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Exploring the Economy of Late Antiquity
Selected Essays


  • Author: Jairus Banaji, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
  • Date Published: November 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107499539

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About the Authors
  • This collection of essays, by leading historian Jairus Banaji, provides a stimulating rebuttal to the prevailing minimalism in late antique studies. Together, they strike a balance between the wide lens and more specialised discussion, expanding on the perspective and argumentation laid out in an earlier book, Agrarian Change in Late Antiquity (2001). Successive chapters discuss the scale of the late Roman gold currency, the economic nature of the aristocracy, the importance of trade, relations between the state and the ruling class, and the problem of continuity into the early Middle Ages. A substantial introduction pulls together the themes of the book into a coherent synopsis, while the preface clarifies the broad aims behind the study. The book as a whole deploys a wide range of sources in various languages and is intended for ancient historians, students of late antiquity, and economic historians more generally.

    • Offers a fresh perspective on social and economic relations in late antiquity and a reframing of debates
    • Integrates sources from different source-traditions into a cohesive vision of late antiquity/the early Middle Ages
    • Overcomes the habitual division between 'classical' and Arabic sources, showing the reader how they might be integrated in historical work
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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107499539
    • length: 273 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.43kg
    • contains: 2 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introductory essay:
    1. Mass production, monetary economy and the commercial vitality of the Mediterranean
    Part I. Mapping the Late Antique Economy:
    2. Mickwitz's modernism: the writings of 1932–6
    3. State and aristocracy in the economic evolution of the Late Empire
    4. The economic trajectories of late antiquity
    Part II. Money Circulation (Rules, Rhythms):
    5. Discounts, weight standards and the exchange rate between gold and copper
    6. Precious metal coinages and monetary expansion in late antiquity
    Part III. Aristocracies and Estates:
    7. Aristocracies, peasantries and the framing of the early Middle Ages:
    8. Late antique aristocracies: the case of Iran
    Part IV. Beyond the Mediterranean and Late Antiquity:
    9. Late antique legacies and Muslim economic expansion
    10. 'Regions that look seaward' - changing fortunes, submerged histories, and the slow capitalism of the sea.

  • Author

    Jairus Banaji, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
    Jairus Banaji is Research Professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He has published on a wide range of subjects and very different periods, and his last book Theory as History (2010) won the 2011 Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial Prize.

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