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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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The Agricultural Economy of the Mendesian Nome under Roman Rule

The Agricultural Economy of the Mendesian Nome under Roman Rule

(p.255) 8 The Agricultural Economy of the Mendesian Nome under Roman Rule
The Roman Agricultural Economy

Katherine Blouin

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the fiscal and cadastral documentation for the Mendesian Nome in the Nile Delta, providing an important counterpoint to most papyrological studies of Egypt, which focus on material from the Nile Valley. Using the carbonised archives from Thmuis, it identifies the chief characteristics of the Mendesian agricultural economy. The agricultural economy of this region was diverse but characterised by a preponderance of cereal farming, with vine cultivation in second place. Diversified economic practices most probably resulted from an ‘opportunistic’ adaptation to local environmental specificities. They are also symptomatic of a rivalry between the interests of those who held economic power (the state, large property owners, and merchants) and those of the small owners and managers, for whom diversification for domestic needs was advantageous, or even essential.

Keywords:   Roman economy, agriculture, papyri, Egypt, Mendesian Nome, Thmuis

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