Handelaarsgemeenschappen in de Romeinse wereld | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 131, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163



In this article I argue that the recent focus on merchant and shipping in the ancient Roman economy is too one-sided. Long-distance merchants and shippers needed networks to gather information and find partners. In some cases these networks were structured in closed formalised groups (as guild-like ), but in other contexts networks remained informal configurations of personal relations based on instrumental friendship or family alliances. Rather than focus on I argue that we should study how mercantile communities were structured and organised and why different solutions were reached in different communities, with some opting for formalised groups and others for informal networks. I make my case by presenting three case-studies of important trade hubs in different periods and places in the Roman world: late Hellenistic Delos, early imperial Puteoli, and second and third century Ganuenta.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): collegia; guilds; networks; Roman economy; trade
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