The contexts of the inscription and the activities of the praetor prove more dificult to interpret: we do not know the geographical and chronological context of the settlement, and the identiication of the slave owners, the so-called Ital- ici, is likewise a matter of debate. They have been identiied both with Sicilian landowners and South-Italians and conse- quently it is uncertain whether the slaves had led from Italy to take part in the First Slave War in Sicily or had belonged to Italian residents in Sicily — as suggested some years ago by the late Augusto Fraschetti5.
His theory is attractive, but it presents certain dificulties. The inscription is a unique mixture of a milestone with mileage igures combined with an elogium of a military commander. However, in the lat- ter respect it is also something of an anomaly as a career Claudius Pulcher cos.
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See also ibid. It omits his earlier magistracies, preceding the praetorship, and the fundamental question is the relationship between the subject and his audience and the context of the statements, although there is no directly verbal address with exception of heic fecei6. It is of course dificult to separate the audience from the setting, and the number of copies of the inscription is open to speculation. The mileage igures could indicate that several milestones may have been erected along the road from Capua to Rhegium7, but the last part of the elogium is much nar- rower in its geographical scope.
The construction of the pub- lic buildings was only to the advantage of the inhabitants of the site on which the inscription was erected. So what about the two other actions mentioned after the road construction, but before the building of the forum? The composition of the inscription suggests that there was an internal connection be- tween all the activities mentioned in the text. If so, the land settlement and the returning of the fugitive slaves might also have been relevant to the local inhabitants and thus have a regional context, although the author explicitly states that he was — at the same time — praetor in Sicilia.
This is, how- ever, not an insuperable problem in regards to the location of the elogium from Polla in a Southern Italian context. See wiSeMAn Land, Labour, and Legislation in Late Republican Italy 19 labour force of approximately ifty to seventy Catonian vil- lae rusticae9. The runaway slaves captured by the anonymous praetor did not belong to Roman landowners, but to Italici which makes the igure even more impressive. Yet, some of the fugitivi might not have been agricultural slaves but herds- men. Pastores normally had their own weapons to protect the cattle against beasts of prey and rustlers, and herdsmen were regarded as marginalized and uncivilized bandits who played a signiicant role in the second century slave wars in Sicily and the revolt of Spartacus The settlement elimi- nated some of the risks of brigandage and, together with the road-building, improved the security of life and property in a turbulent region.
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An obvious problem with such an interpretation stressing the motive of security behind the actions mentioned in the elo- gium from Polla is that the inscription is surprisingly vague about the land settlement. The author of the text is, elsewhere, fond of numbers, but here he only boasts that he was the irst — primus — to force herdsmen to yield public land to farmers. The land settlement schemes of the Late Republic were nor- mally extensive, but it is uncertain how many men were set- tled and where.
The number of runaway slaves does not reveal anything about the land distribution or how the reorganisation actually took place. The restitution of the slaves was of course an advantage to the so-called Italici, but they would not be the real beneiciaries of the land settlement. In theory, only Ro- man citizens had access to public land, although it seems that allies also often made use of it after coniscation The political context of the settlement mentioned in the elogium from Polla also raises several problems.
The land allotments have often been seen either as a result of Ti. Traces of centuriation 9 Cato Agr. See roth , , for models of the slave population of the farm. The elogium of Polla is one of the earliest examples of public land being mentioned in inscriptions, but the details of the settlement are dificult to reconstruct.
Ager publicus populi Romani fell into several different categories of land, including pasturage such as ager compascuus and ager scrip- turarius. Peasant farmers cultivated land known as ager oc- cupatorius or ager censorius The important question for which there is no convincing answer is the legal category of the land after the assignation mentioned in the Polla inscrip- tion once it had been assigned.
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The ager publicus may either be converted into a new category of private land subject to taxation, ager privatus vectigalisque, as it is known from the African part of the lex agraria of BC, as apparently also happened with the Gracchan allotments or the land changed from one subcategory of public land to another My re-reading of the inscription suggests no ways to cir- cumvent that problem.
