In search of Roman economic growth. (Working Papers in Classics)

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It is like squeezing blood from a stone; we are limited by the sparse information that comes down to us before the classical period began. There is enough information about these topics that the editors could impose a tri-partite strategy on them. There are chapters on production, distribution and consumption. The Roman part contains an added chapter on the government. Each of these chapters summarizes the existing literature and often takes a strong position on the resulting picture. The remaining parts deal with Hellenistic states, the Roman Republic and regional development in the Roman Empire.

The organization here is either chronological or geographical. There is not enough information to generate separate chapters on the triad of production, distribution and consumption, but each chapter tends to follow that organization. A final chapter makes the transition to late antiquity, echoing the editor?


The final essay however focuses on a perceived crisis of the third century, which does not make a full transition to medieval times. Giardina describes the introduction of a new institution, colonatus , in the fourth century containing coloni , who were not slaves, but tied to the land. Peter Temin is the author of? Journal of Roman Studies ;? Money and Prices in the Early Roman Empire? Financial intermediation in 1st-century AD Rome and 18th-century England?

Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, Reviewed for EH. After the creation of the EU, the Europeans were trying to change their banana import policy in favor of African and French- and English-speaking Caribbean nations to the detriment of Latin American producers and U.

Although bananas are not considered a crucial or strategic good in international trade, and neither the U. Banana War? The conflict ended in , when the EU agreed on gradually dismantling the preferential country quota system it had created in exchange for a tariff-only system.

The Banana by geographer James Wiley puts the? Wiley shows how the banana industry evolved in a different way in each country, explaining why each country acted according to different goals during the? Banana War.? Wiley, who teaches at Hofstra University, makes an important contribution by putting the? He divides the producing areas into two main regions: Spanish-speaking Latin American countries and French-, English-, and Dutch-speaking Caribbean countries.

The author shows how the historically determined political status of the two regions and their geographic characteristics defined different paths taken by the banana industry. During the early twentieth century, when the industry was created, the main Latin American banana producing countries Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, and Panama were part of the informal? American Empire.? The U. United Fruit controlled most aspects of the banana business, creating a vertically integrated structured that included plantations, railways, shipping, and marketing from the producing areas to the United States.

The company? According to Wiley, United Fruit? These events encouraged the U.

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By the s, the governments of the Latin American producing countries joined to actively reduce the power of the multinationals in the banana industry chapter 3. Wiley shows a different situation in the Caribbean. Second, due to their status as British, Dutch, or French colonies, the banana industry of these islands was not dominated by U. Third, partly because of government support to small farms, the industry was not dominated by large landholdings owned by a small number of companies. And fourth, the industry was created at a time when the industry was not dominated by vertically integrated firms.

By the s, when the Caribbean industry witnessed its early growth, it was not considered technically necessary for a company to own plantations in order to distribute bananas in Europe or the U. As a result, the Caribbean small growers remained more independent than their Latin American counterparts. Wiley shows how these small growers organized themselves in associations to negotiate with the firms that bought the fruit to send it to Europe, permitting these growers to have a higher income from the banana industry. Contrary to Latin America, government intervention in the industry was constant in the non-Spanish speaking banana producing nations, with the extreme case as Suriname, where the government owns the banana industry.

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According to Wiley, these policies permitted a higher standard of living for the banana workers in these countries chapters 4 and 5. The social and political framework provided by Wiley permits a good understanding of the interests around the? Wiley shows how the open competition advocated by the United States would have harmed the relatively good standard of living of the Caribbean workers, who would have needed to make enormous sacrifices to compete with the under-paid and under-unionized Latin American workers in large and more efficient plantations.

Despite the European defense of the quota system, Wiley argues that the EU had already been gradually shifting its trade policy with former colonies from one focused on aid to a market-oriented one in which efficiency was the main goal. Under these circumstances, the Caribbean? During the negotiations between the EU and the United States, the closer their representatives were to an agreement, the more somber the future looked for both the Latin American and the Caribbean workers chapters 8 and 9.

