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Famine and Food Supply in the Graeco-Roman World : Responses to Risk and Crisis - Peter Garnsey

Famine and Food Supply in the Graeco-Roman World

Responses to Risk and Crisis

Paperback Published: 20th November 1989
ISBN: 9780521375856
Number Of Pages: 324

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This is the first full-length treatment of food supply and food crisis in classical antiquity. Hunger was never far away in the world of Greece and Rome, yet ancient historians have generally left unexplored the role of the food supply in shaping the central institutions and practices of ancient society. This book demonstrates that a study of systems of food supply and their breakdown leads to a fuller understanding of political behaviour, social mechanisms and economic relationships in classical antiquity.

Dr Garnsey poses the following questions: What caused food crisis? Was it a common feature of the Mediterranean region in antiquity; how frequently did it assume the proportions of famine? What 'famine relief' measures developed in urban communities; did popular pressure play a role in their evolution? How adequate were those measures? Did different political systems find different solutions to the problems of supply and distribution of food? How did the peasantry, who made up the bulk of the population, cope in the face of the constraints imposed by nature and man?

The author provides detailed case studies of Athens and Rome, the best known states of antiquity, but also illuminates the responses to the problems of the food supply in the mass of ordinary cities and rural communities in the Mediterranean world between roughly 600 BC and AD 500.

The book will be of interest to ancient historians studying the politics, economy and society of classical antiquity; it will be of equal importance to social scientists of all kinds concerned with the problems of famine and food supply in other complex societies and those who have become attuned to the issue of world hunger and areseeking a longer perspective. It is written with the non-specialist in mind as well as the scholar.

"...accurate and stimulating interpretative account of several interconnected issues to do with the incidence of shortages, and the responses to them of rural dwellers, patrons or benefactors, and governments...Garnsey presents extremely complex, and interrelated, issues and problems, and advanced hypotheses, with exemplary clarity, coolness, and good sense...The book will function both as a reliable introduction to its issues, and as a contribution to them; both functions are ably supported by the full references throughout the book to the best of the literature on the subject." Greece & Rome

List of tables and figuresp. vii
Prefacep. ix
Abbreviationsp. xiii
Mapsp. xvi
The Incidence and Severity of Food Crisis
Famine and shortagep. 3
The frequency of food crisisp. 8
The infrequency of faminep. 17
Survival Strategies
Subsistence and survival: the peasantryp. 43
Supply and distribution: urban communitiesp. 69
Food Supply and Food Crisis in Athens c. 600-322 bc
The resources of Atticap. 89
The beginnings of dependencep. 107
Rulers of the seap. 120
Vulnerability and vigilancep. 134
From uncertainty to crisisp. 150
Food Supply and Food Crisis in Rome c. 509 bc - ad 250
The beginnings of empirep. 167
Rulers of the Mediterraneanp. 182
Food and politicsp. 198
Rulers of the worldp. 218
The subjects of Romep. 244
Conclusionp. 271
Bibliographyp. 278
Indexp. 295
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521375856
ISBN-10: 0521375851
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 324
Published: 20th November 1989
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.63 x 15.06  x 1.83
Weight (kg): 0.47