Urban Space and Urban History in the Roman World

M. Flohr (ed.) (2021) Urban Space and Urban History in the Roman World. Studies in Roman Space and Urbanism. London and New York: Routledge.

This volume investigates how urban growth and prosperity transformed the cities of the Roman Mediterranean in the last centuries BCE and the first centuries CE: it highlights how these cities developed landscapes full of civic memory and ritual, saw commercial priorities transforming the urban environment, and began to expand significantly beyond their wall circuits. These inter-related developments not only changed how cities looked and could be experienced, they also affected the functioning of the urban community, and together contributed to keeping increasingly complex urban communities socially cohesive.

By focusing on the transformation of urban landscapes in Late Republican and Imperial period, the volume adds a new, explicitly historical angle to current debates about urban space in Roman studies. Confronting archaeological and historical approaches, the volume presents developments in Italy, Africa, Greece and Asia Minor, thus significantly broadening the geographical scope of the discussion. As it offers novel theoretical perspectives alongside well-documented, thematic case studies, the book will appeal to a broad scholarly audience.

With contributions by Amy Russell, Annette Haug, Miko Flohr, Patric-Alexander Kreuz, Chris Dickenson, Cristina Murer, Marlis Arnhold, Elizabeth Fentress, Touatia Amraoui, Candace Rice, Saskia Stevens, Sandra Zanella, and Stephan Mols and Eric Moormann.

This book is sold in hardback, paperback and digital format through Routledge


The Economy of Pompeii

Miko Flohr and Andrew Wilson (eds) (2017). The Economy of Pompeii. Oxford Studies on the Roman Economy. Oxford University Press. Oxford. 464 pages. Hardcover.  ISBN: 9780198786573. Published Dec. 22, 2016.

This volume presents fourteen papers by Roman archaeologists and historians discussing approaches to the economic history of Pompeii, and the role of the Pompeian evidence in debates about the Roman economy.

Four themes are discussed. The first of these is the position of Pompeii and its agricultural environment, discussing the productivity and specialization of agriculture in the Vesuvian region, and the degree to which we can explain Pompeii's size and wealth on the basis of the city's economic hinterland. A second issue discussed is what Pompeians got out of their economy: how well-off were people in Pompeii? This involves discussing the consumption of everyday consumer goods, analyzing archaeobotanical remains to highlight the quality of Pompeian diets, and discussing what bone remains reveal about the health of the inhabitants of Pompeii. A third theme is economic life in the city: how are we to understand the evidence for crafts and manufacturing? How are we to assess Pompeii's commercial topography? Who were the people who actually invested in constructing shops and workshops? In which economic contexts were Pompeian paintings produced? Finally, the volume discusses money and business: how integrated was Pompeii into the wider world of commerce and exchange, and what can the many coins found at Pompeii tell us about this? What do the wax tablets found near Pompeii tell us about trade in the Bay of Naples in the first century AD? Together, the chapters of this volume highlight how Pompeii became a very rich community, and how it profited from its position in the centre of the Roman world.

With contributions by Girolamo Ferdinando de Simone, Nicholas Ray, Erica Rowan, Estelle Lazer,  Eric Poehler, Nicolas Monteix, Damian Robinson, Domenico Esposito, Steven Ellis, Richard Hobbs, Koenraad Verboven, Wim Broekaert, and Willem Jongman. 

More info and ordering information at the website of OUP

Craftsmen and Traders in the Roman World

Andrew Wilson and Miko Flohr (eds) (2016). Craftsmen and Traders in the Roman World. Oxford Studies on the Roman Economy. Oxford University Press. Oxford. Hardcover. 416 Pages / 75 illustrations. ISBN 9780198748489 (hardback); 9780198852902 (paperback).

This volume, featuring sixteen contributions from leading Roman historians and archaeologists, sheds new light on approaches to the economic history of urban craftsmen and traders in the Roman world, with a particular emphasis on the imperial period.

Combining a wide range of research traditions from all over Europe and utilizing evidence from Italy, the western provinces, and the Greek-speaking east, this edited collection is divided into four sections. It first considers the scholarly history of Roman crafts and trade in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, focusing on Germany and the Anglo-Saxon world, and on Italy and France. Chapters discuss how scholarly thinking about Roman craftsmen and traders was influenced by historical and intellectual developments in the modern world, and how different (national) research traditions followed different trajectories throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The second section highlights the economic strategies of craftsmen and traders, examining strategies of long-distance traders and the phenomenon of specialization, and presenting case studies of leather-working and bread-baking. In the third section, the human factor in urban crafts and trade-including the role of apprenticeship, gender, freedmen, and professional associations-is analysed, and the volume ends by exploring the position of crafts in urban space, considering the evidence for artisanal clustering in the archaeological and papyrological record, and providing case studies of the development of commercial landscapes at Aquincum on the Danube and at Sagalassos in Pisidia.

