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Explain The Impact Of Trade And Commerce To The Life Of The People And Towns Of Pompeii And Herculaneum.

1363 words - 5 pages

Explain the impact of trade and commerce to the life of the people and towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum.It is only through the extensive evidence found throughout archaeological excavations that we have a clear idea about the flourishing commercial and trade activity in the ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Through the hundreds of houses, shops, art-works, workshops and road surfaces found, it is obvious that the towns thrived through the numerous different industries that were eventually devastated by the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79AD. It was through this devastation however, that the world is able to fully understand the life and society of the ancient cities and those alike, which were frozen in time from the mountain that they once lived on in such abundance.Both towns were strategically situated on the Bay of Naples, providing a rich produce of olive oil, wine and fish, all typical products of the Mediterranean culture. Although Herculaneum lacked any significant industries, the unearthing of countless fish nets and boats depict how essential fishing was and it is plausible that this was the main industry. Pompeii had an extensive involvement in the sea trade, in which it’s geographical positioning provided the perfect nature. It had access to the Sarnus River and its valley as well as the fertile area behind Vesuvius, which provided key trade routes throughout the entire eastern Mediterranean. Evidence of this is apparent through the boost in the pre-colonial economical Pompeii, proving to be its key source of wealth.Trade and maritime traffic saw an immediate period of growth. Pompeii expanded and developed in all aspects of society, especially that in the economical field, along with the influence of Roman and Greek intervention. The Roman’s were instant to recognize this development and Pompeii saw its reputation increase in comparison to other Campanian towns. The standard of living saw a general increase in which the ‘middle class’ (merchants and those alike) were able to experience the status and benefits most only dreamed of. A general shift of power or influence between this class and the aristocratic formed as each competed with each other in flaunting wealth through jewellery and the construction of extravagant houses and villas.Pompeii's flourishing economy led to widespread affluence in not only Campanian, but the entire Mediterranean. It saw a decisive population increase and the remarkable embellishment of the town. The urban building expansion took place for the most part along Via dell'Abbondanza, a symbolic centre of the new emerging class, which reaped their rewards through Pompeii’s now thriving trade and commerce. It is obvious that there is not much trade activity mentioned in that of Herculaneum, in comparison to the thriving economy of Pompeii. We can hardly attest to the flourishing society of Herculaneum, if its economic core has yet to be uncovered. Most commerce can be seen to...

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