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Peasants and Slaves
The Rural Population of Roman Italy (200 BC to AD 100)

$41.99 (C)

Part of Cambridge Classical Studies

  • Date Published: January 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108730068

$ 41.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • The crisis of the Roman Republic and its transformation into an Empire have fascinated generations of scholars. It has long been assumed that a dramatic demographic decline of the rural free peasantry (which was supplanted by slaves) triggered the series of social and economic developments which eventually led to Rome's political crisis during the first century BC. This book contributes to a lively debate by exploring both the textual and the archaeological evidence and by tracing and reassessing the actual fate of the Italian rural free population between the Late Republic and the Early Empire. Data derived from a comparative analysis of twenty-seven archaeological surveys – and about five thousand sites – allow Dr Launaro to outline a radically new picture according to which episodes of local decline are placed within a much more generalised pattern of demographic growth.

    • Provides an accessible synthesis of the demographic debate on Roman Italy
    • Offers a critical appraisal of the limitations and potential of landscape archaeology in relation to demography
    • Gathers a significant amount of published and unpublished data on rural settlements from all over Italy, with entries for about five thousand sites in the Appendix
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "… this book is essential reading for both ancient historians and classical archaeologists as it presents the fundamental arguments concerning the demographic calculations of the Roman population and the contribution of archaeology to historical debates."

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108730068
    • length: 363 pages
    • dimensions: 243 x 169 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.63kg
    • contains: 28 b/w illus. 15 maps 66 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. An Outline of the Historical Demography of Roman Italy:
    1. The Italian population under Augustus
    2. Competing arguments and relevant implications
    Part II. Demography and Landscape Archaeology: Towards an Integration:
    3. Absolute figures and relative trends
    4. A comparison of relevant trends
    Part III. Archaeological Evidence from Surveys:
    5. Site trends across Roman Italy
    Part IV. The Rural Population of Roman Italy (200 BC–AD 100):
    6. Settlement and demography
    7. A view of the countryside
    Appendix. Survey projects database.

  • Author

    Alessandro Launaro, Darwin College, Cambridge
    Alessandro Launaro is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in the Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge and a Research Fellow at Darwin College, Cambridge. He has taken part in surveys and excavations in Liguria, Tuscany and Marche, and is currently researching the relationship between population dynamics, rural settlement patterns and agrarian economic regimes across Roman Italy.

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