Sixteen essays in the social and economic history of the ancient world, by a leading historian of classical antiquity, are here brought conveniently together. Three overlapping parts deal with the urban economy and society, peasants and the rural economy, and food-supply and food-crisis. While focusing on eleven centuries of antiquity from archaic Greece to late imperial Rome, the essays include theoretical and comparative analyses of food-crisis and pastoralism, and an interdisciplinary study of the health status of the people of Rome using physical anthropology and nutritional science. A variety of subjects are treated, from the misconduct of a builders' association in late antique Sardis, to a survey of the cultural associations and physiological effects of the broad bean.
'The conventions illuminated by G.'s reding of the sources are remarkable, and it is instructive to follow his analysis of the evidence, buttressed by judicious and critical application of comparative materials and anthropological ... the reader has been served a savory meal full of insightful observations and plenty of appetizers'. Scripta Classica Israelica