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HistoryAncient MacedoniaThe Roman period

The Roman period

The period of nominal independence
The period of the Republic
The period of the Principate
The period of the Tetrachy
The institutions of the Roman period
The economy of the Roman period

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Milestone of the Via Egnatia
Milestone of the Via Egnatia, found near the river Gallikos, circa 130 BC, Thessaloniki, Archaeological Museum.

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Milestone of the Via Egnatia

The subjection of Macedonia to the Roman state inaugurated a new era, reducing the region to a minor position, as its natural resources could not compete with those of the provinces of Asia Minor and the West.

The Macedonians were obliged to pay poll tax to the Romans, and were charged with the cost of the upkeep of roads and of the proper functioning of communications. The Roman treasury also took in revenue from leasing the public lands ('ager publicus'), which were in fact the confiscated royal lands.

The economy was greatly stimulated by the construction of the Via Egnatia, the installation of Roman merchants in the cities, and the founding of Roman colonies. The period of the Principate brought prosperity and security, as good roads and a fairer administrative system produced an economic boom, which benefited both the Roman ruling class and the lower classes.

In a society based on slave labour, and with vast arable and rich pasture lands -- parallel to the modest properties of the rural population -- huge fortunes were amassed by the great families of Thessalonike, Beroia and Philippi.

The improvement of the living conditions of the productive classes brought about an increase in the number of producers and a broadening of the economic base, as numerous artisans (stone-masons, miners, blacksmiths etc.) -- among them many freedmen -- were employed in every kind of commercial activity and craft.

See Also
History - The economy of the Classical period
The economy of the Hellenistic period

Macedonian Heritage
Content courtesy Ekdotike Athenon S.A.