The first in-depth study of Roman water rights in Italy
As is increasingly true today, fresh water in ancient Italy was a limited resource, made all the more precious by the Roman world's reliance on agriculture as its primary source of wealth. From estate to estate, the availability of water varied, in many cases forcing farmers in need of access to resort to the law. In Gardens and Neighbors: Private Water Rights in Roman Italy, Cynthia Bannon explores the uses of the law in controlling local water supplies. She investigates numerous issues critical to rural communities and the Roman economy. Her examination of the relationship between farmers and the land helps draw out an understanding of Roman attitudes toward the exploitation and conservation of natural resources and builds an understanding of law in daily Roman life.
"Gardens and Neighbors will provide an important building block in the growing body of literature on the ways that Roman law, Roman society, and the economic concerns of the Romans jointly functioned in the real world."
—Michael Peachin, New York University
Jacket illustration: Barren Tuscan Fields in Winter © 2009 Scott Gilchrist. Image from stock.archivision.com.
"[Bannon's] examination of the relationship between farmers and the land helps draw out an understanding of Roman attitudes toward the exploitation and conservation of natural resources, and builds an understanding of law in daily Roman life."
"...an engaging social study of suburban and rural agriculture within Italy, elucidating the very human issues and concerns that created the law of servitudes."
—Leanne Bablitz, Journal of Roman Studies
Copyright © 2009, University of Michigan. All rights reserved. Posted May 2009.
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