Několik poznámek k pozdní antice z hlediska bohatství a chudoby

Source document: Sborník prací Filozofické fakulty brněnské univerzity. G, Řada sociálněvědná. 1997, vol. 46, iss. G39, pp. [33]-42
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The essay attempts to show, with help of several characteristic examples, the role of rich and privileged people in the Later Roman Empire in the West, in the areas of tax politics, urban life and conditions of life for people in rural areas (coloni). In the Later Roman Empire, there existed poverty and discrimination against small producers, the state was growing poor but the social strata of large farmers and renters was growing, and they were still disposing of a great wealth. This situation had been critically analysed already by their contemporaries. Speculators appeared as they tend to in critical conditions of general distress. Sometimes, the rich were, often pointlessly, embittering the lives of the poor. This stands in contrast to the law, where examples of helping the poor were not exceptional. In the fight between the state and large landowners, however, the state was not always the winner. Many a cruel feature of the late ancient life could have mitigated if the rich were willing to restrain themselves, be more thoughtful of the poor; it means behaviour to which the state, in all its economical preoccupation and difficulties with barbarians, was able to neither break down or alleviate.