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By Keith Hopkins

The large measurement of the Roman empire and the size of time it continued demand an realizing of the associations which sustained it. during this publication, Keith Hopkins, who's either classicist and sociologist, makes use of a number of sociological strategies and techniques to achieve new insights into how conventional Roman associations replaced because the Romans obtained their empire. He examines the chain reactions caused by elevated wealth; a variety of elements of slavery, in particular manumission and the price of freedom; the curious phenomenon of the political strength wielded by way of eunuchs at courtroom; and within the ultimate bankruptcy he discusses the Roman emperor's divinity and the circulate of unfaithful tales, that have been a forex of the political approach. Professor Hopkins has built an exhilarating method of social questions in antiquity and his publication can be of curiosity to all scholars of historical heritage and of old sociology.

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Extra info for Conquerors and Slaves (Sociological Studies in Roman History, Vol. 1)

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Gabba, Republican Rome, the Army and the Allies (Berkeley, 1976) 1-69. Gabba takes the evidence to reflect a fall i n the m i n i m u m property requirement for legionaries. Dionysius also averred that half the R o m a n population had less than this m i n i m u m ; but he also tells us a lot which cannot be believed. I take the evidence to imply a low property requirement, a widespread ownership of land a n d a widespread obligation to fight. T h e transmitted figures for the early third century are unbelievable: they give an average density of 111 persons per k m i n R o m a n territory, which is several times the figure for the agricultural population i n Italy in 1936 ( B r u n t 1971:54; Beloch 1886: 320).

F i r s t , a g r i c u l t u r a l p r o d u c t i v i t y was l o w since i t t o o k f o u r f o o d - p r o d u c i n g f a m i l i e s t o f e e d a fifth. I t was o n l y a f t e r t h e a g r i c u l t u r a l r e v o l u t i o n i n E n g l a n d i n t h e e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y t h a t these average p r o p o r t i o n s b e g a n r a d i c a l l y t o be c h a n g e d ; i n t h e U S A n o w (1973 figures) f o r e x a m p l e , o n e f a r m w o r k e r p r o d u c e s e n o u g h f o o d f o r o v e r fifty p e o p l e .

O f course, e v e n i n t h e t h i r d c e n t u r y B C , t h e r e w e r e some slaves i n R o m a n I t a l y , b u t n o t , I suspect, m a n y . M o s t o f t h e references t o slavery i n e a r l y R o m e i m p l y small-scale slavery; o t h e r s seem anachronistic. T h i r d l y , prosperous landowners w h o owned m o r e l a n d t h a n t h e y c o u l d c u l t i v a t e b y t h e i r o w n l a b o u r used c l i e n t s h i p c o m b i n e d w i t h t e n a n c y a n d s h a r e - c r o p p i n g as m e t h o d s o f e n s u r i n g t h a t t h e i r l a n d was w o r k e d first at c r i t i c a l seasons, b e f o r e peasants l o o k e d a f t e r t h e i r o w n plots.

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