In broad terms, I am interested in economic and social connectivity in the Roman Empire.
My first book, Economic Theory and the Roman Monetary Economy (Cambridge, in press), rethinks the way in which economic theory is introduced into the historiography of the Roman monetary system. The entrenched scepticism towards economic theory among historians of the Roman economy has all but vanished and studies using neoclassical and new institutional economics now dominate the field. This paradigm shift has been accompanied, perhaps unintentionally, by the idea that the Roman world was dominated by markets and market-based mentalities. My research argues that 1) Roman money was embedded in a historically unique cultural, social and political matrix, and 2) economic theory, in order to be usefully introduced in the study of the Roman economy, must be divorced from modernizing assumptions and ideologies. Alternative approaches to key theoretical concepts and propositions (rationality, the quantity theory of money, Gresham's Law) are explored through a number of
While researching monetary phenomena in the Roman world, I become aware of some interesting connections between several key monetary reforms and the appearance of plagues and changing weather patterns in the Roman Mediterranean. How was the economic connectivity of the Roman world impacted by its ecological context? What might the impact of climatological and epidemiological factors tell historians about the structure of the Roman economy? Some of my