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The Profits of War and Cultural Capital: Silver and Society in Republican Rome

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This paper uses theoretical frameworks coming from New Institutional Economics and anthropology to provide a reassessment of the methods by which Republican Rome obtained her silver. The connection between Rome's public finances and the elite mentality of the Republic meant that war, directly or indirectly, was the shaping force in how Rome acquired her wealth. Analysis of the surviving textual and inscriptional evidence also demonstrates that the origin of bullion or coinage could have a determining in fluence on how money was to be used. This practice of earmarking within the Republic meant that money and coinage remained connected to particular social and political contexts, challenging the idea of money as a universal, neutral medium of exchange.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2013

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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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