For Wiley, the agreement between the U. The much cheaper Latin American workforce forced the Caribbean producers to look for other income sources, such as tourism. Wiley argues that the? The author shows how the number of Caribbean independent producers decreased after the U. Wiley makes a contribution to these studies by carefully considering the role of the geographic characteristics and the social and political history of the countries involved in the dispute and by making a comparison between them.

The author also makes heavy use of personal interviews with some of the most relevant actors in the banana industry and trade negotiations. Although some readers might find the exhaustive description of each step of the negotiations at the WTO too detailed, Wiley provides great material for further studies on this subject. Because of its long-term comparative nature, The Banana should become obligatory reference to those studying the political economy of the banana industry during the twentieth century.

The Great Depression and its underlying causes and multiple effects have long engaged economists, economic historians and theorists. Some of these new books have been reviewed on EH. NET, but none to date has centered exclusively on China. Tomoko Shiroyama? Its narrative is comprehensive, globally-framed and thick with quantitative data. For these reasons, it would no doubt appeal to economists and China specialists alike. In her introduction, Shiroyama clearly sets the tone for the chapters to come. While the Great Depression was? The latter believe, for the most part, that China was shielded from deflationary pressures due to its adherence to the silver standard.

Chapter 1 explains the intricacies of the silver standard, which China did not abandon until late , whereas other Asian countries had switched to gold-based currencies by the s. Shiroyama then argues persuasively that the depreciation of world silver prices during the s greatly improved China? However, the price of silver began to appreciate on world commodity markets as of , and spiked up sharply in the lead-up to Roosevelt? By then, dearer silver and slumping demand in the West had hit Chinese exports and dampened the price of domestic produce.

Chapters 2 and 3 depart from the subject matter to discuss the rise of Chinese-owned cotton-spinning mills and mechanized silk filatures in the Lower Yangzi Delta between and This portion of the book might have benefited from clearer linkages with subsequent chapters and from tighter writing. Uninitiated readers will find in these two chapters a fairly informative overview of Chinese corporate structures and capital mobilization in the early twentieth century.

But they might wonder, for example, precisely what distinguishes a Chinese? In fact, Chinese company stocks were traded in Shanghai as early as the s. Similarly, when discussing loans made by HSBC to? But it is not clear whether the total in point refers to HSBC? Chapters 4 through 6 present very compelling evidence. Here, Shiroyama explains in detail how the slump in global trade volumes gradually depressed Chinese primary product prices.

At first, the Depression was offset in China by ascending gold prices which made Chinese exports more competitive. After , however, rural welfare was seriously hampered because cash crops like raw cotton or silkworm cocoons were fetching less than rural households needed in order to purchase food supplements such as rice, salt and oil pp. The diminishing purchasing power of farmers eventually meant a shrinking domestic market for industrial goods and a pernicious flight of silver capital from the hinterland to Shanghai, fuelling a real estate bubble there pp.

Chapters 7 and 8 recount how China? Painstakingly drawing on U. While presenting a useful overview of previous chapters as well as a sketch of monetary policy in China to , the conclusions do not readily cohere into strong statements. Earlier reference to the debate between Thomas Rawski and Milton Friedman about the severity of the Great Depression in China might have helped sharpen the analysis toward the end but, surprisingly, Friedman?

Still, Shiroyama? Milton Friedman and Anna J. Hall and J. Ronald Findlay and Kevin H. Princeton: Princeton University Press, NET by? Rourke of Trinity College, Dublin have written a magisterial account of the history of international trade during the last millennium. They provide a theoretically coherent account of the interaction between the patterns and evolution of inter-regional trade, on the one hand, and long-term global economic and political developments, on the other. The two way interaction between power and plenty as formulated by Jacob Viner but going back much earlier in its origins, constitutes the analytical backbone of the volume.

