Tilling the Hateful Earth: Agricultural Production and Exchange in the Late Antique East

Hardcover | August 16, 2009

byMichael Decker

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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.

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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 pi...

Michael Decker is Maroulis Professor of Byzantine History and Orthodox Religion at the University of South Florida.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:360 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.1 inPublished:August 16, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199565287

ISBN - 13:9780199565283

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Table of Contents

1. The land: climate and geography2. The countryside in Late Antiquity3. Hand to mouth: grain in Late Antiquity4. The vine5. The `queen of all trees': the olive in late antique agriculture6. Invading the desert: irrigation and agrarian expansion7. Mixed farming and limited specialization: methods and means of intensification8. Trade, agriculature, and the economy of the late antique East