Trade was very important to the Roman empire.
Big cities like Rome had to import large amounts of food from all over the empire. Luxury goods also came from all over Europe, Africa and the Near East. Silk came on camel caravans from China. Ships brought spices, jewels and perfumes from India.
Transporting goods on land was expensive and often dangerous, so most commerce was conducted via shipping.
Within this section you will find a list of goods that were used in trade. Some were rare, some expensive, and some used every day, however each of them were an integral part of the Roman Economy.
Please click on a title below to find out more information about that particular trade good.
The Romans knew all about asbestos, and even its impact on health impact too.
Copper was used for making coins, armor, weapons, and to make the alloy brass.
Glass was used much as we do today; for windows, containers and artwork.
Lead had many important uses, but also had a negative impact on health.
The mysterious material from the East for the fashionable and wealthy.
The Romans mixed tin with copper to form the alloy bronze.
Wine soon became a popular drink and important to the Roman economy.
Did you know...?
Trade and moving the Roman Army around were the two principle reasons for building roads.