Findlay and O? Rourke argue convincingly that no history of international trade can ignore conflict, use of force, military exploits, and in turn, geopolitics. They draw upon a large volume of secondary historical and political literature as well as economic theory and succeed in integrating a vast amount of detail as well as their own research into their conceptual framework. A large part of the exposition and analysis of the major developments in international trade proceeds in terms of the interaction between the seven regions of Eurasia as defined by the authors and the contributions arising from these interactions, in terms of the movements of people, crops, ideas, and techniques as well as commodities.

A good deal of emphasis is placed on the importance of geography in explaining the interactions between the seven regions with very different physical features and endowments. This skillfully written volume is a work of extraordinary scope, a major achievement. For the first half of the millennium, the authors should be commended for focusing on two key events, the Pax Mongolica and the Black Death, both of which involved most, if not all, of the seven regions.

The unification of the central Eurasian landmass by the Mongols in the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries facilitated the interaction of Western Europe and different regions of Asia from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. Mongols encouraged trade and made the routes across Eurasia safer and busier. Arguably, this was the first episode of globalization in history. Moreover, it was the disintegration of the Pax Mongolica and the shift of the trade to the southern routes across the Indian Ocean and the Middle East that led to the search for alternative ways of reaching Asia by western Europeans.

As the authors point out, the ultimate legacy of the Pax Mongolica was not, perhaps, the increase in the interaction between Europe and Asia but the mutual discovery of Europeans and native Americans. The Black Death, which originated in Mongol-controlled Asia but ended up in the Middle East and Europe, brought about far-reaching consequences for these regions.

The sharp decline in the population led to an even sharper rise in wages. This high-wage environment, which lasted for at least two centuries, brought about very different demographic, economic, social and other responses not only between Europe and Asia but also within Europe, between the northwest and the south.

As the authors make clear, the long-term consequences of the Black Death have not been fully analyzed and deserve more attention from economic historians. For the second half of the millennium the focus of the volume is on the rise of an international economy and its contribution to the Industrial Revolution.

The authors see the Industrial Revolution as the culmination of a long historical process involving the interaction of all the world? Rourke emphasize that any account of the? Rise of the West? They argue that the Industrial Revolution needs to be understood as the outcome of a historical process with multiple causes going back to the medieval era in which international movements of commodities, warriors, microbes and technologies all played important roles.

They also make clear that the Industrial Revolution not only transformed the international trading system but also gave rise to huge disparities around the globe as the spread of industrialization has been very uneven in the two centuries since. Plunder or primitive accumulation may not have fueled the Industrial Revolution directly, but the authors emphasize that by expanding markets and ensuring the supply of raw materials, mercantilism and imperialism were an important part of the story.

Violence did matter and often shaped the environment in which this exceptional event took place. The authors acknowledge that Asians and those from other regions of the world were not passive actors. They also ask two key questions with regard to the Industrial Revolution: why Britain and why Europe? The answers to both include not only the domestic factors but also control of long distance trade, overseas markets and raw materials. They emphasize in many parts of the text the key role played by the British navy in a world in which nations systematically excluded their enemies from protected markets.

The remaining chapters of the book are devoted to the analysis of the unprecedented expansion of international trade during the last two centuries, based on the? Great Specialization? The ratio of world trade to GDP is sharply higher today than it was two centuries ago, but this rise has not been continuous. The powerful trend for globalization during the nineteenth century was followed by the collapse of world trade or deglobalization after and a more or less steady expansion of trade once more or reglobalization since the end of World War II.

One theme that is conspicuously absent in this volume is institutions? While the authors emphasize the importance of international trade for the? Rise of the West,? One can think of at least two major channels through which long distance trade facilitated institutional change in Europe. During the period before and even until , trade with other regions allowed Europe to learn about and then adapt some commercial, monetary and financial institutions.

The transmission of the Islamic institution of business partnership or the mudaraba to the north of the Mediterranean in the form of the commenda is an important example of such borrowing and adaptation. These exchanges were very important for the development of western European institutions and the authors mention some of them. In the early modern era that is after trade with other regions of the world led to institutional change in Europe through another mechanism.

