The economic history literature on “the rise of the West” is enormous. But no matter how numerous the existing studies may be, they rarely look back in time to include the Roman empire or any other part of antiquity, for that matter. The question of what Rome’s role was, if any, in the creation of the modern world is therefore still wide open. This paper will investigate the economic history of the West over the long term, including classical antiquity. It will argue that historical analyses of the Industrial Enlightenment that begin around 1400 CE leave out half the story of the why and where of the birth of the modern world.
SSHRC Connections Grant (Morality and Models: Assessing Modern Approaches to the Ancient Economy)