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Joining Forces. Commercial Partnerships or Societates in the Early Roman Empire

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Confronted with the vagaries of a volatile trading world, Roman merchants were forced to rely on serval institutions to reduce risk and uncertainty. This paper will analyze the rationale and functioning of one of these solutions, viz. the commercial partnership (societas). This feature of the Roman business world allowed investors, producers and distributors to cooperate, share risks and profits and hence enhanced efficiency. By introducing evidence from tituli picti on amphorae, we will be able to follow the way in which Roman merchants found business partners and joined forces.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2012

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  • Historia, first published in 1952 by Karl Friedrich Stroheker and Gerold Walser is an international, peer-reviewed journal on Greek and Roman antiquity. Articles are in English, German, French and Italian. It features original articles on Greek history, the Roman Republic and Empire as well as late antiquity. It covers all aspects of political, economic, religious and social life and deals with legal, archaeological, numismatic and epigraphical questions.
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