Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Trade Protectionism in the Roman Empire

"It appears from the newly discovered treatise of Cicero de Republica, that there was a law of the republic prohibiting the culture of the vine and olive beyond the Alps, in order to keep up the value of those in Italy. Nos justissimi homines, qui transalpinas gentes oleam et vitem serere non sinimus, quo pluris sint nostra oliveta nostraeque vineae."  - Footnote from Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

I found this reference interesting because I had not thought about the Romans engaging in trade protectionism before.  I did a little more research and found that the prohibition of the cultivation of grape vines beyond the Alps was actually mandated by the Roman Senate as early as 154 BCE.

More at Roman Times

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