Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Rome's Imperial EconomyTwelve Essays$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

W. V. Harris

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199595167

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199595167.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 October 2019

Poverty and Destitution in the Roman Empire*

Poverty and Destitution in the Roman Empire*

(p.27) 2 Poverty and Destitution in the Roman Empire*
Rome's Imperial Economy

W. V. Harris

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines poverty in the Roman world. After some essential scene-setting (Italy contrasted with the provinces, towns contrasted with the countryside), it discusses subsistence needs and then argues that both the nature of the labour market and inheritance patterns make it likely that the Roman provinces suffered from a serious level of endemic destitution. The evidence on child abandonment supports the view that the direness and horror of Roman destitution has generally been underestimated. Finally, it is argued that no counter-measures significantly diminished the impact of Roman destitution prior to the advent of mass Christianity.

Keywords:   Rome, Roman Empire, poverty, poor, destitute, subsistence, labour market, inheritance, child abandonment

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .