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Agrarian History And The Labour-Organisation Of Byzantine Large Estates

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the status of the peasantry in the late antique world, which very roughly spans the period from the fourth to the seventh centuries. It deals that the organisation of the Byzantine large estate was fundamentally similar to the organisation of Egyptian large estates in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The chapter also focuses on the terminology for rural classes without making apparently commonsense assumptions as to who the georgoi were likely to have been. It discusses the case for permanent labour. The chapter pays more attention to the details of our evidence, referring especially to a few recently published papyri. It correlates all this evidence with whatever one has begun to learn about the organisation of estates in the more recent period, relying mainly on the work of Roger Owen and Alan Richards, and the sources they have used.

Keywords: Byzantine large estate; georgoi; labour organisation; late antique world; permanent labour



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