By giving greater power to merchants, long distance trade enabled them to shape the institutions in early modern Europe more forcefully in the direction of capitalism, as Acemoglu, Johnson and Robinson have recently emphasized. Arguably, greater political as well as economic power for merchants is an important characteristic that sets Europe apart from the other regions. It also provides another dimension to Viner?

This is a well researched volume which is simply delightful to read. In most of the topics about which I have some knowledge, I found the analyses and the judgments offered by the authors both balanced and insightful. I expect this book will remain the standard text for many years to come. European Review of Economic History , Aldershot, England: Ashgate, The key aims and objectives of this edited collection of essays are established in the opening chapter, co-authored by the book? Developing their long-held and consistently argued views this chapter questions those economic historians that lay the blame for what they see as Britain?

In challenging the narrative of these economic historians, Melling and Booth also take into consideration the array of literature on the importance of workplace culture in providing explanations for the character of labor relations and the failure or success of enterprises, industries and Britain? While acknowledging the publication of important studies of post-war British industrial relations and production cultures they stress that researchers have neglected?

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They conclude the opening chapter with an outline of the rest of the book emphasizing the new ground traversed and fresh evidence uncovered by in-depth case studies of supervisory trade unionism in the American and British automobile industries; shopfloor bargaining at a locomotive works; the British gas industry and the economics and politics of technical change; and British retail banks and the labor process, technological change and gender. Drawing on new evidence, in chapter two Melling provides clear insights into how companies such as Ford met the challenge presented by the emergence of supervisory unionism in American and British automobile industries between and The inclusion of the study of unionization of American foremen in this chapter seems to be out of kilter with the rest of the book; although the importance of the American experience is implied in the concluding chapter, with the reference to visits of the Anglo-American Council on Productivity to Coventry automobile works in However, comparing and contrasting the position of supervisory unionism in America and Britain reveals that the challenge to managerial authority from this category of workers in Britain was relatively weak, in no small part because of the resistance from manual unions to the separate organization of foremen.

The next two chapters focus on industries that were taken into the public sector after World War Two. Nationalized industries have been subject to strong criticism over the years for poor management, low productivity, and poor labor relations, although the way in which they were established and their limited form is not sufficiently addressed by the authors in this book.

However, the case studies of the Swindon locomotive works and the British gas industry in the post war years are particularly welcome. The gist of the argument in chapter three is that the politics of production and the centrality of piecework to the effort bargain, inherited from the Great Western Railway Company, in a town with a tight labor market with firms competing for highly skilled workers, resulted in low efficiency. Crucially piecework enabled workers to negotiate and renegotiate at the shop floor level over the effort bargain. The opportunity for workers to achieve favorable rates was present due to the complexity of the piecework system, the lack of trained rate fixers and the shortage of skilled labor.

The long term consequence of this well-embedded piecework system was that Swindon lost a significant part of their operation when in British Rail transferred the construction of diesel locomotives to Crewe. Here the employment of expert rate fixers enabled the company to utilize the piecework regime to keep earnings vis-? Turning to chapter four, the evidence presented suggests that political control of the gas industry under nationalization did not harm the industry, in fact it may have been of benefit.


Despite inheriting an under resourced and technically backward industry British Gas, under public ownership, was able to turn the industry round. Investment in research and development, increased productivity from a cooperative labor force, and improved sales, attributed to its successful modernization. This analysis flies in the face of previous adverse accounts of this state-run industry. The penultimate chapter examines British retail banks between in respect to the labor process and technical change; recruitment and retention, pay, and working hours and conditions.

This is a welcome and comprehensive review that in particular records how banks in the process of automating, computerizing and fragmenting tasks relied on the employment of low-paid women. The numbers required and recruited, however, constrained higher productivity growth and retention of female staff was problematic. In order to address this problem between improvements in pay and conditions were made but they were not sustained. Seemingly retail bank management lacked the technology and systems to manage staffing levels and costs effectively, although the analysis here is a little unclear.

