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The Demography of Roman Egypt


Part of Cambridge Studies in Population, Economy and Society in Past Time

Ansley J. Coale
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  • Date Published: April 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521025966

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About the Authors
  • The traditional demographic regime of ancient Greece and Rome is almost entirely unknown; but our best chance for understanding its characteristics is provided by the three hundred census returns that survive on papyri from Roman Egypt. These returns, which date from the first three centuries AD, list the members of ordinary households living in the Nile valley: not only family members, but lodgers and slaves. The Demography of Roman Egypt has a complete and accurate catalogue of all demographically relevant information contained in the returns. On the basis of this catalogue, the authors use modern demographic methods and models to reconstruct the patterns of mortality, marriage, fertility and migration that are likely to have prevailed in Roman Egypt. They recreate a more or less typical Mediterranean population as it survived and prospered nearly two millennia ago.

    • A complete and accurate corpus of what scholars agree is the best surviving evidence on Roman demography
    • A thorough but accessible discussion of how to use the evidence to reconstruct an otherwise poorly known ancient demographic regime
    • This will be the book that scholars go to for evidence on population size, life expectancy, composition of households, etc. in Roman Egypt
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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521025966
    • length: 392 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 151 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.579kg
    • contains: 21 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Foreword Ansley J. Coale
    1. The census returns
    2. The census returns as demographic evidence
    3. Households
    4. Female life expectancy
    5. Male life expectancy and the sex ratio
    6. Marriage
    7. Fertility
    8. Migration
    9. Conclusions
    Catalogue of Census declarations

  • Authors

    Roger S. Bagnall, Columbia University, New York

    Bruce W. Frier, University of Michigan


    Ansley J. Coale


    Ansley J. Coale

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