Seneca said: “We have been given winds so that the wealth of each region might become common. These winds should not convey legions and cavalry, or bring harmful intent to foreign peoples”.
Any system that relies on exporting finite resources to generate essential revenues and creates trade wealth from importing renewable commodities, must take into account the forces that destabilised the ancient world. Natural disasters, war, mass population movements and the threat of global pandemics still have the potential to diminish human progress. This is the significance of studying the economy of distant trade.
During my doctoral research at I created a new framework for understanding the Imperial Roman economy based on significant international trade. The completed model is supported by ancient source evidence and recent archaeological discoveries.
My thesis on this topic was submitted in 2006 and awarded in 2007.
The thesis was subsequently published as a monograph by Bloomsbury in 2010: ‘Rome and the Distant East’
I’m continuing with my research into contacts, warfare and trade between the Roman Empire and the peoples and regimes beyond the Imperial frontiers, including African and eastern kingdoms and empires as far as the Han Dynasty. I also have an interest in the archaeology and history of Ancient Ireland in the Roman era and plan to publish my research.