It is, however, clear from a range of evidence that the possessors of Ti. It is also clear from the Italian part of the lex agraria that the allotments to the so-called viasii vicanei — road-people and street-people — remained public land See frAncioSi A. But note also that the context of the inscription does not even exclude a Sicilian connection: frASchetti , ; GiArdinA a, For new editions of the text see Lintott and crAwford , I, ; both with extensive bibliographies.
Land, Labour, and Legislation in Late Republican Italy 21 best agricultural land in the area was situated. Like many others, I ind it impossible to decide whether it was the case as matters now stand, but the suggestion presupposes close connections between the road-building, the land settlement and the foundation of the forum So let me sum up some preliminary results of the irst case study of land and labour in Late Republican Italy. The iden- tiication of the anonymous author of the elogium of Polla is of course important for the political context of his activities, but whether he was an opponent or supporter of Ti.
Gracchus is uncertain and with regards to the social and economic his- tory of the second century BC also of no importance. The inscription contains — according to my interpretation of the geographical context — important information about the de- velopment of land use in Late Republican Southern Italy. It does not only suggest changes in the exploitation of public land from pasturage to agriculture, but also land distributions and urban settlements in a troubled region.
The privatization of public land in Italy continued after the Gracchi as is clear from the literary sources and the lex agraria of BC. Between and 44 BC there are attested at least ifteen agrarian laws or proposals of which most were controversial, since the extent of public land in Italy outside ager Campanus was greatly reduced The second case study in this chapter is that of an agrar- ian law, but not the lex agraria of BC, although its irst 16 Lintott , See also hinrichS , ; id.
As stated in the introduc- tion it is my intention to use different types of contemporary sources in order to show their comprehensiveness. Thus, the next document will not be an inscription like the elogium of Polla, but a literary source that has been somewhat neglected by modern scholarship, although it throws light on the agrar- ian development in Italy after Sulla. The general scholarly opinion on these three, but fragmentary speeches a fourth has been lost is not very high.
The orations are the only preserved sources concerning an agrarian law proposed in 63 BC by the otherwise unknown tribune of the plebs P. Servilius Rufus For I remember that two of the most illustrious citizens, the most able and the most devoted friends of the Roman people, Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus, settled plebeians in public lands, formerly occupied by private persons. Lintott ; crAwford , I, See also rAthBone , For different identiications see SuMner , , and wArd , Venit enim mihi in mentem duos clarissimos, ingeniosissimos, amantissi- Carlsen Libro.
Land, Labour, and Legislation in Late Republican Italy 23 The passage is of course strongly rhetorical, and it was not only the settlements Cicero opposed. He made a point of attacking the juridical power of the commission and the two hundred surveyors of equestrian rank who were to be appoint- ed as responsible for the distribution of land.
The proposal authorized ten commissioners with imperium for ive years to found colonies, to distribute ager publicus in the Italian penin- sula and the provinces, to sell public property in the provinces and impose taxes on public land outside Italy in order to raise funds for purchase of yet more land, especially in Campania. These decemviri should personally declare themselves candi- dates and the prohibition of absentee candidatures excluded Pompey and all other promagistrates.
The members of the commission were to be elected in the same way as the mem- bers of the four major colleges of priests. According to the lex Domitia of BC the priests were elected by a special as- sembly that consisted of only seventeen out of the thirty-ive tribus decided by lot. Nevertheless Cicero compared the com- missioners to kings and tyrants, even calling them domini What will be the method and arrangement of the whole affair?
Of what kind of men? In what places? For who can fail to see that all these things have to be taken into consideration in the matter of colo- nies? Did you, Rullus, think that we should hand over to you and your engineers of all these schemes the whole of Italy un- armed, that you might strengthen it with garrisons, occupy it with colonies, and hold it bound and fettered by every kind of chain? For where is there any guarantee against your establish- ing a colony on the Janiculum, against your being able to press and beset this city by another?
Non sum au- tem ego is consul, qui, ut plerique, nefas esse arbitrer Gracchos laudare, quorum consiliis, sapientia, legibus multas esse video rei publicae partes constitutas. See also JonkerS , It is of course not the most impartial manner in which to present the case, but it is very effective. It is also obvious that the speech- es must be treated with the same suspicion and circumspec- tion in consideration of their tendency as all literary sources.
