Gloria Vivenza and Neville Morley
Roman attitudes to wealth were complex and sometimes ambivalent. Wealth was an essential basis for political and social life, but also a topic of extensive debate, which focused on the proper uses of wealth and the proper ways of attaining it. These moral, philosophical, and literary debates had practical implications for how the Romans spent their wealth and how they acquired it.
The most common words to designate a marsh, a swamp, or a bog are helos in ancient Greek and palus in Latin; beside these terms, less common words were also employed. Literary and epigraphic texts give evidence for marshlands in the countryside, in the coastal areas, and also close to urban agglomerations. The sources often give evidence for drainage activity, but cases of extensive drainage are rare. In fact, they were possible only at public expense, by employing free or slave labor. On the other hand, several territories were characterized by a sort of marsh economy. Although rarely portrayed in literature, and despite the risk of malaria, marshy areas presented some economic potential: fishing, hunting, salt extraction, and farming. In many respects, the negative image of wetlands is a modern invention. The contrast between the rational order of the Roman countryside and the “barbaric” medieval landscape was introduced by the Enlightenment, and must be treated with caution.
Dimitri van Limbergen
Grape cultivation reached Greece towards the end of the 3rd millennium
J. P. Wild
Arnold Wycombe Gomme, Theodore John Cadoux, and P. J. Rhodes
Zeugitai (from zeugos, ‘yoke’), at Athens, Solon's third property class, said (perhaps by false analogy with *pentakosiomedimnoi) to comprise men whose land yielded between 200 and 300 medimnoi of corn or the equivalent in other produce (the other three classes were *pentakosiomedimnoi, *hippeis, *thētes). The name identifies them as those who served in the army in close ranks (cf. Plut.Pel.23), i.e. as *hoplites, or, less probably, as those rich enough to own a yoke of oxen. Despite recent doubts, this class probably included many of the farmers and craftsmen of *Attica, and provided the bulk of the hoplite army. Under Solon's constitution the zeugitai enjoyed full citizen rights except that they were not admitted to the highest magistracies (see