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Title: From Indemnity to Integration: Economic Decline in Late Hellenistic Aitolia
Authors: Ljung, Emma Kerstin Minerva
Advisors: Childs, William A. P.
Contributors: Art and Archaeology Department
Keywords: Aitolia
ancient economy
Greco-Roman interaction
Late Hellenistic period
Subjects: Archaeology
Classical studies
Economic history
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: In the last two centuries BC, the mountainous region Aitolia on the north shore of the Corinthian gulf transformed from a densely populated landscape, home to a powerful, influential federation with an internationally integrated economy, to a dispersed, politically inactive backwater that at the time of Augustus' reorganization of Greece showed few overt signs of socioeconomic complexity or connectivity. Commonly, the Roman indemnity of 189 BC, after which the region disappeared from the historical narrative, is thought to have caused this decline. While the ultimate aim is a reconsideration of Aitolia as disconnected and "empty" in view of the synoicism of Nikopolis, this dissertation investigates the mechanisms and trajectories of the regional decline through a detailed study of relevant economic tendencies. An inclusive exploration of Aitolian literary, epigraphic, numismatic, archaeological and topographic data, which has never before been subjected to comprehensive study, serves to explain the rapid transformation as a complex socioeconomic phenomenon determined by not one but a series of factors. These include, among others, preexisting debt, an agrarian countryside in disrepair, unsatisfactory local coin production, the territorial conditions of the Roman indemnity, and most significantly, the characteristic structures and problem-solving mechanisms of the regional economy. This dissertation contextualizes these factors by placing regional change in a broader historical setting. Aitolian decline was neither immediate nor complete. This study demonstrates that despite radically altered settlement patterns some Aitolian cities retained the connectivity needed for survival well into the imperial period. Thereby, it challenges the overly simplistic traditional reading of the Augustan reorganization of Greece and fills a major gap in modern scholarship on the Late Hellenistic period. The transformative Greco-Roman interaction presented the Greek states with a multitude of problems, many of them socioeconomic in nature. By focusing on a deeply neglected region and its problem-solving mechanisms, this dissertation emphasizes the need for detailed appreciation of their responses, reactions and activity in the last two centuries BC. Simultaneously, it invites consideration of evidence not commonly discussed in terms of economies and as a result, promotes a more inclusive approach to the ancient economy.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Art and Archaeology

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