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The History of Mining: The events, technology and people involved in the industry that forged the modern world by Michael Coulson

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8. The Roman Republic and Empire

It is in the nature of great empires to expand at least partly because of their need to acquire natural resources to fuel this expansion; one might say that expansion begets expansion, and such wealth as results from this becomes critical to the health of the imperial power. The Roman Republic (510 BC to 44 BC), which saw Rome begin to expand from its primarily central Italian base, and the Roman Empire (44 BC to 476 AD), which continued the expansion, were no exceptions to this. An important economic part of Roman conquests was the acquisition of sources of essential raw materials, in particular metals and minerals. The main areas providing the Empire with key metals were Spain, Britain, France (Gaul), central ...

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