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II - Census Figures And Population

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the assumptions underlying current interpretations of the Polybian army figures and the republican census tallies in order to answer two important questions: can we consider the former as independent evidence corroborating the low- count interpretation of the census figures? And did the census figures in fact represent, or aim to represent, all adult male citizens? The chapter argues that in assuming that they did, we accept a number of logical inconsistencies. It explores the possibility of an alternative reading that allows one to adopt an intermediate position between the current scenarios of small and large populations. The chapter argues that this interpretation allows us hypothetically to set a maximum level for the population of Italy under Augustus of about 10 million.

Keywords: Augustus; census figures; Cicero; Italy; population; tributum



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