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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: 07 December 2021

Imperial Wealth in Roman Egypt

Imperial Wealth in Roman Egypt

The Julio-Claudian ousiai

(p.71) 5 Imperial Wealth in Roman Egypt
Ownership and Exploitation of Land and Natural Resources in the Roman World

Laurens E. Tacoma

Oxford University Press

By studying the transmission of the ousiai of Roman Egypt in the Julio-Claudian period, this chapter addresses the question of how Roman rulers obtained and used their immense wealth. These estates are well documented, but their nature has been interpreted radically differently. On the one hand they have been seen as gift-estates that functioned in the same way as the estates that the Ptolemies handed out to their administrators. On the other hand they have been regarded as nothing more than large privately owned estates, some of which happened to be owned by members of the imperial house. Taking up elements of both interpretative models, it is argued here that they formed part of an indirect redistributive system, in which property circulated around the emperor with relatively high frequency and between a limited number of people.

Keywords:   large estates, property transmission, imperial wealth, Roman Egypt, redistribution of wealth, imperial wealth, elite formation, elite networks, gift-giving

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