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The Roman Agricultural EconomyOrganisation, Investment, and Production$
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Alan Bowman and Andrew Wilson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199665723

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199665723.001.0001

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Agricultural Production in Egypt

Agricultural Production in Egypt

(p.219) 7 Agricultural Production in Egypt
The Roman Agricultural Economy

Alan Bowman

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses various strands of quantifiable evidence for nome sizes and landuse regimes: calculations of grain yields and tax income for the Arsinoite nome (ad 184/5); distribution of land among landowners (from tax registers and legal declarations from nome capitals); and rather different patterns of distribution of landownership in village communities. At the village level, case studies are possible for intensive wine production at Philadelphia in the third century bc; the crop regime and rent returns at Kerkeosiris in the second century bc; land use at Theadelphia in the second century ad; and the sale and leasing of land at Tebtunis in the second century ad. Data from several regions indicate severe decline in agricultural production and tax revenues between the second and fourth centuries ad. The chapter allows us to grasp the scale of the agrarian economy and to illuminate some of its structural features at different levels.

Keywords:   Roman economy, agriculture, Egypt, land ownership, leases, wine production

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