previously, the Britons had insisted on trade on a goods-for-goods basis rather than a goods-for-money basis. The famous Roman roads , which still criss-cross the country today, made trade a great deal faster.

Until the Britons learned Roman techniques, and for some time after, one of the most imported products was pottery, whether cheap or high quality such as Samian ware . A great deal of wine was also imported, particularly from the Loire valley. Fine quality silverwork was imported, as were high quality brass products and glassware. The glass came from Syria, Alexandria, and later from the Rhineland and Gaul 1 .

A Brief History | Minerals | Pottery | Agriculture | Art
Trade and Travel | Towns and Villas | The Army | Forts and Fortresses

The Roman invasion led to a great increase in British trade with the outside world. They had traded internally using the barter method (as tribes had different coinage and some had no currency at all). After the invasion of Emperor Claudius in 43 AD, once Britain was becoming Romanised, trade increased massively. As all countries in the Empire used the same Roman currency, it was easier for the Britons to trade with other Roman countries than it had been before. Previously, the Britons had insisted on trade on a goods-for-goods basis rather than a goods-for-money basis. The famous Roman roads , which still criss-cross the country today, made trade a great deal faster.

Until the Britons learned Roman techniques, and for some time after, one of the most imported products was pottery, whether cheap or high quality such as Samian ware . A great deal of wine was also imported, particularly from the Loire valley. Fine quality silverwork was imported, as were high quality brass products and glassware. The glass came from Syria, Alexandria, and later from the Rhineland and Gaul 1 .

Roman Britain ( Latin : Britannia or, later, Britanniae , "the Britains") was the area of the island of Great Britain that was governed by the Roman Empire , from 43 to 410 AD. [1] : 129–131 [2]

Following the conquest of the Britons, a distinctive Romano-British culture emerged as the Romans introduced improved agriculture , urban planning , industrial production , and architecture . The Roman goddess Britannia became the female personification of Britain. After the initial invasions, Roman historians generally only mention Britain in passing. Thus, most present knowledge derives from archaeological investigations and occasional epigraphic evidence lauding the Britannic achievements of an emperor . [1] : 46,323 Roman citizens settled in Britain from many parts of the Empire. [8]

Britain was known to the Classical world; the Greeks , Phoenicians and Carthaginians traded for Cornish tin in the 4th century BC. [9] The Greeks referred to the Cassiterides , or "tin islands", and placed them near the west coast of Europe. [10] The Carthaginian sailor Himilco is said to have visited the island in the 5th century BC and the Greek explorer Pytheas in the 4th. However, it was regarded as a place of mystery, with some writers refusing to believe it existed at all. [11]

A Brief History | Minerals | Pottery | Agriculture | Art
Trade and Travel | Towns and Villas | The Army | Forts and Fortresses

The Roman invasion led to a great increase in British trade with the outside world. They had traded internally using the barter method (as tribes had different coinage and some had no currency at all). After the invasion of Emperor Claudius in 43 AD, once Britain was becoming Romanised, trade increased massively. As all countries in the Empire used the same Roman currency, it was easier for the Britons to trade with other Roman countries than it had been before. Previously, the Britons had insisted on trade on a goods-for-goods basis rather than a goods-for-money basis. The famous Roman roads , which still criss-cross the country today, made trade a great deal faster.

Until the Britons learned Roman techniques, and for some time after, one of the most imported products was pottery, whether cheap or high quality such as Samian ware . A great deal of wine was also imported, particularly from the Loire valley. Fine quality silverwork was imported, as were high quality brass products and glassware. The glass came from Syria, Alexandria, and later from the Rhineland and Gaul 1 .

Roman Britain ( Latin : Britannia or, later, Britanniae , "the Britains") was the area of the island of Great Britain that was governed by the Roman Empire , from 43 to 410 AD. [1] : 129–131 [2]

Following the conquest of the Britons, a distinctive Romano-British culture emerged as the Romans introduced improved agriculture , urban planning , industrial production , and architecture . The Roman goddess Britannia became the female personification of Britain. After the initial invasions, Roman historians generally only mention Britain in passing. Thus, most present knowledge derives from archaeological investigations and occasional epigraphic evidence lauding the Britannic achievements of an emperor . [1] : 46,323 Roman citizens settled in Britain from many parts of the Empire. [8]

Britain was known to the Classical world; the Greeks , Phoenicians and Carthaginians traded for Cornish tin in the 4th century BC. [9] The Greeks referred to the Cassiterides , or "tin islands", and placed them near the west coast of Europe. [10] The Carthaginian sailor Himilco is said to have visited the island in the 5th century BC and the Greek explorer Pytheas in the 4th. However, it was regarded as a place of mystery, with some writers refusing to believe it existed at all. [11]

The Celts controlled most of central Europe and by 700BC they also conquered the lands of Northern Spain. The Celts were a force in Britain by 480BC. Celtic tribes continued to migrate to Britain and to dominate the country.

Use our interactive map of Celtic Lands and the Roman Empire to find out more about events that shaped their history. On the map you will see how their lands expanded but how they eventually were overtaken by the Romans. The map has features to read about their history on the timeline and to see where their key settlements and trade routes were.

The people of Britain began farming about 5,000 years ago during the Neolithic period (New Stone Age). The Bronze and Iron Ages witnessed a number of advances in farming...
Read more

Regional, inter-regional and international trade was a common feature of the Roman world. A mix of state control and a free market approach ensured goods produced in one location could be exported far and wide. Cereals, wine and olive oil, in particular, were exported in huge quantities whilst in the other direction came significant imports of precious metals, marble, and spices. 

Generally speaking, as with earlier and contemporary civilizations, the Romans gradually developed a more sophisticated economy following the creation of an agricultural surplus, population movement and urban growth, territorial expansion, technology innovation, taxation, the spread of coinage , and not insignificantly, the need to feed the great city of Rome itself and supply its huge army wherever it might be on campaign.

The Roman attitude to trade was somewhat negative, at least from the higher classes. Land ownership and agriculture were highly regarded as a source of wealth and status but commerce and manufacturing were seen as a less noble pursuit for the well-off. However, those rich enough to invest often overcame their scruples and employed slaves, freedmen, and agents ( negotiatores ) to manage their business affairs and reap the often vast rewards of commercial activity.

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