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Title: The economic condition of the main Cyrenaican cities (north-eastern Libya) from the Hellenistic to the mid-Roman period : textual analysis
Author: Abdelhamed, Muna H.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7657 8693
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis investigates cereals, grapes and horses as key examples of Cyrenaica's agro-pastoral economic resources in the Hellenistic and early-mid Roman periods. These have been examined in three case studies to indicate the region's potential for producing annual crops, fruiting plants and animal products. Since cereals and horses are difficult to trace archaeologically and the archaeological data associated with grape cultivation and wine production is quite modest, the main database used in this thesis relates to textual evidence. This includes the literary documents of the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Ottomans, and the first European travellers. The epigraphy and a papyrus relating to the period of study are also significant data used in this project. The epigraphic data collected from the Inscriptions of Greek Cyrenaica (IGCyr), Greek Verse Inscriptions of Cyrenaica (GVCyr) and Inscriptions of Roman Cyrenaica (IRCyr) projects are the principal sources of information. Using textual data required me to implement new approaches to test the region's agro-pastoral capacity. In order to demonstrate the region's connectivity, the thesis investigates some of the imported commodities and highlights things that were perhaps exported in return. It also discusses the reasons why Cyrenaican citizens received honours attested in external and local epigraphic evidence. The research suggests that these people were Cyrenaican cereal traders involved in Mediterranean commercial activities. Additionally, ancient geographical references to Cyrenaican coastal sites including harbours and anchorages receive close attention in this thesis. The 16 maritime points (9 are ports and anchorages) between Cherronesos (Χερρόνησος) and Catabathmus (Κατάβαθμος) mentioned in Stadiasmus, raises a question about the maritime connectivity between Cyrenaica and Egypt in the second century AD. Finally, the results also allow me to draw a clear picture of the economic contribution of Libyan groups to Cyrenaica's prosperity. This includes harvesting silphium, breeding animal and connecting Cyrenaica with the African Sahara.
Supervisor: Mattingly, David ; Shipley, Graham Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available