A complex and changeable relationship existed between government and trade in the Roman world, which largely revolved around governmental motivations that had little to do with the best interests of trade and commerce. Consequently, the careers of merchants and trading businessmen were partly shaped by varying regulatory restrictions, as well as promotional benefits, which influenced the way in which they might operate. This paper will compare the motivations of such government involvement with the operations of trading careers, in order to assess how trade professions worked either with or against different aspects of the changing 'regulatory framework.'
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