Wednesday, October 23, 2019


The Self-Cleaning City

Wolf Liebeschuetz, "Rubbish Disposal in Greek and Roman Cities," East and West in Late Antiquity: Invasion, Settlement, Ethnogenesis and Conflicts of Religion (Leiden: Brill, 2015), pp. 3-18 (at 9):
But to some extent, as E. Rodríguez-Almeida has explained,11 the ancient city was "self-cleaning". Dogs, pigs and other animals kept in the houses or running wild no doubt consumed what was edible. Whatever waste material could be reused in some way or other was reused. Scavengers and rag-and-bone men (Latin scrutarii) of various kinds no doubt picked up whatever was useful and could be sold, leaving only what was absolutely useless and disgusting.

11 Raventos and Remola, 2000, 123–127.
The reference is to Sordes Urbis, edd. X.D. Raventos and J.-A. Remola (Rome: Breitschneider, 2000 = Monografías de la Escuela Española de Historia y Arqueología en Roma, 24).

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