Farming in the ancient Greek world: how should the small free producers be defined?
In recent studies on the rural world in ancient Greece the application of the notion of peasant to the rural homestead has received several objections. Some scholars have preferred to use the notion of farmer to characterise the family smallholding. In this paper I first review these standpoints, and then reconsider the evidence concerning the Greek words georgos and autourgos and also concerning the patterns of settlement and agricultural systems produced by archaeological surveys. Finally, I offer my own view based on a model of multiple social and economic situations in which Greek smallholders could be involved along the family life cycle.
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