A model of demographic and economic change in Roman Egypt after the Antonine plague

  title={A model of demographic and economic change in Roman Egypt after the Antonine plague},
  author={Walter Scheidel},
  journal={Journal of Roman Archaeology},
  pages={97 - 114}
  • W. Scheidel
  • Published 2002
  • Economics, History
  • Journal of Roman Archaeology
Demography has long been an essential ingredient of economic history. Students of the “ancient economy”, by contrast, have been late to give demography its due weight, and attempts to illustrate the potential relevance of population issues have been rare.1 This case-study of Roman Egypt aims to interpret empirical evidence of economic change with reference to demographic factors. I will argue that in the late 2nd c. A.D. a severe mortality crisis triggered price and wage shocks, and that during… 

The Greek demographic expansion: models and comparisons.

The resultant series of interlocking parametric models are meant to contextualize the demographic development of ancient Greece within the wider ambit of pre-modem demography, and to provide a conceptual template for future research in this area.


Complaining about the paucity, ambiguity and fragmentary nature of evidence concerning ancient Mediterranean societies is a common pastime among ancient historians. The situation provokes a wide

Roman pottery : and economic models , proxies interpretation

A long-running debate about the relative primitiveness or modernity of the economy of the Greek and Roman world was re-invigorated between the 1960s and 1980s.l M. I. Finley remained sceptical about

The Cambridge economic history of the Greco-Roman world

In this, the first comprehensive one-volume survey of the economies of classical antiquity, twenty-eight chapters summarise the current state of scholarship in their specialised fields and sketch new

The early Roman Empire: consumption

Roman society of the early empire presents a confusing and ambiguous image that we cannot easily situate in unidirectional accounts of European economic history. Clearly, public monuments in marble

Humanities and social sciences The Route to Crisis: Cities, Trade, and Epidemics of the Roman Empire

The goal of this paper is to provide a universal model that outlines the origins of disease contraction and transmission in the ancient Mediterranean world. While numerous scholars have written on

The Economy of the Early Roman Empire

Many inhabitants of ancient Rome lived well. Tourists marvel at the temples, baths, roads and aqueducts that they built. Economists also want to understand the existence of a flourishing and

Epidemic Smallpox, Roman Demography, and the Rapid Growth of Early Christianity, 160 Ce to 310 Ce Introduction and Motivation for Research the Great Pestilence Hypotheses of a Plague-christianity Interaction Evidence of Infant Exposure

Many thanks to Professor William Harris for all the help and guidance he provided, and to Professor Richard Billows for his insightful critiques which led me to reshape much of my argument, and to

Two studies on Roman London. A: London's military origins. B: Population decline and ritual landscapes in Antonine London.

My intent is to advance some new suggestions (or rather, to revive some long unfashionable ones) concerning the origins and early development of the Roman town. Two under-reported discoveries of

Early Iron Age Greece

This chapter reviews the economic history of Early Iron Age (EIA) Greece. First, it summarizes the evidence, and quantifies some aspects of EIA economic performance. Next, the chapter suggests that



Structure and scale in the Roman economy

This book by the author of The Economy of the Roman Empire: Quantitative Studies considers important interlocking themes. Did the Roman Empire have a single 'national' economy, or was its economy

The Rise of the Western World: A New Economic History

A radically new interpretation, offering a unified explanation for the growth of Western Europe between 900 A. D. and 1700, provides a general theoretical framework for institutional change geared to

A Theory of Preindustrial Population Dynamics Demography, Economy, and Well‐Being in Malthusian Systems1

This paper presents a simple model of preindustrial population dynamics, one that brings together the theoretical insights of Thomas Robert Malthus and Ester Boserup. Central to the model is the

Monetary contraction and mercantile credit in later medieval England

m he part played by credit in the English medieval economy was established 1 long ago by Postan in two articles, which not only studied its legal forms but showed that credit could finance up to 75

Villages, land and population in Graeco-Roman Egypt *

The aim of this paper, which is what scientists would call a ‘working paper’, is to provide some orientation and ideas for future research on the level and distribution of population in Graeco-Roman

Numismatic Evidence and Falling Prices in the Fourteenth Century

INCE scholars first detected a fall in the level of prices in the later Middle Ages a number of different arguments have been put forward to explain it. Initially, it was believed that prices fell

Economic Evidence of Population Change

THE study of the demographic history of the Middle Ages provides confirmation of the aphorism that ‘necessity is the mother of invention’. Faced with scarce and imperfect sources of direct evidence

Famine, revolt, and the dynastic cycle

It is proposed to use a bandit/peasant/ruler occupation-specific population model to interpret the dynamic socio-economic transitions of ancient Chinese population, and econometric support to the model is provided.

The Demography of Roman Egypt

This is a study of the demography of Roman Egypt during the first three centuries AD based on surviving census returns on papyri. These records list all household members including lodgers and

Development Economics: From the Poverty to the Wealth of Nations

This textbook provides a comprehensive, systematic treatise on development economics, combining classical political economy, modern institutional theory, and current development issues. Grown out of