It was not until the last quarter of the twentieth century that the introduction of computerization and on-line systems provided bank management with the resources to address this problem. The final chapter, written by the editors, deviates somewhat from this case study pattern by addressing the relationship between organized labor, business and the state, during this period, especially in respect to productivity initiatives and unions? This is the longest chapter and the one that most directly engages in the debate set out at the beginning of the book.

Here the editors employ their research, as well as drawing on the findings of the case studies, to challenge the radical and neo-liberal analyses of productivity, politics and workplace culture in post-war Britain. They conclude that the post-war Labour government missed an opportunity to take advantage of the willingness of organized labor to cooperate in reforms to increase productivity and improve the nation? It may be, however, that the timidity of the leaders of organized labor in pushing for a more radical socialist agenda allowed the Labour government, in its piecemeal program of nationalization, to eschew any meaningful form of industrial democracy and with it the possibility of incorporating trade unions into the management of capitalism.

As well as academics, this book will appeal to students and anyone interested in management and labor history.

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I highly recommend it. Copyright c by EH. All rights reserved. This work may be copied for non-profit educational uses if proper credit is given to the author and the list. For other permission, please contact the EH. Net Administrator administrator eh. Published by EH.

Net August All EH. New York: Cambridge University Press, How successful was the Roman economy? For the last few decades, and in the footsteps of the late Sir Moses Finley, the prevailing opinion has been pessimistic: ancient Rome was a world without economic growth, and with great social inequality. Thus, only a small elite escaped life near subsistence, and even they did not escape the horrors of a demographic regime of high mortality.

Thus the Roman economy never changed much over time: it was just a grim longue dur? In a sense, the medievalists had won the day: the Middle Ages had not been a Dark Age after the grandeur that had been Rome.

How Dark Were the Dark Ages? Pt. I--The Late Roman Economy

Perhaps surprisingly, this bleak view of Roman economic performance was barely ever validated empirically. Instead, research focused on possible explanations, such as elite economic mentality, technological stagnation or the scale and status of trade. Empirical research on the actual Roman standard of living was?

Perhaps this is because scholars thought it was self evident that all pre-industrial societies were desperately poor, and perhaps it was because the dominant tradition of writing history mainly from literary or at least written sources made them despair of the possibility of ever writing a real history of the Roman standard of living. Until recently the rare exception was the work of Peter Garnsey, the honorand of this volume. In two major books he argued that in antiquity the worst consequences of temporary food shortages were usually successfully avoided, but that poverty and malnutrition were endemic.

This is a Festschrift of the modern kind i. In one way or another, the authors are all pupils of Garnsey and thus the volume is not only a tribute to Garnsey the scholar, but also to Garnsey as one of the most successful graduate teachers of Roman history. Real tributes often are irreverent, and the best teachers encourage their pupils to go their own way.

Rather than consider how it felt to be poor, or how poverty was perceived, he directly addresses the extent of poverty in Roman Egypt with a clear choice between three possibilities: first, there always was a lot of poverty, second, there was prosperity rather than widespread destitution in the early Empire, but quite a bit of poverty in the later Christian Empire, or, third, there never was much poverty, not even in late Antiquity, although the Christian church admittedly talked a lot about it.

For the early Empire, Rathbone really does not see much empirical evidence for poverty in Egypt. The situation in late antiquity was probably worse, even if Christian writers exaggerated this. Population declined, and social relations became harsher.

(PDF) In Search of Roman Economic Growth | Walter Scheidel -

The legal rigidity of that ranking obscures a far more varied stratification with many people of middling prosperity. Finally, Anneliese Parkin extensively probes the lack of a pagan ideology of almsgiving. This revisionism stems from a significant paradigm shift that is currently unfolding. The new Cambridge Economic History of the Greco-Roman World is probably the best example of a new interest in economic growth in classical antiquity, and of the new awareness that especially Rome may have been rather successful for a pre-industrial economy.

