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By Walter Scheidel

In conjection with an intensive severe survey of modern advances and controversies in Roman demography, the 4 case-studies during this quantity illustrate numerous assorted ways to the examine of old inhabitants background. The contributions handle a few the most important concerns in Roman demography from the evolution of the tutorial box to seasonal styles of fertility, the variety of Roman electorate, inhabitants strain within the early Roman empire, and the top of classical urbanism in overdue antiquity. this is often the 1st collaborative quantity of its variety. it's designed to introduce historical historians and classicists to demographic, comparative and interdisciplinary views, and to situate and contextualize Roman inhabitants experiences within the wider ambit of ancient demography.

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112 For a first attempt, I can now refer to an unpublished manuscript by Arjan Zuiderhoek (Groningen), 'Mortality, disease and social class in the Roman empire', and his ongoing work on this subject. The biographies of the emperors and collections of letters from Cicero to Symmachus provide large quantities of relevant information. ) for Roman slaves in general, necessarily without supporting evidence {pace Dunean-Jones (1990) 100-1). However, singularly unfavourable environmental conditions are required to produce this effect, and are unlikely to have prevailed in Mediterranean slave populations as a whole: compare John (1988) 111-3, on extreme levels of slave mortality in Trinidad in the early nineteenth century.

145 See Sailer (1994) 48-65, esp. e, for likely levels of childlessness in the Roman elite. 146 For the sake of completeness, I should note that lead poisoning as a cause of marital (elite) sterility has finally gone out of fashion, despite attempts at resurrection as late as the 1980s: see Phillips (1984); Scarborough (1984); Needleman and Needleman (1985). Cf. Scheidel (1999a) 274 n. 57. 4 (ibid. 143 and Frier (1994) 325). ,4tt This finding is not without relevance for our understanding of the evolution of siaver/ and the slave supply in the Roman world.

95. [15 Scheidel (1996a) 128-9 and n. 107. See above, n. 104-7. 116 The literature on sex-specific mortality and the status of women in developing countries is very substantial; I confine myself to three references, namely Harriss (1989), with exceptionally rich bibliography; Basu (1992); and Rousham (1999) for more recent references. The underlying causes range from femicide to differential neglect; our understanding. of the former, frequently attested in ancient sources, would greatly benefit from quantifiable data: see below, n.

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