Agrarian Change in Late Antiquity: Gold, Labour, and by Jairus Banaji

By Jairus Banaji

The financial system of the past due old Mediterranean remains to be principally noticeable throughout the prism of Weber's influential essay of 1896. Rejecting that orthodoxy, Jairus Banaji argues that the past due empire observed immense monetary and social switch, propelled via the strong stimulus of a strong gold coinage that circulated commonly. In successive chapters Banaji adduces clean proof for the prosperity of the overdue Roman nation-state, the increasing circulate of gold, the restructuring of agrarian élites, and the vast use of paid labour, specially within the interval spanning the 5th to 7th centuries. The papyrological proof is scrutinized intimately to teach key improvement entailed the increase of a brand new aristocracy whose estates have been resistant to the devastating fragmentation of partible inheritance, commonly irrigated, and conscious of marketplace possibilities. A concluding bankruptcy defines the extra common factor raised by way of the aristocracy's involvement within the financial and enterprise economic climate of the interval.

Exploiting a variety of resources, Agrarian switch in past due Antiquity weaves jointly diversified strands of historiography (Weber, Mickwitz, papyrology, agrarian heritage) right into a interesting interpretation that demanding situations the minimalist orthodoxies approximately overdue antiquity and the traditional economic climate extra generally.

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Extra resources for Agrarian Change in Late Antiquity: Gold, Labour, and Aristocratic Dominance (Oxford Classical Monographs)

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That is to say, the great problem of the decline of Roman power is already looming on Weber’s horizon. So let me halt the summary at this point and return to the image Weber has developed. Weber’s notion that the type of work discipline which characterized the Roman estate was specifically determined by its use of slave labour, I think, misconstrues the logic of Roman estate organization. 9 But by reconstruing the underlying logic of this managerialism in the more specific guise of a logic peculiar to the deployment of slave labour, 8 See W.

W. Hayes, Excavations at Saraçhane in Istanbul (Princeton, 1992) 2. 66–7. 84 Y. Hirschfeld, ‘Ancient Wine Presses in the Park of Aijalon’, IEJ 33 (1983) 207–18; I. Roll and E. )’ (at 123). 85 Y. Israel, ‘Ashqelon’, Excavations and Surveys in Israel 13 (1995) 100–5 (substantial), Y. Hirschfeld and R. Birger-Calderon, ‘Early Roman and Byzantine Estates near Caesarea’, IEJ 41 (1991) 81–111, esp. 100 ff. (middle-sized). The so-called third mile site near Ashkelon exemplifies the in-house manufacturing of jars ‘in very large workshops on the premises’, see the general survey by Hirschfeld, ‘Farms and villages in Byzantine Palestine’, DOP 51 (1997) 33–71, esp.

Vera, ‘Forme e funzioni della rendita fondiaria nella tarda antichità’, in SRIT 1, 373–4 refers to Weber’s ‘celebrated essay on the fall of ancient civilisation’ and says he accepts its theses for the western part of the empire. Mazzarino has a sympathetic but balanced review in La fine del mondo antico (Milan, 1959) 147–61. The best English translation of the essay is C. Mackauer’s in The Journal of General Education 5 (Oct. 1950) 75–88. 7 For recent discussions of Weber’s work on antiquity, see E.

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