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Agrarian change in late antiquity : gold, labour, and aristocratic dominance

Author: Jairus Banaji
Publisher: Oxford [U.K.] ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2001.
Series: Oxford classical monographs.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"The economy of the late antique Mediterranean is largely seen through the prism of Weber's influential essay of 1896. Rejecting that orthodoxy, this book argues that the late empire saw substantial economic and social change, propelled by the powerful stimulus of a stable gold coinage that circulated widely. In successive chapters Dr Banaji adduces fresh evidence for the prosperity of the late Roman countryside,
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jairus Banaji
ISBN: 0199244405 9780199244409
OCLC Number: 45806466
Description: xvii, 286 pages ; 24 cm.
Contents: 1. The Rural Landscape of the Late Empire --
2. Weber, Mickwitz, and the Economic Characterization of Late Antiquity --
3. The Monetary Economy of the Late Empire and its Social Presuppositions --
4. Existing Accounts of the Byzantine Large Estate --
5. The Changing Balance of Rural Power AD 200-400 --
6. A Late Antique Aristocracy --
7. Estates --
8. Wage Labour and the Peasantry --
9. Conclusion --
App. 1. Tables 1-12 --
App. 2. CJ X. 27.2.1-9: A Translation --
App. 3. The Relative Cohesion of Large Estates: Notes on the Topography of the Fayum in the Sixth and Seventh Centuries.
Series Title: Oxford classical monographs.
Responsibility: Jairus Banaji.
More information:

Abstract:

"The economy of the late antique Mediterranean is largely seen through the prism of Weber's influential essay of 1896. Rejecting that orthodoxy, this book argues that the late empire saw substantial economic and social change, propelled by the powerful stimulus of a stable gold coinage that circulated widely. In successive chapters Dr Banaji adduces fresh evidence for the prosperity of the late Roman countryside, the expanding circulation of gold, the restructuring of agrarian elites, and the extensive use of paid labour, above all in the period spanning the fifth to seventh centuries.

The papyrological evidence is scrutinized in detail to show that a key development entailed the rise of a new aristocracy whose estates were immune to the devastating fragmentation of partible inheritance, extensively irrigated, and responsive to market opportunities. The study offers a new perspective on the still largely contested issues of the use and control of labour, arguing that the East Mediterranean saw a considerable expansion of wage employment. A concluding chapter defines the more general issue raised by the aristocracy's involvement in the monetary and business economy of the period."

"Exploiting a wide range of sources, Agrarian Change in Late Antiquity weaves together different strands of historiography into a fascinating interpretation that challenges the minimalist orthodoxies about late antiquity and the ancient economy."--Jacket.

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