Thursday, April 10, 2008

Nothing new under the sun.

“The Prehistoric Origins of European Economic Integration” is the title of a brilliant working paper by George Grantham, a history professor at MacGill University. Grantham shows that archaeological and documentary evidence indicates that a specialized and integrated classical economy emerged after 500 BC in the European space. When the Romans occupied Spain, Gaul, North Africa, Germany and Pannonia in the second and first centuries BC, they acquired territories that in varying degrees had been trading with each other and with the outside world for centuries. But at the time, no common political authority had been necessary to achieve that result.

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