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Ownership and Exploitation of Land and Natural Resources in the Roman World

  • Provides an overall view of, and original insights into, the economics of land and resources in the Roman world
  • Features a range of different methodologies and theoretical perspectives
  • Relevant to the economic history of medieval and early modern Europe, and therefore appeals to a wide scholarly audience of historians and economists

Series: Oxford Studies on the Roman Economy

By: Paul Erdkamp(Editor), Koenraad Verboven(Editor), Arjan Zuiderhoek(Editor)

432 pages, 41 b/w illustrations

Oxford University Press

Hardback | Jul 2015 | #226069 | ISBN-13: 9780198728924
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £89.99 $115/€98 approx

About this book

Explanation of the success and failure of the Roman economy is one of the most important problems in economic history. As an economic system capable of sustaining high production and consumption levels, it was unparalleled until the early modern period. Ownership and Exploitation of Land and Natural Resources in the Roman World focuses on how the institutional structure of the Roman Empire affected economic performance both positively and negatively. An international range of contributors offers a variety of approaches that together enhance our understanding of how different ownership rights and various modes of organization and exploitation facilitated or prevented the use of land and natural resources in the production process. Relying on a large array of resources – literary, legal, epigraphic, papyrological, numismatic, and archaeological – chapters address key questions regarding the foundations of the Roman Empire's economic system. Questions of growth, concentration and legal status of property (private, public, or imperial), the role of the state, content and limitations of rights of ownership, water rights and management, exploitation of indigenous populations, and many more receive new and original analyses that make Ownership and Exploitation of Land and Natural Resources in the Roman World a significant step forward to understanding what made the economic achievements of the Roman empire possible.


List of Contributors
List of Figures

1: Arjan Zuiderhoek: Introduction: Land and Natural Resources in the Roman World in Historiographical and Theoretical Perspective
2: Paul Erdkamp: Agriculture, Division of Labour, and the Paths to Economic Growth

Part I: Ownership and Control
3: Kyle Harper: Landed Wealth in the Long Term: Patterns, Possibilities, Evidence
4: Elio Lo Cascio: The Development of Imperial Property
5: Laurens Tacoma: Imperial Wealth in Roman Egypt: The Julio-Claudian ousiai
6: Dennis Kehoe: Property Rights over Land and Economic Growth in the Roman Empire
7: Éva Jakab: Ownership and Control: Property Rights and Insitutional Arrangements
8: Christer Bruun: Water Use and Productivity in Roman Agriculture: Selling, Sharing, Servitudes
9: Yuri A. Marano: Control and Management of Water in Ostrogothic Italy

Part II: Organization and Modes of Exploitation
10: Alessandro Launaro: The Nature of the Villa Economy
11: Annalisa Marzano: The Variety of Villa Production: From Agriculture to Aquaculture
12: Matthew S. Hobson: The African Boom: The Origins of Economic Growth in Roman North Africa
13: Julia Hoffmann-Salz: The Local Economy of Palmyra: Organizing Agriculture in an Oasis Environment
14: Michael MacKinnon: Changes in Animal Husbandry as a Consequence of Changing Social and Economic Patterns: Zooarchaeological Evidence from the Roman Mediterranean Context

Part III: Exploitation and Processing
15: Isabella Tsigarida: Salt in Asia Minor: An Outline of Roman Authority Interest in the Resource
16: Alfred M. Hirt: Imperial Quarries and the Emperor
17: Fernando López Sánchez: The Mining, Minting, and Obtaining of Gold in the Roman Empire


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Paul Erdkamp is Professor of Ancient History at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Koenraad Verboven is Professor of Ancient History at the University of Ghent. Arjan Zuiderhoek is Professor of Ancient History at the University of Ghent.

- Christer Bruun, University of Toronto
- Paul Erdkamp, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
- Kyle Harper, University of Oklahoma
- Alfred M. Hirt, University of Liverpool
- Matthew S. Hobson, Leiden University
- Julia Hoffmann-Salz, Universität zu Köln
- Éva Jakab, University of Szeged
- Dennis P. Kehoe, Tulane University
- Alessandro Launaro, University of Cambridge
- Elio Lo Cascio, Sapienza Università di Roma
- Fernando López Sánchez, Universidad de Zaragoza
- Michael MacKinnon, University of Winnipeg
- Yuri A. Marano, Collège de France
- Annalisa Marzano, University of Reading
- Laurens E. Tacoma, Leiden University
- Isabella Tsigarida, Universität Zürich
- Koenraad Verboven, University of Ghent
- Arjan Zuiderhoek, University of Ghent

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