Cicero draws especially in the second speech a vivid pic- ture of the horrifying consequences of the rogatio Servilia agraria and the land distribution, using military metaphors such as vinclum. According to the consul, Rullus proposed to settle ive thousand men with ten-iugera allotments in ager Campanus and an unknown number in ager Stellas or cam- pus Stellatis with twelve-iugera lots Apart from pastures and woodlands these two territories were apparently the most important public land left in Italy after Sulla, but they were evidently of insuficient size to warrant a comprehensive dis- tribution of land.
Quis enim non videt in coloniis esse haec omnia consideranda? Tibi nos, Rulle, et istis tuis harum omnium rerum machina- toribus totam Italiam inermem tradituros existimasti, quam praesidiis con- irmaretis, coloniis occuparetis, omnibus vinclis devinctam et constrictam teneretis? Ubi enim cavetur ne in Ianiculo coloniam constituatis, ne urbem hanc urbe alia premere atque urgere possitis? Pri- mum nescio,deinde timeo, postremo non committam, ut vestro beneicio potius quam nostro consilio salvi esse possimus.
Minieri Land, Labour, and Legislation in Late Republican Italy 25 The picture drawn by the consul in the second speech con- cerning the future colonists, the land and its present owners and farmers is very interesting. The losers would be the present farmers of the ager Campanus who Cicero re- fers to as excellent as both farmers and soldiers.
He spoke about them as plebs optima et modestissima, although some of them certainly had substantial farms Cicero describes the private land to be bought by the commission without price limitations as belonging to two different categories: uncultivated or abandoned wasteland and unpopular Sullan coniscations. For how many people, O Romans, do you think there are who cannot defend the extent of their possessions, or cannot endure the unpopularity attached to the lands given by Sulla; who want to sell them but cannot ind a purchaser; who would, in fact, be glad to get rid of those ields on any terms whatever?
Brunt , Rustici: Cic. See also roSeLAAr Quam multos enim, Quirites, existimatis esse, qui latitudinem possessio- num tueri, qui invidiam Sullanorum agrorum ferre non possint, qui vendere cupiant, emptorem non reperiant, perdere iam denique illos agros ratione aliqua velint? Qui paulo ante diem noctemque tribunicium nomen horrebant, vestram vim metuebant, mentionem legis agrariae pertimescebant, ei nunc etiam ultro rogabuntur atque orabuntur, ut agros partim publicos, partim ple- nos invidiae, plenos periculi, quanti ipsi velint, decemviris tradant.
The accusation hit him hard, and in a new speech delivered to the people he made a counterattack. Cicero ar- gued that he did not defend the interests of the Sullan pos- sessors with his opposition to the distribution of public land. On the other hand they were defended by Rullus because the rogatio Servilia would conirm their possessions. One of these landowners was the father-in-law of the tribune, Valgius or Valgus, who had acquired land in ager Hirpinus and near Casinum.
He has convincingly been identiied with the wealthy C. Quinctius Valgus who is attested both as patronus in Aeclanum in Hirp- inia and appears on inscriptions found near modern Frigento and at Casinum. Later Valgus was duumvir in Pompeii where, together with a colleague, he built the amphitheatre and the covered theatre at their own expense These problems were not solved with the defeat of the law, but how serious were these troubles?
I am not convinced that a 33 Cic. For the identiication with C. Rich, however, has a meth- odological point. We should ask the same type of questions of them: How much is exaggeration and how much are the social and economic conditions of his own time relected in the orations despite their manifest rhetorical devices? The competition for land was intensiied after the Social War. Members of the local elite like Valgus who had beneitted from the Sullan distributions continued to take over land from ruined peasants as did wealthy senators and equestrians. A few years later Caesar took up the agrarian law in a less ambitious form.
