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176–7. 89 For discussion of both the potential of using survey data to answer questions of this sort, and the methodological diYculties encountered, see Sbonias 1999. 90 Osborne 2004. 28 Rural Landscapes of Imperial Italy increasing numbers of sites in speciWc areas of Italy might reXect localized responses to lucrative new markets for agricultural products, or a developing elite preference for rural rather than urban residence, rather than undue population pressure. 91 In any case, the diversity of the patterns identiWed across Italy tends to argue against broad trends of population increase or decline: if the whole population of the peninsula was increasing, we might expect to see the phenomenon of increasing site numbers manifested more broadly across Italy.
The population of Italy in the imperial period has in itself been a focus of extensive recent debate. 78 Brunt’s Wgure is based on the argument that the census Wgures for the Augustan age, preserved in Augustus’ Res Gestae (4,063,000 in 28 bc, rising to 4,937,000 in ad 14: RG 8), indicate not just the number of adult male citizens, as had been the case for the Wgure deriving from the last census held under the Republic, in 70–69 bc (when the Wgure recorded was 900,000 or 910,000 citizens: Livy Per.
3). 104 Malaria is spread by 102 Sallares 2002: 197. 103 Compare also Hor. Epist. 1. 16. 5–16. 104 Brunt 1987: 611–24; Sallares 2002; Scheidel 2003. Phil. thesis, Malaria, Land-Use and Drainage in Roman Italy: Ancient Evidence and Modern Ideology (1998). 107 Mountainous areas were less aVected by malaria than the lowlands, since the lower temperatures and the prevalence of winds made it impossible for the mosquitoes to thrive and breed. 108 It is interesting in this context that Pliny the Younger comments on the large numbers of elderly people to be found at Tifernum (Plin.