Part of that argument is, inevitably, that the standard of living was not always the same, but changed over time. Tentative reconstructions of Roman GDP such as we have are too tentative to reveal such change, but a host of direct archaeological indicators shipwrecks, mining activity, building, meat consumption, stature, etc.

It is not surprising, therefore, that those papers in this volume that deal with poverty in the early Empire first and second century AD are mostly optimistic, whereas the bulk of the papers on later antiquity do indeed take widespread poverty for granted. As Peter Garnsey showed many years ago, social relations became increasingly grim from the second century AD, and the law turned oppressive.

From the early third century AD nearly all free inhabitants of the Empire had become citizens, but some now were more equal than others. Caroline Humfress shows that this is not refuted by the late antique legal discourse on the rights of the poor: these pauperes were by no means the really destitute, but only the less well off. As such, I think it reflects the contraction of and increasing inequality within the upper strata of late Roman society. The other papers on late antiquity are all concerned with Christian attitudes and behavior to the poor.

It deals with the size and distribution of the slave population and the economics of slave labor and offers a chronological sketch of the development of Roman slavery. I argue that both the intrinsic properties of coins and the volume of the money supply were the principal determinants of coin value and that fiduciary aspects must not be overrated. These principles apply regardless of whether precious-metal or base-metal currencies were dominant. This paper replaces originally published in January It covers life expectancy, mortality patterns, and skeletal evidence such as body height, cranial lesions, and dental defects.


These data reveal both commonalities and significant regional variation within the Roman Empire. Epigraphic, papyrological, and archaeological evidence fails to provide reliable empirical support for this notion. At the same time, we cannot rule out the possibility that femicide did in fact occur. Drawing on comparative anthropological and historical evidence, this paper briefly develops two models of femicidal practice. See entry The relevance of various putative indicators is critiqued. Demographic data as well as anthropometric evidence consistently point to high levels of morbidity and mortality and substantial developmental stress.

This evidence is incompatible with an optimistic interpretation of living conditions in that period. Papyrological data from Roman Egypt indicate a shift in the ratio of land to labor that is logically consistent with a significant demographic contraction. At the same time, comparative evidence from other periods suggests that the scale of this contraction must not be overrated. This paper replaces originally published in September In all these cases, consumption was largely limited to goods that were essential for survival and living standards must have been very modest. A survey of daily wages expressed in terms of wheat in different Afroeurasian societies from BCE to CE yields similar results: with a few exceptions, real incomes of unskilled laborers tended to be very low.

This paper replaces originally published in March Trading costs are the sum of transportation costs comprised of the cost of carriage and the cost of risk, most notably predation , transaction costs and financing costs. Comparative evidence from the medieval and early modern periods shows that the cost of predation caused by war, privateering, piracy, and tolls and commercial organization which profoundly affects transaction and financing costs as well as the cost of carriage have long been the most important determinants of overall trading costs.

This suggests that conditions in the Roman period were unusually favorable for maritime trade. Technological innovation, by contrast, was primarily an endogenous function of broader political and economic developments and should not be viewed as a major factor in the expansion of commerce in this period. It emphasizes the significance of seasonal mortality data and the weaknesses of age at death records and paleodemographic analysis, considers the complex role of environmental features and public infrastructure, and highlights the very considerable promise of scientific study of skeletal evidence of stress and disease.

This paper replaces version 1. It is estimated that elites around 1. These findings shed new light on the scale of economic inequality and the distribution of demand in the Roman world. This paper has now been published in Journal of Roman Studies , Vol 99 pp. It considers the economic relevance of certain types of archaeological data, the potential of income-centered indices of economic performance, and the complex relationship between economic growth and incomes documented in the more recent past, and concludes with a conjectural argument in support of a Malthusian model of unsustainable economic growth triggered by integration.

This paper has now been published in Journal of Roman Archaeology , Vol 22 pp. This paper summarizes the physical and anthropological record of polygyny, briefly sketches the historical expansion of formal monogamy, considers complementary theories of mate choice, and situates Greco-Roman practice on a spectrum from traditional polygamy to more recent forms of normative monogyny.