The commission of twenty men was restricted to buying land only from willing sellers at ixed prices, namely the valuations in the previous census. Yet the second law in- cluded the Campanian public land that was to be distributed to twenty thousand citizens although there is only sporadic evidence of this allotment. The ager Campanus still played an important role in Roman politics in the ifties and forties BC. Later Augustan veterans were settled in Capua, and the eminent historian Peter A. They belong to different genres and the relationships between the texts and their political, social 36 Brunt , The irst case is an ex- ample of a successful land settlement — the second of a failed proposal of distribution of public land.
The geographical context of the activities mentioned in the Polla inscription is Lucania and the audience is local people. The differences are important, but should not be exagger- ated. The two case-studies also provide important similari- ties. Both sources focus on contemporary events and contain important details on the land use and manpower in Late Re- publican Italy. A close reading of them reveals that they both contain different provisions for allotments of public land, although one could of course wish for more detailed infor- mation on place and size in the elogium of Polla.
These are perhaps more comprehensive, but as demonstrated in this chapter contemporary sources should also be preferred when the theme is land, labour and legislation in Late Republican Italy. Angelo in Formis north of Capua, which involves two major themes of Roman agri- cultural history: estate management and temple land. I want to demonstrate, irstly, that our knowledge about the training of bailiffs is less than what is normally supposed, and, sec- ondly, I wish to suggest that the inscription, in conjunction with other epigraphical and literary evidence concerning the Sanctuary of Diana Tifatina in Campania, throws light on a rather neglected area of land use in the Roman Empire: the landed property of temples and sanctuaries in Italy in the Late Republic and Early Empire.
Yet, my aims are to some extent limited. I do not seek to present an exhaustive study of tem- ple land in Roman Italy, but rather to draw attention to some evidence indicating its continuing existence. The marble slab is somewhat damaged, and a small part of the inscription is missing, on its right-hand margin, but the restoration of the text poses no problems: Carlsen Libro.
This interpreta- tion of the candidati as bailiff apprentices has since been the communis opinio among modern scholars, and we read, for instance, in K. A closer examination of the inscription will, however, show that this opinion is erroneous. There can be no doubt that the joint dedication to Silvanus dating to the second cen- tury AD was raised by Ursulus, a bailiff of Diana Tifatina, and eight so-called candidati, who form the crux of the inscrip- tion. Their names imply that they were slaves, but candida- tus, in the sense of one who seeks to attain a profession, is not attested anywhere else.
Usually the word denotes candidates for an ofice or a rank, but in some cases also candidates for the membership of religious collegia, as known, for instance, from the cult of Jupiter Dolichenus in Rome4. SirAGo , n. TLL: sv. This inscription may attest to a provincial collegium, in- cluding public slaves, consecrated to Venus, and in his book on the cult of Silvanus Peter F.
Dorcey has demonstrated that collegia of this popular deity were organized in Italy too6. An aedituus is also recorded at the shrine of Diana Tifatina in the second or third century AD8, and the dedication from S. Angelo in Formis raised by Ursu- lus and the eight candidati seems to attest to a collegium rather than trainees otherwise unknown from agricultural contexts9. Daphnus of the colony Savaria, vilicus of the Septimian account-book, dedi- cated this altar, P.
BALLA et al. PAncierA ; dorcey , The same in Colum. To sum up the irst part of this chapter: while the inscrip- tion from S. Angelo in Formis does not contain any informa- tion on the training of bailiffs14, it does constitute an important source for the management of temple land in Roman Italy.
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Temple Land Ursulus was a vilicus and thus involved in the adminis- tration and exploitation of land belonging to the Temple of Diana Tifatina, later converted into the church of S. Angelo in Formis. A number of studies on slave education are devoted exclusively to urban slaves: MohLer ; forBeS ; Booth For the history of the shrine see e. Other donations followed. Thus, in BC the con- sul Ser.
Fulvius Flaccus inanced a terrace wall with money from the sale of the booty from his Illyrian campaigns. The temple was repaired and embellished with columns and a mo- saic pavement in BC by the so-called magistri. Only nine years later, in 99 BC, adjoining land was bought in order to build another wall, a chalcidium and a portico with statues of the Dioscuri.
