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Roman Frugality
Modes of Moderation from the Archaic Age to the Early Empire and Beyond


Part of Cambridge Classical Studies

Cristiano Viglietti, John Rich, Laure Passet, Mattia Balbo, Ingo Gildenhard, John R. Patterson, Christopher J. Berry
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  • Date Published: July 2020
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108840163

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About the Authors
  • Roman Frugality offers the first-ever systematic analysis of the variants of individual and collective self-restraint that shaped ancient Rome throughout its history and had significant repercussions in post-classical times. In particular, it tries to do the complexity of a phenomenon justice that is situated at the interface of ethics and economics, self and society, the real and the imaginary, and touches upon thrift and sobriety in the material sphere, but also modes of moderation more generally, not least in the spheres of food and drink, sex and power. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach drawing on ancient history, philology, archaeology and the history of thought, the volume traces the role of frugal thought and practice within the evolving political culture and political economy of ancient Rome from the archaic age to the imperial period and concludes with a chapter that explores the reception of ancient ideas of self-restraint in early modern times.

    • Provides an in-depth study of a key, yet frequently overlooked phenomenon of Roman cultural history
    • Studies frugality from a range of disciplinary perspectives (ancient history, archaeology, economic history, philology)
    • Links the phenomenon of Roman frugality to the post-classical history of economic thought
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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2020
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108840163
    • length: 428 pages
    • dimensions: 222 x 25 x 28 mm
    • weight: 0.62kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. 'Frugality', economy and society in archaic Rome (late seventh to early fourth century BCE) Cristiano Viglietti
    2. From Licinius Stolo to Tiberius Gracchus: Roman frugality and the limitation of landholding John Rich
    3. Frugality as a political language in the second century BCE: the strategies of Cato the Elder and Scipio Aemilianus Laure Passet
    4. Smallholding, frugality and market economy in the Gracchan age Mattia Balbo
    5:. Frugalitas, or: the invention of a Roman virtue Ingo Gildenhard
    6. Frugality, building, and heirlooms in an age of social mobility John R. Patterson
    7. From poverty to prosperity: the recalibration of frugality Christopher J. Berry.

  • Editors

    Ingo Gildenhard, University of Cambridge
    Ingo Gildenhard is Reader in Classics and the Classical Tradition at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of King's College. His publications include Paideia Romana (2007) and Creative Eloquence (2011) and, with M. Silk and R. Barrow, The Classical Tradition (2013).

    Cristiano Viglietti, Università degli Studi, Siena
    Cristiano Viglietti is Associate Professor of Roman History at the University of Siena. He is the author of Il limite del bisogno. Antropologia economica di Roma arcaica (2011).


    Cristiano Viglietti, John Rich, Laure Passet, Mattia Balbo, Ingo Gildenhard, John R. Patterson, Christopher J. Berry

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