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The Roman Retail RevolutionThe Socio-Economic World of the Taberna$
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Steven J. R. Ellis

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198769934

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198769934.001.0001

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The Second Retail Revolution

The Second Retail Revolution

The Rise of Retail Specialization (from Shops to Bars)

(p.151) 5 The Second Retail Revolution
The Roman Retail Revolution

Steven J. R. Ellis

Oxford University Press

This chapter details the causes behind the second retail revolution of the early Imperial period. It was at this time that we see a rise (once again) in the number of Roman tabernae, as well as a significant increase in their specialization. Essentially, the evidence from Pompeii and elsewhere shows us that a good deal of production associated with tabernae now gave way to retailing activities more exclusively; while street-front production still played an important role in the city, still many workshops now became shops. One noteworthy outcome of this move toward the specialization of retail space was the advent of the food and drink outlet—the bar—as identified by the arrival of the masonry sales counter. As with the first retail revolution, this one too can be connected to a series of urban developments at this time.

Keywords:   Augustan Rome, early Imperial Rome, masonry counters, earthquake recovery, recycling of building material, industry, workshops, retail, tabernae, shops

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