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sullafelix

Religion In The Countryside

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Hi

 

I am currently studying the rural communities of Italy in the Second Century BC. I am trying to establish whether or not we can really think of farming as coming under the heading of economic history when there was so much else other than money that influenced the way in which farming was conducted. At the moment I am looking at the religion of the farming year. I have scoured Pliny, Cato, Columella and Varro and am about to go onto Virgil's Georgics. Does anyone else have anywhere else I can have a look??

 

All help is gratefully received on this one

 

Cheers

Sullafelix

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I am currently studying the rural communities of Italy in the Second Century BC. I am trying to establish whether or not we can really think of farming as coming under the heading of economic history when there was so much else other than money that influenced the way in which farming was conducted. At the moment I am looking at the religion of the farming year.

 

I'm not sure I can agree with the premise Sulla. While religion of course did have an affect on agriculture, I would not say enough so to direct it. In the second century the numbers of landed farmers were shrinking but still there. For them agriculture was about survival. What they did not eat themselves they sold for the necessities such as tools and stock.

 

As time went on, the landed farmer was pushed out by the massive slave run latifundia, and you can be sure these had one purpose alone: economic output for their city dwelling landlords.

Edited by Favonius Cornelius

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I think it's vital not to overlook the importance and prevalence of tenant farming. Justinian is a rich source of information here, and the picture I get is that the expertise of tenant farmers gave them considerable bargaining power with land-owners. Not all farm-workers were slaves or living at the edge of subsistence.

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