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Ownership and Exploitation of Land and Natural Resources in the Roman World$
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Paul Erdkamp, Koenraad Verboven, and Arjan Zuiderhoek

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198728924

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198728924.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 January 2022

Landed Wealth in the Long Term

Landed Wealth in the Long Term

Patterns, Possibilities, Evidence

Chapter:
(p.42) (p.43) 3 Landed Wealth in the Long Term
Source:
Ownership and Exploitation of Land and Natural Resources in the Roman World
Author(s):

Kyle Harper

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198728924.003.0003

This chapter examines the evidence for the growth in the size of landholdings over the course of the Roman Empire and compares the evidence to models and interpretations present in the scholarly literature. The theory of progressive growth in the scale of top landholdings has been an integral part of some of the most influential narratives of Roman economic development; this narrative developed in the nineteenth century with the very beginnings of ancient economic history. While the largest portfolios of private wealth in the Roman world were truly staggering, the forces of constant devolution were also powerful. Narratives of continuous and progressive latifundism rest on little empirical evidence, and this chapter suggests that historians should abandon the paradigm.

Keywords:   latifundism, property sizwe, landholding, senatorial wealth, Marxism

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