Public Land in the Roman Republic: A Social and Economic History of Ager Publicus in Italy, 396-89 BC (Oxford Studies in Roman Society and Law)
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In the first volume in this new series on Roman society and law, Saskia T. Roselaar traces the social and economic history of the ager publicus, or public land. As the Romans conquered Italy during the fourth to first centuries BC, they usually took land away from their defeated enemies and declared this to be the property of the Roman state. This land could be distributed to Roman citizens, but it could also remain in the hands of the state, in which case it was available for general public use. However, in the third and second centuries BC growth in the population of Italy led to an increased demand for land among both commercial producers and small farmers. This in turn led to the gradual privatization of the state-owned land, as those who held it wanted to safeguard their rights to it. Roselaar traces the currents in Roman economy and demography which led to these developments.
between 338 and the Second Punic War with an assumed average of 3,500 colonists who received ten iugera of land eacha Nineteen Roman colonies with 300 colonists who received two iugerab Four Latin colonies after the Second Punic War whose number of colonists and allotments are knownc Seven Roman colonies after the Second Punic War with an assumed 2,000 colonists and known allotmentsd Three Roman colonies after the Second Punic War with an assumed 2,000 colonists, and assumed allotments of at
these occasions. Under a Lex Cornelia of 82 bc private land could be sold by the state when the previous owner was proscribed or had died in battle (presumably if there were no heirs): Cic. Rosc. Am. 43.125–6. Front. Strat. 1.8.2 The Legal Conditions of Ager Publicus 89 Republican period not much legal theory surrounded such land (Ch. 2.1.1–2), but as the Roman state developed ager publicus became more strictly controlled by the state, and its use became subject to more regulation. In the
of beasts to be grazed. It is to be noted that Appian says possession of 500 small or 100 large animals was allowed, not both of them at the same time. This would reduce the 82 Manzo (2001, 125–6). The Legal Conditions of Ager Publicus 111 maximum limit considerably; however, it is generally assumed that the law was cumulative, as was the Lex agraria of 111, and therefore allowed a total of 600 animals.83 As we have seen, however, the introduction of a maximum of 500 small and 100 large
these colonies; in cases where more than one centuriation is visible, the oldest is usually much smaller than the newer ones, and sometimes smaller than the amount needed for the recorded number of colonists. However, in some cases early centuriations were of considerable size as well.187 185 Cic. Cluent. 59.161: Cum quaedam in callibus, ut solet, controversia pastorum esset orta, Habiti vilici rem domini et privatam possessionem defenderunt. In the Digest we ﬁnd references to privately owned
is now widely accepted that commercial production did not always take place on large estates; instead, cash crop farms existed in many shapes and sizes, but were mostly fairly small during the second century. If we want to assess the consequences for the small farmer of the accumulation of land by those producing for the urban market, we must study this development in more detail. In which regions did an increase in 11 App. BC 1.7: ïƒ ªaæ ðºïýóØïØ ôBóäå ôBò IíåìÞôïı ªBò ôcí ðïººcí ŒÆôÆºÆâüíôåò