Both the restoration of the temple and the land were paid for with funds from the temple treasury According to Velleius Paterculus, moreover, Sulla granted large plots of land to the temple in 83 BC in gratitude for his victory over the consul C. After his victory he paid a vow of grat- itude to Diana, to whom that region is sacred, and consecrated to the goddess the waters renowned for their salubrity and power to heal, as well as all the lands in the vicinity.
The boundaries of the endowed land, lying between S. Norbano concurrerat Sulla gratias Dianae, cuius numini regio illa sacrata est, solvit; aquas salubritate medendisque corporibus nobiles agrosque omnis addixit deae. Huius gratae religionis memoriam et inscriptio templi adixa posti hodieque et tabula testatur aerea intra aedem. MoAtti , , and This brief outline of the history of the Sanctuary of Diana Tifatina raises several questions. One is the legal status of the land; another is the occurrence of temple land in Roman Italy in general. According to Richard Duncan-Jones, Roman land generally fell into one of six categories: ager publicus, ager privatus, ager assignatus, imperial land, city land, and sacred land The division of land into these six categories fulils a practical purpose, but the demarcations between them are not always hard and fast, or easy to determine.
The accompanying note mentions the Temple of Diana Tifatina as the exception proving the rule. But the pic- ture is more complex than Richard Duncan-Jones suggests; the extent of temple land in Roman Italy needs to be reconsi- dered, and the common opinion revised There are a few other examples of temples and sanctuaries owning land in Italy in the Late Republic and Early Empire.
A boundary stone shows that the sanctuary of the Marsian deity Angitia owned land near Lake Fucine and that it was bordered by the cities of Alba Fucens and Marruvium The genitive, Virtutis, may refer to the name of an other- wise unknown temple of Virtus which owned the land or the grove where the saltuarius worked. It is clearly a thanks-offering to a genius loci who had granted Sulla victory on the lands over which she had dominion Sacred trees, springs and groves as well as other kinds of sacred places and rural sanctuaries were common features of the countryside in ancient Italy, and consecration of land to these divinities may not be exceptional In the Late Republic and the Early Empire the trend in the eastern provinces was to expropriate temple land, but such land survived until Constantine incorporated it in the res pri- vata Julian restored the property of the pagan gods, but the temple land was inally coniscated by Valentinian and Va- lens.
Bodei GiGLioni , According to several modern scholars, the rural sanc- tuaries declined after the Social War, but Tesse D. The Sanctuary of Diana Tifatina was probably of indigenous rather than Greek origin30, but it is a well-known fact that the Greek sanctuaries in Magna Grecia owned estates. It is possible that the right to landed property for gods of the polis was a rule followed by all Greek cities. Normally the estates were leased out by the cities to ensure the improvement and upkeep of the temples they served as well as of the cities themselves, but as pointed out by Carmine Ampolo, we have to be cautious about mak- ing generalisations.
The documents from Heraclea and Locri reveal that the status of sanctuaries in Magna Grecia was le- gally and economically heterogeneous in the fourth and third centuries BC The tenants paid rents to the sanctuary, and the city and tem- ple were two different institutions, although decisions about the latter were taken by the civic institutions A slightly dif- ferent situation evidently obtained at Heraclea where a size- able part of the territory of the Tarentine foundation in Luca- nia was owned by the Temples of Dionysos and Athena and rented out to private individuals in lots of various sizes.
The Tabulae Heracleenses show that the temple land varied in fertility and had different kinds of leases; but the two sanctu- 29 Stek , 34, with references to modern scholarship.
CIL X and the Question of Temple Land in Roman Italy 37 aries were both under the jurisdiction of the city and certain magistrates, and the tenants paid rents in kind to the city and not to the temples Some scholars have argued that sacred land had the same status as public land and should not be treated as a catego- ry by itself, although the Greeks themselves distinguished neatly between public land and land belonging to the gods The dividing-line, however, is not so important in the case of Heraclea which was one of the few cities in Italy with a so-called equal treaty with Rome, foedus aequissimum, that granted municipal self-government.
