The late Roman world from the sixth century was dominated initially by four land-masses (Asia Minor or Anatolia, very roughly modern Turkey; the Levant or Middle Eastern regions down to and including Egypt; North Africa, from Egypt westwards to the Atlantic; and the Balkans). The Mediterranean and Black Seas united these very different regions, and after the loss of much of Italy and all of North Africa during the seventh and eighth centuries, acted as a connecting corridor between east and west. The climate of these very different regions determined the patterns of agricultural and pastoral exploitation within the empire’s borders and the nature of the state’s surplus-extracting activities.
KeywordsMaize Depression Europe Shipping Syria
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