Rent in ownership relations on Ager Colonicus in Rome (1-2 centuries AD)

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In Roman agrimensura, starting from the archaic period, there was a division of land areas: culta - meant fields suitable for tillage; inculta - unsuitable for grain crops. Culta were subjected to divisio, forming the category agri divisi. Inculta retained the status of Publicus, so they were not divisi. But the importance of these lands was important when organizing Ager Colonicus, since they created an opportunity for settlers to engage in farming and cattle breeding in addition to farming. Roman surveyors identified categories of such public lands. They could be used by the owners of nearby plots. Such lands were provided to new settlers for rent for vectigal. These were the relic lands (agri relicti) and the massif that made up the colony’s reserve (extra clusa). In addition, the remnants of the surveying - subsecivi (unoccupied centuries or its fragments) were also provided to the colonists for temporary lands. A “joint pasture” (compscuus) was often created on the segments. Also, on lease terms, the new settlers used the forest and pasture (silva et pascua). On all categories of land, ownership relations were formed within the boundaries of Ager Colonicus. As a result, the colonist’s economy acquired a complex character, which contributed to the prosperity of this new settlement.

About the authors

Inna Andreevna Gvozdeva

Lomonosov Moscow State University

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6075-9033

PhD in Historical Sciences

1 Leninskiye Gory St, Moscow, Russian Federation, 119991


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