Annalisa Marzano (Ed.)
Villas, Peasant Agriculture, and the Roman Rural Economy
Panel 3.15Archaeology and Economy in the Ancient World – Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Classical Archaeology, Cologne/Bonn 2018
The Roman villa was a defining element of the Roman world and its appearance and spread, both in various regions of Roman Italy and abroad, have been linked to various historical phenomena: Rome’s territorial expansion, the establishment of colonial settlements, and the indigenous elites’ readiness to participate in forms of Roman life. While traditional historiography has seen the spread of large villas in Republican Italy as a phenomenon that displaced small and medium landowners from the land, and thus contributed to Rome’s socio-political problems, recent studies have stressed that large villas and farms were not at variance with each other. The papers gathered in this volume aim at giving a more organic evaluation of how the ‘villa economy’ and the ‘peasant economy’ operated, and to what degree, if any, the two were integrated. It does so by addressing two main questions: whether villas and small and medium farms were part of two distinctive productive and distributive systems or not; and to what extent the picture emerging from provincial territories compares with the situation in Roman Italy.
Annalisa Marzano is Professor of Ancient History at the University of Reading, UK and co-director of the ‘Casa della Regina Carolina Project’ in Pompeii. She is the author of Roman Villas in Central Italy: A Social and Economic History (Brill 2007), Harvesting the Sea: The Exploitation of Marine Resources in the Roman Mediterranean (Oxford UP 2013) and co-editor of volume The Roman Villa in the Mediterranean Basin (Cambridge UP 2018).