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Unformatted text preview: We are not sure of the effectiveness of these agricultural methods, but they were successful enough to generate a surplus leading to the emergence of cities, which developed naturally, except for in Egypt. The ancient city was a natural unit of two components joined organically: the urban center, and the agricultural hinterland. The people in the towns were comparatively wealthy, and owned estateslatifundiain the hinterland. There were large number of free and semi-free peasants, and estates were also worked by tenants. Significantly, even at the height of the latifundia, free peasants persevered. These cities literally needed the estates and hinterlands for food, as the transport of foodstuffs was considered too expensivewheat double in price every 300 miles. Thus, the cities nevcer outgrew the productivity of the estates, unless they were by the sea, and impinged upon the trade lanes. The standard size of a large town was 7,000-by the sea, and impinged upon the trade lanes....
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This note was uploaded on 12/11/2011 for the course HIST 1320 taught by Professor Murphy during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.
- Fall '08