This paper has now been published in History of the Family , Vol 14 pp. In all these cases, consumption was largely limited to goods that were essential for survival and living standards were very low. A survey of daily wages expressed in terms of wheat in different Afroeurasian societies from BCE to CE yields similar results: with only few exceptions, real incomes of unskilled laborers tended to be very low.

This paper has been revised. Please see entry posted in September This paper provides a detailed discussion of monetary development in ancient China followed by a brief survey of conditions in the Roman empire. The divergent development of the monetary systems of the Han and Roman empires is analyzed with reference to key variables such as the metal supply, military incentives, and cultural preferences.

Scheidel ed. This paper replaces version 2. This paper has now been published in Classical Quarterly Vol 59 , pp. It has since been revised. See entry. Rather than trying to make a case for a particular reading of the evidence, it aims to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of rival approaches and examine the validity of existing arguments and critiques.

After a brief survey of the evidence and the principal positions of modern scholarship, it focuses on a number of salient issues such as urbanization, military service, labor markets, political stability, living standards, and carrying capacity, and considers the significance of field surveys and comparative demographic evidence.

This paper replaces version 1 originally posted in May Northwood eds. Epigraphic evidence has made a vital contribution to this development: statistical analysis of tens of thousands of tombstone inscriptions has generated new insights into mortality regimes, marriage practices, and family structures in various parts of the ancient Mediterranean. In conjunction with papyrological material, these data permit us to identify regional differences and facilitate long-term comparisons with more recent historical populations.

After a brief survey of the principal sources of demographic information about the classical world, this paper focuses on the use of inscriptions in the study of population size, mortality, fertility, nuptiality, sex ratios, family formation, and household organization. This paper has now been published in Hesperia vol. I argue that war-related demographic attrition, emigration and the urban graveyard effect converged in constraining the growth of the freeborn population despite increased access to material resources that would otherwise have been conducive to demographic growth and concomitant depression of real incomes; that massive redistribution of financial resources from Roman elites and provincial subjects to large elements of the Italian commoner population in the terminal phase of the Republican period raised average household wealth and improved average well-being; and that despite serious uncertainties about the demographic and occupational distribution of such benefits, the evidence is consistent with the notion of rising real incomes in sub-elite strata of the Italian population.

I conclude my presentation with a dynamic model of growth and decline in real income in Roman Italy followed by a brief look at comparable historical scenarios in early modern Europe. I hope to make it probable that due to a historically specific configuration of circumstances created by the mechanisms of Roman Republican politics and imperialism, the Italian heartland of the emerging empire witnessed temporary but ultimately unsustainable improvements in income and consumption levels well beyond elite circles.

This paper replaces version 1 originally posted in February This paper has been published in Historia 56 This paper is designed to provide demographic context for a forthcoming collection of essays on growing up fatherless in antiquity. Ratzan eds. Differential access to the means of reproduction is shown to have been a key feature of early imperial systems.

This paper replaces Version 1. Morris and W. Scheidel eds. The final publication is in Ancient Society 35 The final publication is in M. Atkins and R. Osborne, eds. This paper argues that the success of chattel slavery was a function of the specific configuration of several critical variables: the character of certain kinds of economic activity, the incentive system, the normative value system of a society, and the nature of commitments required of the free population.

High real wages and low slave prices precipitated the expansion of slavery in classical Greece and Republican Rome, while later periods of Roman history may have witnessed either a high-equilibrium level of slavery or its gradual erosion in the context of lower wages and higher prices. Dal Lago and C. Katsari eds. Comparative data from late medieval Tuscany raise doubts about the applicability of these findings beyond urban environments.

This paper has been published in Classical Philology Following a brief summary of the state of the debate about population size, the paper focuses on distributional issues such as military and political participation rates and geographical mobility, and concludes with a simple model of the dynamics of Italian integration. The final publication is in: M. Jehne and R.