The sacred land might have continued to exist even after the town reluctantly be- came a municipium after the Social War. The land is not men- tioned in the Table of Heraclea. The excerpts of municipal laws in the Latin text do not contain any reference to the sta- tus of land. They were inscribed on the reverse of one of the Greek bronze tablets, on which the details of the temple land are given The divisions of this land do not seem to have been still valid in the late irst century BC, but what hap- pened to the land belonging to the gods in the Roman period is unclear.
This does not mean that the sacred land no longer existed, although it was always under the threat of usurpation by private individuals. Two such examples of the way temple land was rescued from such usurpation may be cited. Firstly, in the Greek peri- od the Tabulae Heracleenses represent a reorganisation of the land owned by the Temples of Dionysos and Athena which had deteriorated after its occupation by private citizens.
There are, however, important differences between the Sanctuary of Diana Tifatina and the temple land at Locri and Heraclea. On the other hand, the Temple of Diana seems to have been a rural sanctuary and was not tied to a single com- munity. The land was not leased out, but worked by the slaves directed by a bailiff like many villae rusticae owned by absentee landlords. In other words, the estates of the Sanctuary of Diana Tifatina were legally temple land, but were managed as private land in the second century AD.
The examples cited above do not, of course, justify the conclusion that temple land was extensive in Roman Italy. Yet they indicate that temple estates may have been a more common feature than the evidence suggests, or has com- monly been assumed. New interpretations of already familiar sources may provide new evidence or further indications of the survival of land belonging to the gods in Italy in the Late Republic and Early Empire. Administrative details, as well as ques- tions about when, and by whom, the imperial alimentary schemes were founded and how long they persisted, have given rise to controversies, but a central issue in the discus- sion has always been the question of why the alimenta were established in the irst place and what purpose they were in- tended to fulil1.
No contemporary source informs us why Trajan and his successors decided to extend the schemes which provided money to support children in Italian cities at the beginning of the second century AD. Only a fourth- century source, Pseudo-Aurelius Victor, mentions that the Nervan funds were intended for poor families, but this state- ment may be an anachronism relecting Christian attitudes to charity2. The different interpretations are one further conir- mation of the truism that each generation of historians must reinterpret the past in the light of its own preoccupations and experience.
But the discussion has more than a purely histo- riographical interest: it is also central to an historical study of demography and agriculture in the Roman world. That the irst and real purpose of the alimenta should be understood as economic aid to distressed farmers was not a new idea: Rostovtzeff was only elaborating the suggestions of Jerome Carcopino in his review of the still fundamental study by F. In the present context there is no need to examine this thesis, other than to point out that normally an element of Italian de- population was added to the discussion of the alimenta with the use of a terminology which has modern connotations5.
It is enough to mention Frank C. One was to give rural credits […]. For the decline thesis see PAtterSon ; verA ; id. Some minor revisions to the interpretation of Duncan-Jones were suggested by inter alia Peter Garnsey. But that the intention of the child-support measures was solely to improve the birth-rate in Italy became the predominant new orthodoxy. According to this view, one of the aims of the promotion of a higher birth-rate was prob- ably to increase the supply of free-born soldiers from the Ital- ian peninsula9.
Historical demography saw considerable advanc- es in both methodology and results in the post-war years. The famous Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure was founded in , and British scholars fo- cused increasingly on the demographic pattern of the Roman 6 Bourne , A revised version of the article is published in duncAn-JoneS , ch. It may have been a crude solution to a complex problem, but what better way of furthering crop cultivation and animal husbandry, as well as promoting the welfare of the rising generation?
Brunt: Italian Manpower One feature shared by the works of the above-mentioned scholars is that they developed theses that relied on rational economic and social factors to explain the motivation behind the establishment of the alimenta. This is also true of the im- portant studies by Elio Lo Cascio, who argued that the reason for the predominance of alimentary schemes in Central Italy was to increase the corn production on marginal farmland in regions close to Rome In more recent decades there has been a tendency to focus attention on less utilitarian factors, such as the cultural, ideological or political framework of the Roman Empire.
