Byzantium 1000 Social group



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Byzantium 1000



Social group

Percentage of population

Per capita income (in nomismas per annum)

Income in terms of per capita mean

Tenants (on land)

37

3.5

0.56

Urban ‘marginals’

2

3.5

0.56

Farmers

52

3.8

0.61

Workers

3

6

0.97

Army, navy

1

6.5

1.05

Traders, skilled craftsmen

3.5

18

2.90

Large landowners

1

25

4.02

Nobility (civilian and military)

0.5

350

56.31

Total

100

6.22

1

Notes: Nobility includes civil and military nobility. The average household size estimated at 4.3 (see Lefort, 2002).

Income distribution data: Taken directly from Milanovic (2006: Table 5, p. 465). Rural incomes are based mostly on Lefort (2002) who quantifies population shares and incomes of several classes; rural population is divided into tenants (pariokoi); farmers that include both landowning peasants and (not very numerous) hired farm workers and slaves working on large estates; and large landowners. Urban population is, following Morrisson and Cheyney (2002), divided into four classes plus nobility (both civilian and military). Additional explanations given in Milanovic (2006: pp. 461-8).
Other incomes and wages (for comparison and illustrative purposes):




Amount in nomisma

Amounts in terms of the estimated average annual income

Source

Heads of themes (administrative units) annual wage (around year 900)

360 to 720

58 to 115

Ostrogorsky (1969, p. 246)

Heads of the three most important themes (around year 900)

2880

~460

Ostrogorsky (1969, p. 246)

Military commanders

144

23

Morrisson and Cheynet (2002, p. 861)


Population and area: For population, see Milanovic (2006, p. 461). It is a compromise estimate (15 million) based on Treadgold (2001), Andreades (1924) and Harl (1996). Area: Treadgold (2001, p. 5).
Urbanization rate: See Milanovic (2006, p. 461), based on Bairoch’s (1985) cut-off point of 5,000 inhabitants.
Mean income in $PPP: Average income (6.22 nomisma) divided by the estimated subsustence minimum (3.5 nomisma), and the latter priced at $PPP 300 at 1990 international prices. This gives (6.22/3.5*300) mean income of $533 in $PPPs. From Milanovic (2006, pp. 456-7).

REFERENCES
Andreades (1924), “De la monnaie et de la puissance d’achat des metaux precieux dans l’Empire byzantin”, Ext. B.N., pp. 75-115.

Bairoch, Paul (1985), De Jėricho à Mexico: villes et economies dans l’histoire, Paris: Arcades, Gallimard.

Harl, Kenneth H. (1996), Coinage in the Roman Economy, 300 B.C. to A.D. 700, Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Lefort, Jacques (2002), “The rural economy, seventh –twelfth Century” in Angeliki Laiou (ed.), The Economic History of Byzantium: from the Seventh through the Fifteenth Century, Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks, pp. 231-310.

Milanovic, Branko (2006), “An estimate of average income and inequality in Byzantium around year 1000,” Review of Income and Wealth 52 (3).

Morrisson, Cecile and Jean-Claude Cheynet (2002), “Prices and wages in the Byzantine world” in Angeliki Laiou (ed.), The Economic History of Byzantium: from the Seventh through the Fifteenth Century, Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks, pp. 807-870.



Ostrogorsky, Georgije (1969), Istorija Vizantije, Beograd: Prosveta. English translation History of the Byzantine State, New Brunswick, N.J.:Rutgers Byzantine Series, 1999 [1969].

Treadgold, Warren T. (2001), A Concise History of Byzantium, Palgrave.


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