The Calculus of Conquests
The Decline and Fall of the Returns to Roman Expansion
By R. Morris Coats, Gary M. Pecquet
This article appeared in the Spring 2013 issue of The Independent Review.
Edward Gibbon showed how the increasing costs and declining benefits of conquest helped bring down the Roman empire, but he didnt carefully identify who reaped the benefits and bore the costs. Recent research and modern economic tools can fill the missing gap in Gibbons analysis and illuminate Romes expansion and civil wars.
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