Chapter

Life and death: Material civilisation and mental attitudes

Jo Barnes

in Rome in Late Antiquity

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2000 | ISBN: 9780748612390
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651009 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748612390.003.0010
Life and death: Material civilisation and mental attitudes

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As early as the second century bc, keeping Rome supplied with food had been a thorny problem. Its population was large, and neither Latium nor the neighbouring regions of Italy could by themselves provide for its enormous daily needs. The chief food consumer in the Roman world, the city thus received, during the ‘open sea’ months between April and October, supply convoys organised by the state to offset the inadequacy of private commerce in satisfying the city's requirements. The goods were stored in the horrea situated by the Tiber. The founding of Constantinople gradually deprived Rome of one of its most important sources of supply. The city became increasingly reliant on grain from Africa. Its transport was still the responsibility of the public service of the annona, which supervised its route from source to distribution point. This chapter further explores Rome's attitudes to death, inhumation and catacombs.

Keywords: Rome; food; Constantinople; grain; Africa; annona; death; inhumation; catacombs

Chapter.  6785 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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