Department of ClassicsUniversity of Cincinnati
Department of Classics

Associate Professor of Classics Steven Ellis has recently published The Roman Retail Revolution with Oxford University Press.

book steven story

The Roman Retail Revolution offers a thorough investigation into the social and economic worlds of the Roman shop, focusing on food and drink outlets in particular. Combining critical analysis of both archaeological material and textual sources, it challenges many of the conventional ideas about the place of retailing in the Roman city and unravels the historical development of tabernae to identify three major waves or revolutions in the shaping of retail landscapes. The volume is underpinned by two new and important bodies of evidence: the first generated from the University of Cincinnati's recent archaeological excavations into a Pompeian neighborhood of close to twenty shop-fronts, and the second resulting from a field-survey of the retail landscapes of more than a hundred cities from across the Roman world. The richness of this information, combined with the volume's interdisciplinary approach to the lives of the Roman sub-elite, results in a refreshingly original look at the history of retailing and urbanism in the Roman world.