The Danger of Living on Bread and Circuses: Alice Schroeder

June 2 (Bloomberg) -- Rome in the first two centuries A.D. faced a yawning gulf between rich and poor. The mighty empire built on tribute reached its geographic limits. Its economy created few exportable goods. Slaves acquired by conquest built most of its bridges, roads and aqueducts and took jobs in farming, mining and construction. As this cheaper labor replaced Roman citizens, idle, unemployed, hungry people filled the capital.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.