With contributions by Carla Salvaterra and Alessandro Cristofori, Jean-Pierre Brun, Candace Rice, Kai Ruffing, Carol van Driel-Murray, Nicolas Monteix, Christel Freu, Lena Larsson Lovén, Wim Broekaert, Nicolas Tran, Ilias Arnaoutoglou, Penelope Goodman, Kerstin Dross-Krüpe, Orsolya Láng, and Jeroen Poblome.

Available in hardback (2016) and paperback (2020). More details at the website of OUP.

The World of the Fullo

M. Flohr (2013). The World of the Fullo. Work, economy and society in Roman ItalyOxford Studies on the Roman Economy. Oxford University Press. Oxford. Hardcover, 424 Pages / 159 illus. 9.2 x 6.1 inches. ISBN: 9780199659357.  

The World of the 'Fullo' takes a detailed look at the fullers, craftsmen who dealt with high-quality garments, of Roman Italy. Analyzing the social and economic worlds in which the fullers lived and worked, it tells the story of their economic circumstances, the way they organized their workshops, the places where they worked in the city, and their everyday lives on the shop floor and beyond.

Through focusing on the lower segments of society, Flohr uses everyday work as the major organizing principle of the narrative: the volume discusses the decisions taken by those responsible for the organization of work, and how these decisions subsequently had an impact on the social lives of people carrying out the work. It emphasizes how socio-economic differences between cities resulted in fundamentally different working lives for many of their people, and that not only were economic activities shaped by Roman society, they in turn played a key role in shaping it.

Using an in-depth and qualitative analysis of material remains related to economic activities, with a combined study of epigraphic and literary records, this volume portrays an insightful view of the socio-economic history of urban communities in the Roman world. de 

A chapter-by-chapter description can be found here. The book is sold at  OUP

Reviews by: Greg Woolf (TLS), Sandra Joshel (BMCR), Kelly Olson (JRA), Jesper Carlsen (CR), Elizabeth Murphy (JRS).

Shops, Workshops and Urban Economic History in the Roman World

Flohr, M. and N. Monteix (2020). Shops, Workshops and Urban Economic History in the Roman WorldPanel 8.2Archaeology and Economy in the Ancient World - Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Classical Archaeology, Cologne/Bonn 2018 42. Heidelberg: Propylaeum.

The material remains of Roman urban shops and workshops long played a marginal role in classical archaeology, but in recent years, they have enjoyed a marked increase of scholarly attention. Influenced by debates about the nature of ancient urban economies, scholars began to study the archaeological evidence for urban retail and manufacturing with an unprecedented vigour from the late 1990s onwards.

Since the turn of the millennium, scholars have increasingly begun to study shop- and workshop design in relation to profit-oriented investment strategies, and to explore the economic history of urban commercial landscapes. This volume discusses the ways in which the study of urban shops and workshops has challenged our conceptualization of urban economic history in the Roman world, and it explores possible avenues to further deepen our understanding of the changing nature of Roman urban commerce, and to bridge spatial and chronological distances between local sets of evidence.

Contributions by Miko Flohr, Rhodora Vennarucci, Adeline Hoffelinck, Jeroen Poblome, Rinse Willet, Dorien Leder-Slotman, Elizabeth Murphy, Helmuth Schwaiger, Katharina Sahm, Jasmin Scheifinger

Pompeii: Art, Industry, Infrastructure

Eric Poehler, Miko Flohr, Kevin Cole (eds.), Pompeii: Art, Industry, and Infrastructure. Oxford; Oakville, CT: Oxbow Books, 2011. Pp. xvii, 181. Paperback. ISBN 9781842179840. 

Even after more than 250 years since its discovery, Pompeii continues to resonate powerfully in both academic discourse and the popular imagination. This volume brings together a collection of ten papers that advance, challenge and revise the present conceptions of the city's art, industry and infrastructure. The discussions of domestic art in this book, a perennial topic for Pompeian scholars, engage previously neglected subjects such as wall ornaments in domestic decoration, the sculpture collection in the house of Octavius Quartio, and the role of the covered walkways in luxury villa architecture. The famous cupid's frieze from the house of the Vettii is given a novel and intelligent reinterpretation. The place of industry at Pompeii, in both the physical and economic landscapes has long been overlooked. The chapters on building practice in inhabited houses, on the presence of fulling workshops in atrium houses, and on the urban pottery industry serve as successful contributions to a more complete understanding of the life of the ancient city. Finally, this volume breaks new ground in the consideration of the urban infrastructure of Pompeii, a topic that has won serious attention only in the last decades, but one that is playing an increasingly central role in Pompeian studies. The final three chapters offer a reassessment of the Pompeian street network, a scientific analysis of the amount of lead in Pompeian drinking water, and a thorough analysis of the water infrastructure around the forum that supported its architectural transformation in the last decades before the eruption of mount Vesuvius in AD 79.

The book is sold by Oxbow.

Reviews by William van Andringa (BMCR), Roger Ling (Antiquaries Journal), Anna Kieburg (Sehepunkte), Irene Schrüfer-Kolb (Digressus).