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Ancient Greece and Rome : An Encyclopedia for Students by Carroll Moulton

By Carroll Moulton

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They were owned by absentee landlords and worked mostly by large groups of slaves. During the period of the late republic, this type of estate farming dominated agriculture. In southern Italy, these estates became huge grazing ranches. Overgrazing, especially by sheep, caused such severe soil erosion in the region that the land has not fully recovered to this day. Although Italy contained some of the largest estates, large estates also existed in all provinces of the empire. The latifundia became essential in meeting the food needs of towns and cities.

It contained perhaps as many as half a million volumes, the largest collection of books in the world at the time. Famous and distinguished scholars served as the chief librarians, helping other scholars classify works, establish guidelines for research, compile dictionaries, and undertake a variety of other scholarly pursuits. The intellectual atmosphere of Alexandria, created largely by the Museum and the Library, attracted poets, writers, and scholars from all over the world. The classical works of Greek writers from HOMER to EURIPIDES were studied as the greatest models of literary achievement.

The Eumpean wild ox/ or aurocfyf was orte anfmal driven to extinction* Himtens prbed the animal for its strength and endurance in the chase. Romans used ft for spectacles that featured scenes ftwdassic rtiythotegy, (Zens was sometimes depleted as an oxj Sy AJX 1000* only a few aurochs remained In central Europe. IM inlmal became extinct Jn 1527* he Greeks and Romans shared their world with many different kinds of animals, and these animals served a variety of functions in private and public life.

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