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STUDYING LONG-TERM CHANGE IN THE WEST, A.D. 400-800

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Since the 1930s, three principal models (continuity, 5th c. catastrophe and the Pirenne thesis) have been used to interpret socio-economic change in the Late Roman and Early Medieval West. With minor modifications, these models have survived with little sustained attempt to replace them. Using the examples of Tunisia, Italy and northern Gaul, this paper argues that four basic parameters of change can be identified for the period AD 400- 800. These are the occurrence of war, the level of survival of state economic infrastructures, the extent of large-scale land-ownership, and the level of structural integration into the Roman world system. Since the extent to which these four factors affect a given region varies, it is concluded that long-term economic change is dependent on structures that operate at a regional and sub-regional level.

10.1163/22134522-90000016
/content/journals/10.1163/22134522-90000016
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/content/journals/10.1163/22134522-90000016
2003-01-01
2016-12-10

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