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Peasant and Empire in Christian North Africa$
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Leslie Dossey

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520254398

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520254398.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Peasant and Empire in Christian North Africa

Leslie Dossey

University of California Press

This introductory chapter begins with a discussion of the Roman perception that the peasants, the rustics, “the lowest sorts of men,” were potentially rebellious. And this perception was a new thing for the Roman Empire. Roman authors of the Principate had not used the stereotype of the rebellious peasant to vilify their enemies or spice up their historical narratives; authors of late antiquity did. The object of this book is to explain why. It casts a wide net to include changes in rural consumption, the transformation of communal structures, and the impact of Christian preaching between the third and sixth centuries ce An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords:   peasants, rustics, rebellion, Roman Empire, late antiquity

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