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Trade, Commerce, and the State in the Roman World$
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Andrew Wilson and Alan Bowman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198790662

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198790662.001.0001

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Trade across Rome’s Southern Frontier

Trade across Rome’s Southern Frontier

The Sahara and the Garamantes

Chapter:
(p.599) 19 Trade across Rome’s Southern Frontier
Source:
Trade, Commerce, and the State in the Roman World
Author(s):

Andrew Wilson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198790662.003.0019

This chapter explores the interplay between political and military events and the evolution of trade between the Sahara and Roman territory in North Africa. It reassesses the chronology of Roman expeditions into the Sahara in the Flavian period, arguing that the expedition of Septimius Flaccus took place in AD 77–81, and that Julius Maternus’ expedition must have occurred in 82–5. In the light of the evidence from fieldwork in southern Libya since the late 1990s, the chapter looks at the development of Saharan trade in antiquity, the relations between Roman frontier systems and the control of trade routes, and the fluctuations in intensity of trade over time, and considers the extent to which the Roman state may have been interested in customs duties from Saharan trade.

Keywords:   Roman trade, Roman economy, Saharan trade, trans-Saharan trade, Roman trade, Garamantes, slave trade

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