RT Book, Whole DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 316430311 LA English T1 Tilling the hateful earth : agricultural production and trade in the late antique East A1 Decker, Michael., PB Oxford University Press PP Oxford; New York YR 2009 SN 9780199565283 0199565287 AB "Tilling the Hateful Earth explores farming in the countryside of the most prosperous region of the late Roman empire, the eastern provinces governed from the new capital of Constantinople. From the fourth to the sixth centuries, this region experienced a cultural efflorescence and material prosperity that would rarely be matched until modernity. Behind this prosperity lay the productive capacities of the land which was exploited to its maximum by its cultivators." "Using both archaeological and textual evidence, Michael Decker examines the nature of the late antique countryside and the ways in which farmers possessed and managed the land. The only surviving farming handbook of Graeco-Roman Late Antiquity, the Geoponica, sheds considerable light on the way farmers divided their year, the crops they planted, and the ways they intensified their efforts to ensure a return from the land. Far from the static or degraded landscape typically envisioned by students of the late antique world, the Geoponica and material remains depict a thriving countryside and landowners who were adventurous in their use of new plants and methods and eager to derive profit from the most important cash crops of the day."--Jacket.