Markets for Land, Labour and Capital in Late Antique Iraq, AD 200-700

in Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
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Lack of direct evidence on the functioning of factor markets in Sasanian/Late Antique Iraq makes it difficult to present a clear picture of the production side of economy during this period. However, relying on the Talmudic evidence, as well as what is mentioned in the Mādayān ī Hezār Dādestān (mhd), this article aims to provide an idea of factor markets during the Sasanian period, as well as demonstrating the areas where further evidence and research could render better results and allow us to understand the economy of this region in more depth.

Markets for Land, Labour and Capital in Late Antique Iraq, AD 200-700

in Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient



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Chegini and Nikitin 1996: 35-77 is a typical attempt at providing a summary which lacks from the usual pitfalls of generalisation and relying on a limited set of data although it does try to make good use of monumental architecture (which is the speciality of the authors). Better attempt is made by Gyselen 1997.


Rezakhani (2010) where this agricultural innovation is seen as the predecessor of the economic change and the “Green Revolution” of the early Islamic period as argued by Watson 1981.


Macuch 1993: 152reads the second number as 100 (which makes more sense) see also Macuch 1993: 164 for her commentary on the reading.


See Macuch 1993: 371 for the specific discussion of this matter which is in fact in the context of settling of the debts of a deceased person.


Christensen 1944: 150. This perfect division is only presented in Tansar’s Letter a New Persian translation of a Middle Persian political treatise written probably sometimes in the late Sasanian times but attributed to Tansar a third century priest: Minovi 1354/1975.


Christensen 1944: 149; Benveniste 1932: 117-134. However Morony 1974 includes a description of what might have been the real situation for the religious minorities under the Sasanian rule at least in Asōrestān/Iraq.


Chaumont 1989. Also Zakeri 1995: 29-31 on the status of the āzādān as the landowning class who at the same time formed the backbone of the late Sasanian army.


Christensen 1944: 157.


Chaumont 1989.


EvagriusEcclesiastical History5.19 (quoted in Morony 2004b: 176).


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