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Cities, Peasants and Food in Classical Antiquity

Cities, Peasants and Food in Classical Antiquity
Essays in Social and Economic History


  • Date Published: February 2004
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521892902

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About the Authors
  • Sixteen essays in the social and economic history of the ancient world, by a leading historian of classical antiquity, are here brought conveniently together. Three overlapping parts deal with the urban economy and society, peasants and the rural economy, and food-supply and food-crisis. While focusing on eleven centuries of antiquity from archaic Greece to late imperial Rome, the essays include theoretical and comparative analyses of food-crisis and pastoralism, and an interdisciplinary study of the health status of the people of Rome using physical anthropology and nutritional science. A variety of subjects are treated, from the misconduct of a builders' association in late antique Sardis, to a survey of the cultural associations and physiological effects of the broad bean.

    • Collection of the papers of an important ancient historian
    • Coherent contents
    • Addenda sections set papers in context and outline the effect of Garnsey's papers on later developments
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'The conventions illuminated by G.'s reding of the sources are remarkable, and it is instructive to follow his analysis of the evidence, buttressed by judicious and critical application of comparative materials and anthropological … the reader has been served a savory meal full of insightful observations and plenty of appetizers'. Scripta Classica Israelica

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2004
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521892902
    • length: 356 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 157 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.54kg
    • contains: 5 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Cities:
    1. Aspects of the decline of the urban aristocracy in the empire
    2. Independent freedmen and the economy of Roman Italy under the Principate
    3. Economy and society of Mediolanum under the Principate
    4. Urban property investment in Roman society
    5. An association of builders in late antique Sardis
    Part II. Peasants:
    6. Peasants in ancient Roman society
    7. Where did Italian peasants live?
    8. Non-slave labour in the Roman world
    9. Prolegomenon to a study of the land in the later Roman empire
    10. Mountain economies in southern Europe
    Part III. Food:
    11. Grain for Athens
    12. The yield of the land in ancient Greece
    13. The bean: substance and symbol
    14. Mass diet and nutrition in the city of Rome
    15. Child rearing in ancient Italy
    16. Famine in history.

  • Author

    Peter Garnsey, University of Cambridge


    Walter Scheidel

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