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arildno is offline
Feb7-09, 09:32 AM
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The magnitude of social dislocation due to an interruption/destruction of an unevenly distributed/utilized resource is clearly positively correlated to the local dependency of that resource.

For example, the Germanic incursions in the early fifth century Roman Empire led to a swift contraction of a city-based market economy.
In rural areas that were closely connected to cities through market mechanisms, in that agrarian specializations were well underway (making the local farms dependent upon their livelihood from commercial interchange), the break-down of the city-system led to a swifter spiralling down of living conditions, even to beneath the level of those rural areas that had been largely self-sufficient and unintegrated in the maket economy prior to the occasioning incursions.

For example, in Northern Italy, pottery had been a commercial ware prior to the Germanic incursions; the type of substitute hand-made pottery for household use coming into being afterwards was of a very inferior quality to that household hand-made pottery already made in commercially unintegrated zones of the Roman empire (some zones of Britain, for example).

You may read Bryan Ward-Perkins' book on the varied effects on economy in the post-invasion Empire for further examples.