This book explores the agrarian landscape and economy of the eastern Mediterranean from modern Israel to Turkey. This region experienced a surge in population between the fifth and sixth centuries AD that raised the population to levels often only regained in the late twentieth century. Citiesexpanded and the eastern lands reached a pinnacle of cultural expression and economic prosperity in the century before the arrival of Islam. Behind all this lay the ability of Roman farmers to feed themselves by producing a reliable surplus of food. Michael Decker describes precisely how this wasdone: how plants critical to survival were grown and how new plants were introduced. He also catalogues the range of intensive farming methods used and the rise of cash-crop farming based on olive oil and wine that was traded throughout Europe, western Asia, and parts of Africa.