Tag: Agriculture


Communal Agriculture in the Ptolemaic and Roman Fayyum

My approach to land rights is social and economic rather than juristic. In other words, I am not interested in the interpretation of ancient legal terms according to Roman or civil law categories, which risks imposing rigid categories on social relations that have little explanatory power…In this paper, I use the economic concepts of communal and private land rights to illuminate these relations.


The size of the economy and the distribution of income in the Roman Empire

Different ways of estimating the Gross Domestic Product of the Roman Empire in the second century CE produce convergent results that point to total output and consumption equivalent to 50 million tons of wheat or close to 20 billion sesterces per year. It is estimated that elites (around 1.5 per cent of the imperial population) controlled approximately one-fifth of total income while middling households (perhaps 10 percent of the population) consumed another fifth. These findings shed new light on the scale of economic inequality and the distribution of demand in the Roman world.


Farming in the ancient Greek world: how should the small free producers be defined?

The peasant is often defined as a small self-sufficient producer who employs family labour to work a mixed farm. Living in little rural communities and a specific tradi- tional culture constitute other aspects of his specific situation. Agrarian societies often present social differentiations and involve several rapports between cultivators and the landed gentry.