Mr Jonathan Prior
(email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Invention of Glassblowing and he Socio-economic Impact on Early Imperial Rome
The reign of Augustus ushered in a period of previously unmatched stability in Europe and the Mediterranean world. This environment of relatively secure long distance trade in goods and ideas was the one into which the technology of glassblowing was introduced. Within about a century of its invention, glassblowing went from a small relatively localized craft to a flourishing empire-wide industry. Glass changed from being a material used only in luxury goods available only to wealthy Romans to a material used by people at all levels of society. Glass blowing allowed rapid, inexpensive production of utilitarian items, and also allowed for a much wider variety of forms and decorative wares.
My research is focusing on the period surrounding the introduction of glassblowing to the Roman Empire, and the impact of blown glass on society and on related and rival industries. I am trying to determine the areas of Roman life into which glass most successfully penetrated and where possible, what portion of market share it was able to claim from dominant pre-existing industries such as pottery making that produced wares that filled the same roles that blown glass came to fill.