Landowners and Tenants in Roman Egypt: The Social Relations of Agriculture in the Oxyrhynchite Nome

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byJane Rowlandson

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Oxyrhynchus in Egypt is the best documented city of the Roman Empire. This book uses the thousands of papyrus documents found there to examine how its urban landowning class derived its wealth from the rural hinterland. After an introductory chapter discussing the topography and agriculturalconditions of the region, the book analyses the conditions of tenure under which land was held; the social composition of landholders (who included both men and women) and the nature of their holdings; the transmission of ownership by inheritance and sale; and finally the role of short-term leasingamong methods of land management. The system of land tenure, rules of inheritance, and law of sale and lease, together with social convention formed a complex web articulating the social relationships between landowners and tenants. The papyri from Oxyrhynchus, by illustrating in detail howindividuals negotiated their way throug this web, provide unparalleled insight into the character of landownership in a Roman province.

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From Our Editors

Oxyrhynchus in Egypt is the best documented provincial city of the Roman empire. This book uses the thousands of papyrus documents found there to examine how its urban landowners derived their wealth from the rural hinterland. After an introductory chapter discussing the topography and agricultural conditions of the region, the book an...

From the Publisher

Oxyrhynchus in Egypt is the best documented city of the Roman Empire. This book uses the thousands of papyrus documents found there to examine how its urban landowning class derived its wealth from the rural hinterland. After an introductory chapter discussing the topography and agriculturalconditions of the region, the book analyses t...

From the Jacket

Oxyrhynchus in Egypt is the best documented provincial city of the Roman empire. This book uses the thousands of papyrus documents found there to examine how its urban landowners derived their wealth from the rural hinterland. After an introductory chapter discussing the topography and agricultural conditions of the region, the book an...

Jane Rowlandson is at King's College, London.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:398 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 1.1 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019814735X

ISBN - 13:9780198147350

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From Our Editors

Oxyrhynchus in Egypt is the best documented provincial city of the Roman empire. This book uses the thousands of papyrus documents found there to examine how its urban landowners derived their wealth from the rural hinterland. After an introductory chapter discussing the topography and agricultural conditions of the region, the book analyses the conditions of tenure under which land was held; the social status of landholders (who included both men and women) and the nature of their holdings; the transmission of ownership by inheritance and sale; and finally the role of short-team leasing among methods of land management. Together with social convention, the system of land tenure, rules of inheritance, and the law of sale and lease formed an immensely complex web articulating the social relationships between landowners and tenants. The papyri from Oxyrhynchus, by illustrating in detail how individuals negotiated their way through this web, provide an unparalleled insight into the character of landownership in a Roman province.

Editorial Reviews

`Even this inadequate summary gives, I hope, a sense of the riches of this careful, intelligent, and levelheaded work, in which the nature and limits of the documentation are almost always kept in view, but allowed to enrich rather than to paralyze generalization. With it, our understanding ofthe complex ways in which the distinctive society of Roman Egypt was formed is greatly advanced.'Roger S. Bagnall