The objective of this paper is to increase the collective knowledge about coopetition by providing a historical approach of this strategy. The mobilization of a historical approach as a methodology shed lights on the origins of coopetition during Roman Antiquity. Two examples of coopetition in business between traders were found. Furthermore, determinants of emergence of these coopetition strategies are described and provide pertinent information. These interesting results are opposite to the commonly shared idea that coopetition is a new strategy answering the modern complex environment.