Communication and roman long- distance trade

Taco Tjitte Terpstra*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Chapter 3 argues that scholarship on Roman long-distance trade has been preoccupied by questions of its scale and importance for the overall economy, and that consequently the role and importance of communication for this Roman trade have remained overlooked. Terpstra therefore seeks to recover the nature of this communication-both written and oral-and of the communications network in circumstances that were incomparably harsher than today. Given the near-complete loss of commercial correspondence from classical antiquity, but not from the medieval period, Terpstra draws on material from the latter for evidence. He also assigns a higher value and importance to oral rumor than scholarship has typically favored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMercury's Wings
Subtitle of host publicationExploring Modes of Communication in the Ancient World
EditorsRichard J A Talbert, Fred S Naiden
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780195386844
ISBN (Print)978-0195386844
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Commerce
  • Communications
  • Economy
  • Roman empire
  • Rumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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