Sunday, January 04, 2009

SBL - Ager Cultura 

The Small Farmer's Journal


The Avalon Project / Yale Law School
Agrarian Law; 111 B.C.

In the early Roman Republic there were three kinds of land: private land, common pasture, and public land or land of the public domain, which was rented to private entrepreneurs. By the second century B C, however, much of the public land was treated by its occupants as though it were private. Despite early laws limiting the amount which could be occupied, the wealthy amassed gigantic holdings a tendency encouraged by the growing importance of the olive and the vine, and especially of ranching At the same time there was a steady exodus of the small farmers to the city, partly because the continued demands of military service made farming increasingly hazardous, partly because of the predatory instincts of the great landowners, partly because the small farm was now at a competitive disadvantage. The result was an impoverished, restless, and unproductive urban population.


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