The Roman army conquered the entire Mediterranean coastline along with most of Europe. This area was never as unified by any other power. The Roman military, and the need to equip it for war and expansion, extensively affected the Roman economy for better and for worse. On the one hand, the armies returned to the Roman economic environment resources, including treasure and slaves. In addition, the need to produce military supplies, including equipment, resulted in temporary increases in production and employment. On the other hand, the constant wars and need for additional equipment was a tremendous burden on the economy. In addition, men and resources were diverted from the internal (non-military) economy into the military effort, which at certain times made the internal economy slower to develop. This study takes a closer look at how the changing equipment of the legionnaire forces in particular impacted the Roman economy over a period of five centuries. The element is discussed in light of the formalist-substantivist debate as reflected in the work of Polanyi, Finley, Cook, and Runnels.


Kardulias, P. Nicholas




Ancient History, Greek and Roman through Late Antiquity


Roman, military, economy

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2014 Owen E. Yeazell