Download e-book for iPad: Constructing Communities in the Late Roman Countryside by Cam Grey

By Cam Grey

ISBN-10: 1107011620

ISBN-13: 9781107011625

This booklet is the 1st finished remedy of the 'small politics' of rural groups within the overdue Roman international. It areas the varied fates of these groups inside a generalized version for exploring rural social platforms. essentially, social interactions in rural contexts within the interval revolved round the wish of person families to insure themselves opposed to catastrophic subsistence failure and the necessity of the groups during which they lived to control the attendant social tensions, inequalities and conflicts. a spotlight upon the politics of acceptance in these groups offers a notable distinction to the image painted by means of the laws and the writings of Rome's literate elite: while seen from the viewpoint of the peasantry, matters resembling the Christianization of the geographical region, the emergence of latest different types of patronage relatives, and the consequences of the recent method of taxation upon rural social constructions tackle a special element.

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They include woodchoppers and huntsmen, witches and magicians, peddlers and reapers. It is likely that in many cases they participated in regular, if by no means unproblematic, interactions with peasants, and probable that some peasants, at least, had close and enduring links with these individuals, through kinship, friendship, and other reciprocal relationships. Shepherds might run their sheep between or through fields owned and tended by villagers. 18 The customary nature of connections between pastoralists and the sedentary inhabitants of both rural and urban contexts is attested by legislation attempting to prevent urban dwellers from sending their children to the countryside to be raised by them.

Rel. 2–3; Mark the Deacon, V. Porph. 28–31; Caesarius of Arles, Serm. i; 5; Gregory of Tours, Virt. Mart. 26. Cf. Horden (1993); Mathisen (1996); Jones (2009), chapter 8. 26 As a consequence, when I speak of peasants or agriculturalists, rustici or the inhabitants of rural communities, these labels should not be regarded as analytically concrete terms, but rather as more loosely focused collective nouns which encompass the heterogeneity of rural residents outlined above. 27 When not impelled to interact directly with these individuals, our authors characteristically regard them with indifference, ignoring their motivations or aspirations, and obscuring or denying their capacity to act on their own behalf.

Collective membership of a family carries with it a set of mutual obligations that, while ill-defined and somewhat elastic, are morally binding. As we shall see, an individual’s failure to fulfill those obligations might lead to certain tensions and conflicts between family members. There is no shortage of scholarship on the family in antiquity. 47 This is principally a product of the surviving sources. These consist of inscriptional, legal, and philosophical texts which 42 43 44 45 46 47 The literature is vast.

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Constructing Communities in the Late Roman Countryside by Cam Grey


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