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A systematic method for estimating the populations of Greek and Roman settlements

Hanson, J. W. and Ortman, S. G. (2017) A systematic method for estimating the populations of Greek and Roman settlements. Journal of Roman Archaeology, 30. pp. 301-324. ISSN 1047-7594

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1017/S1047759400074134


The last few years have seen a growing interest in the urbanism of the Greek and Roman world. This has led to a consensus of sorts about some of its vital statistics, such as the sizes of the populations of the most important settlements and the size of the overall urban population, the urbanization rate (i.e., the share of individuals that lived in urban, rather than rural, contexts), and the total population. A good example comes from W. Scheidel in the Cambridge economic history of the Greco-Roman world. According to him, it is likely that c.1.5 million people lived in the 5 largest cities of the Greco-Roman world by the 2nd c. A.D. These included Rome, which is usually agreed to have had a population of about 1 million; Alexandria, which might have had c.500,000; Antioch, which could have had at least 150,000; and Carthage and Ephesus (Scheidel does not give explicit figures for those).

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > Classics
ID Code:86697
Publisher:Cambridge University Press

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