Working Papers by Author

Saskia Hin - Classics Department, Stanford University


110703 Counting Romans
Saskia Hin, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: This article focuses on the debate about the size of the population of Roman Italy. I point at logical inconsistencies related to the dominant view that the Republican census tallies are meant to report all adult males. I argue instead that the figures stemming from the Republican census may represent adult men sui iuris and suggest that those of the Augustan censuses include all citizens sui iuris regardless of age and sex. This implies a population size under Augustus which falls between those suggested by ‘high counters’ and ‘low counters’. Since the share of free citizens enumerated as sui iuris was further affected by various historical phenomena a range of intermediate scenarios or ‘middle counts’ is perceivable. However, such factors as affect the multiplier all pull in the same downward direction. Therefore, it is likely that the number of people inhabiting Roman Italy in Augustan times was closer to that suggested by the ‘low count’ than to that implied by the ‘high count’.

100704 Family matters: Economy, culture and biology: fertility and its constraints in Roman Italy
Saskia Hin, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: This article approaches the phenomenon of fertility in Roman Italy from a range of perspectives. Building on anthropological and economic theory, sociology and human evolutionary ecology various processes that affect fertility patterns by influencing human behaviour are set out. The insights provided by these disciplines offer valuable tools for our understanding of fertility in the ancient world, and enable assessment of the likelihood of historical demographic scenarios proffered. On their basis, I argue that there is little force in the argument that attributes a perceived demographic decline during the Late Roman Republic to a drop in fertility levels amongst the mass of the Roman population.