The first full-length study of famine in antiquity. The study provides detailed case studies of Athens and Rome, the best known states of antiquity, but also illuminates the institutional response to food crisis in the mass of ordinary cities in the Mediterranean world. Ancient historians have generally shown little interest in investigating the material base of the unique civilisations of the Graeco-Roman world, and have left unexplored the role of the food supply in framing the central institutions and practices of ancient society.
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