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The Cities of the Eastern Roman Provinces

30 Jun 2004-
About: The article was published on 2004-06-30 and is currently open access. It has received 177 citations till now.
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Book ChapterDOI
01 Nov 2007
TL;DR: The Roman National Income was indeed larger than that of any pre-industrial European state as mentioned in this paper, and the standard of living of the masses exceeds bare subsistence levels in the Roman Empire.
Abstract: Roman society of the early empire presents a confusing and ambiguous image that we cannot easily situate in unidirectional accounts of European economic history. Clearly, public monuments in marble or other precious stone, military security, the urban food supply, roads, aqueducts and gladiatorial games testify to public consumption on a grand scale. On the other hand, the signs of poverty, misery, and destitution are no less obvious. Many inhabitants of the Roman empire only eked out a meager living, their skeletons grim testimonies to malnutrition and disease. Growth occurred because the wealth of the elite may have been a sign of effective exploitation of the poor. Roman National Income was indeed larger than that of any preindustrial European state. One of the requirements for an economy is to provide enough subsistence for its population to survive. The economic and social achievements of pre-industrial societies can be measured if standard of living of the masses exceeds bare subsistence levels.

182 citations

Book ChapterDOI
01 Sep 1984
TL;DR: The legacy of Hellenistic kingship lived on in the Roman Empire, its ideology and its institutions, both secular and religious alike, now adapted to the requirements of a universal monarchy.
Abstract: Within twenty years of Alexander's death his empire had split into separate states, whose rulers had taken the title of king. The new kings were forceful and ambitious men who relied on their armies and mostly ruled in lands where monarchy was traditional. The new monarchies presented Greeks with ideological problems. Wherever they lived, they had to adjust to a dominant royal power and to find an acceptable place for monarchy within their political philosophy. It has been widely argued that the Antigonid monarchy in Macedonia differed in important respects from monarchy in the other kingdoms. Hellenistic monarchy was closely associated with religion and the gods. More varied in both its form and its implications is the religious practice commonly known as ruler-cult. The legacy of Hellenistic kingship lived on in the Roman Empire, its ideology and its institutions, secular and religious alike, now adapted to the requirements of a universal monarchy.

146 citations

Book ChapterDOI
01 Nov 2007
TL;DR: In this article, the authors explore whether the higher level of economic activity during the first two centuries of the Principate in comparison with the preceding and following periods, and the possible modest growth then, were, at least in part, the result of the existence of a single political entity embracing the Mediterranean, or were achieved despite it.
Abstract: This chapter explores whether the higher level of economic activity during the first two centuries of the Principate in comparison with the preceding and following periods, and the possible modest growth then, were, at least in part, the result of the existence of a single political entity embracing the Mediterranean, or were achieved despite it. In the first two centuries of the Principate, taxation enhanced market exchanges and promoted growth. The emperor set the rules of the game at the level of the central and provincial administration, but his actions extended in various ways to the level of the individual urban communities. The creation of a single monetary area may have contributed most to the reduction in transaction costs: a centrally produced coinage circulated almost everywhere. In order to account for massive output of the Roman mint it is necessary to assume structural imbalance between tax and public expenditure.

108 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, a detailed record of environmental changes and their causes from late Antiquity (AD 300) to the present day was provided by coupled multiproxy indicators (pollen, stable isotopes and charcoal) reconstructed from annually laminated lake sediments from Nar GA¶lA¼ in Cappadocia (central Turkey) complemented by documentary and archaeological evidence.
Abstract: Coupled multiproxy indicators (pollen, stable isotopes and charcoal) reconstructed from annually laminated lake sediments from Nar GA¶lA¼ in Cappadocia (central Turkey) complemented by documentary and archaeological evidence provide a detailed record of environmental changes and their causes from late Antiquity (AD 300) to the present day. Stable isotope data indicate marked shifts in the variability in summer drought intensity and winter—spring rainfall, but these did not coincide in time with changes in vegetation and land use shown by pollen data. Rather, human impacts appear to have been the main driver of landscape ecological changes in Cappadocia over the last two millennia. Pollen and charcoal data indicate four principal land-use phases: (i) an early Byzantine agrarian landscape characterized by cereals and tree crops, and marking the later part of the so-called BeyAŸehir Occupation phase; (ii) a period of landscape abandonment and the establishment of secondary woodland from AD 670 to 950 coinc...

94 citations

Book ChapterDOI
01 Nov 2007
TL;DR: In this article, the authors explore the extent to which economic growth was fostered or impeded by the institutional and legal framework within which the Greek and Roman economies operated, and suggest several ways in which these methods can be applied to come to a deeper understanding of economic organization and the possibilities for economic growth in the ancient world.
Abstract: The landscape of the Greek and Roman economies is invariably configured of individuals, and also of institutions, the organized activity of production and commerce. This chapter explores, within the ancient world, to what extent was economic growth fostered or impeded by the institutional and legal framework within which the Greek and Roman economies operated. The question may be at least formally addressed through modern scholarly methods associated especially with Law and Economics and with the New Institutional Economics. The chapter provides an overview of the methods themselves, and then suggests several ways in which these methods can be applied to come to a deeper understanding of economic organization and the possibilities for economic growth in the Greek and Roman worlds. Adverse selection is an example of how asymmetrical information can affect entry into a market. A cardinal implication of the Coase theorem is that markets cannot and do not exist in isolation from their institutional context.

94 citations