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Baetica Felix

People and Prosperity in Southern Spain from Caesar to Septimius Severus

By Evan W. Haley

Publication Year: 2003

Baetica, the present-day region of Andalusia in southern Spain, was the wealthiest province of the Roman Empire. Its society was dynamic and marked by upward social and economic mobility, as the imperial peace allowed the emergence of a substantial middle social and economic stratum. Indeed, so mutually beneficial was the imposition of Roman rule on the local population of Baetica that it demands a new understanding of the relationship between Imperial Rome and its provinces. Baetica Felix builds a new model of Roman-provincial relations through a socio-economic history of the province from Julius Caesar to the end of the second century A.D. Describing and analyzing the impact of Roman rule on a core province, Evan Haley addresses two broad questions: what effect did Roman rule have on patterns of settlement and production in Baetica, and how did it contribute to wealth generation and social mobility? His findings conclusively demonstrate that meeting the multiple demands of the Roman state created a substantial freeborn and ex-slave "middle stratum" of the population that outnumbered both the super-rich elite and the destitute poor.

Published by: University of Texas Press


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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. vii-viii


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p. ix


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pp. xi-xiii

Glossary of Technical Terms

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pp. xv-xviii

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pp. 1-13

This book is a social and economic history of the Roman province of Baetica from Augustus to the Severan emperors. It represents also a contribution to the complex debate over the nature of the Roman economy. Those reflections on the Roman...

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1. Rural Settlement and Productionin Baetica, c. 50 b.c.–27 b.c.

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pp. 15-31

Change and continuity in the Baetican settlement of the land, sources of income, and the varying degrees to which the inhabitants of Baetica profited from the Pax Romana are the themes of this and subsequent chapters...

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2. Baetica Pacata

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pp. 32-45

Recent survey work in southern Spain has revealed a proliferation of rural settlements in Baetica from Augustus’ reign onward. This and the remaining chapters will seek to explain this settlement activity. The exposition and analysis will concentrate on...

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3. The Julio-Claudian Experience

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pp. 46-68

Broad changes affecting Baetica and Spain as a whole from the latter part of Augustus’ rule to the death of Nero include not only Augustus’ definitive organization of Tarraconensis, Lusitania, and Baetica, but also the formal articulation...

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4. The Flavian Impact: The Evidence Surveyed

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pp. 69-108

The purpose of this and the following chapter is to document the explosion of rural settlement in Baetica during the period c. a.d. 70–150, and to argue that the new first- through third-order rural establishments are connected...

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5. The Flavian Impact: An Analysis

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pp. 109-134

The purpose of this chapter is to put the abundant data set out in the previous sections into a larger perspective. Vespasian promulgated the Latin right throughout the Spanish provinces in 73–74, and from that period on, scores...

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6. Wealthy Baetici

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pp. 135-170

It is now time to name some of the beneficiaries of economic activity and growth in Baetica from c. 50 b.c. to c. a.d. 200. The first three sections of this chapter will consider those...

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7. The Nature of Economic Growth in Roman Imperial Baetica: A Theoretical Perspective

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pp. 171-185

All nonslaves in the province will have seen a general growth in their per capita income and accumulated wealth during the period c. 25 b.c. to a.d. 170.1 There is no decisive evidence for a substantial growth in the population...

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8. Conclusions

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pp. 186-190

The imperial peace generated a substantial middle social and economic stratum in Baetica between c. 30 b.c. and a.d. 200. The fundamental basis of this stratum’s wealth was metals and, increasingly, exportable agricultural...


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pp. 191-230


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pp. 231-262


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pp. 263-277

E-ISBN-13: 9780292797796
E-ISBN-10: 0292797796
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292734647
Print-ISBN-10: 0292734646

Page Count: 297
Illustrations: 2 maps, 1 photo
Publication Year: 2003

OCLC Number: 60334005
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Baetica Felix

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Social structure -- Spain -- Andalusia -- History -- To 1500.
  • Land settlement -- Spain -- Andalusia -- History -- To 1500.
  • Andalusia (Spain) -- Social conditions.
  • Andalusia (Spain) -- Economic conditions.
  • Andalusia (Spain) -- Civilization -- Roman influences.
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