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Ronnie Ellenblum (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) - Data Scarcity

Affluence, unlike setbacks or collapse, is not an event with a clear beginning or definite end, and it is difficult therefore to date or measure it. I define affluence as an extended process in which luxury goods and services gradually become commodities and even staples, and a “state of mind” of affluence is created. Fine examples of such historical transitions are societies’ attitude toward running water, monumental construction, infrastructures, public domains, private housing, consumption, diet and leisure. My paper will analyze the correlation between the ameliorated climatic conditions that prevailed from the beginning of the Roman Optimum (which I date to the 390s BCE), and the continuous population growth that lasted for more than 6 centuries without reaching a discernible Malthusian ceiling, although many cities reached sizes which would not be paralleled until the early modern period. It will show how the foundation date of the 334 cities established during the early stages of the Roman Optimum can serve as a well dated proxy of this process.
Ronnie Ellenblum is a professor at the Department of Geography at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Prof.  Ellenblum is specializing in the geography, history, and archaeology of the Crusades and in urban geographical history and in environmental history.



Friday, October 14, 2016. 12:00 PM


Building 110, Rm. 112


Humanities Center, Department of Classics




Free and open to public