This trend is exempliied by two contribu- tions on the alimentary schemes in which the alimenta are seen exclusively in the context of municipal patronage and elite benefactions. Both C. Bossu and Greg Woolf pursue the remarks of Paul Veyne on the ideology of the alimenta. The jargon is obviously inluenced by the new cultural history of the time. Moreover, the interpreta- tion implies that the alimenta were not to be understood as a form of poor-relief or public charity, but rather that their beneiciaries were a random selection of citizens within the communities: i.
Valuable though these previous studies are, the landowners who participated in the alimenta have almost been forgotten, although the more recent contributions by Francesca Dal Ca- son and Gianluca Sorricelli aim to identify their origins How- ever, irrespective of their social status, the landholders were the backbone of the child endowment schemes. The landown- ers declared their properties and paid the interest on the loans which provided the foundation of the subsistence for the local pueri puellaeque alimentarii.
It makes no difference wheth- er the participating landowners in the imperial alimentary schemes had the loans imposed on them, or accepted them vol- untarily out of euergetistic motives. The interest payments, ad- ministered by the local quaestores alimentorum and their slave assistants such as vilici and actores supervised by senatorial praefecti alimentorum and equestrian procuratores alimen- torum, were constant and probably also perpetual. It was, in effect, a tax on the fundi obligati, and the annual charge dimin- ished the value of the estates.
Yet most of the loans in the two tables from Veleia and Ligures Baebiani are for sums under HS 20,, and Peter Garnsey argued that the interests on such sums did not cause distress even in years with poor harvests The economic effects of the alimentary loans for Italian agriculture have generally been dismissed since the paradigm shift in the early s.
Another point about which we know nothing is how the in- dividual landowners spent their loans.
It could have been for farm improvements or for the purchase of more land, but pre- sumably also for personal consumption So a number of different, sometimes diametrically op- posed, approaches to the alimentary schemes have emerged. Traditional political historians and social historians have sought to discover the purpose of the alimenta and their im- portance for the recipients. Economic historians have done much the same. Others have sought to understand the alimen- ta in the context of the wider framework of civic ideology or the mentality of the Roman aristocracy; others again, in terms of patronage networks.
Yet, one further important aspect of the alimenta deserves attention. The private and imperial alimentary schemes dis- tributed money or grain to thousands of selected children in Italy every month: to all appearances, their economic, and even their social, impact must have been considerable. In the present chapter I would like to discuss the consequences of these distributions for the Italian economy.
It seems improb- able that the gifts in cash or kind failed to have an impact on agricultural production in Italy, although not to the same extent as the city of Rome affected the Italian economy, as pointed out by Neville Morley in his stimulating book on Me- tropolis and Hinterland. The Scale of Imperial and Private alimenta in Italy We shall probably never know exactly how much the un- known number of puellae et pueri alimentarii received, but if 19 duncAn-JoneS , Slightly different in id. On the use of the loans: houSton The Imperial and Private alimenta in Italy: Ideology and Economy 45 the evidence is treated with caution it is at least possible to es- timate a plausible amount.
The inscriptions from Veleia and Ligures Baebiani describe the working of the alimenta in de- tail, but the epigraphic material from other Italian cities also contains valuable information on the size of the distributions. The alimentary subsidies varied according to sex and legal status. The alimentary scheme at Ligures Baebiani was on a smaller scale with a total cost of HS ,; unfortunately the number of beneiciaries and their provisions are missing, but the annual sum of subsidies was HS 20, in total The private perpetual schemes were apparently more gen- erous.
In memory of her son, a certain Caelia Macrina be- queathed HS one million for the maintenance of one hundred boys and one hundred girls at Tarracina. The pueri alimen- tarii received HS 20 per month until the age of 16 and the puellae colonis HS 16 per month up to the age of 14, equiva- lent to a total annual sum of HS 43, The donation might have been a supplementary scheme to an imperial alimenta, as suggested by a fragmentary dedication to the providentia of Trajan decorated with reliefs symbolizing the alimenta Votes: 7. Votes: 6. Braun , Hans Bussenius.
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