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date: 30 May 2024



  • Eugene N. Borza


Was a valuable economic product in Greece and Rome. Many Mediterranean lands were forested in ancient times, but these timber stands were drastically reduced by human exploitation and by the grazing of animals, especially goats. The Mediterranean climate is capable of sustaining forests so long as they are intact, but once the trees are cut, the combination of marginal rainfall and grazing animals makes forest regeneration difficult, if not impossible. In general, the history of timber supplies is one of gradual depletion, with little effort in antiquity to replant harvested lands. Only in those areas of continental rainfall conditions which lie at some distance from dense human settlement (e.g. the mountains of *Macedonia) have forests survived into modern times. Thus lacking much apparent physical correlation between modern scrubland and ancient forests we are dependent upon references in the ancient authors (e.g. *Theophrastus and the elder *Pliny (1)) for a description of the location and abundance of ancient timberland.


  • Ancient Economy

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