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Political Economy Commons

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Economic History

Selected Works

Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci

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Full-Text Articles in Political Economy

Luxury In Ancient Rome: Scope, Timing And Enforcement Of Sumptuary Laws, Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci, Anna Plisecka Jan 2012

Luxury In Ancient Rome: Scope, Timing And Enforcement Of Sumptuary Laws, Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci, Anna Plisecka

Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci

Between 182 BC and 18 BC, Roman lawmakers enacted a series of sumptuary laws regulating banquets (including the number of guests and the consumption of specific foods). Enforcement was hardly successful and these regulations had to be reiterated over time. Traditional explanations based on morals, protection of patrimonies and electoral competition do not fully account for the scope, timing and enforcement patterns of such laws. We advance and formalize a novel hypothesis holding that sumptuary legislation originated from the misalignment between political and economic power following the military and economic expansion of Rome in the last two centuries of the ...