In the core of debate on affluence and the rise of moralizing religions in the ancient Mediterranean

Vojtěch Kaše and Tomáš Glomb contributed to the discussion on the relationship between affluence on the rise of moralizing religions in Religion, Brain & Behavior through the commentary of the target article by Peter Turchin, Harvey Whitehouse et al.

This is one of the results of their Czech Science Foundation project affiliated with Masaryk University and the University of West Bohemia (The Cultural Evolution of Moralizing Religions in the Ancient Mediterranean: A Distant Reading Approach).

1. 7. 2022

(A) Trajectories of Agri variable representing the measure of prosperity from agricultural yields in the target article in the period from 1000 BCE to 1000 CE; (B) Temporal distributions of LIRE and PHI epigraphic datasets, depicted as a cumulative kernel density estimation (KDE) plot of 100 simulated time series.

The article by Kaše and Glomb (Affluence, agricultural productivity and the rise of moralizing religion in the ancient Mediterranean, is a reaction to the target article by Peter Turchin, Harvey Whitehouse et al. "Explaining the rise of moralizing religions: a test of competing hypotheses using the Seshat Databank" (

Kaše and Glomb claim that the authors of the target article are oversimplifying their approach to history when they model trends in prosperity and affluence as continuously rising throughout the past. Kaše and Glomb demonstrate on quantitative epigraphic analysis and on existing scholarship that there were significant fluctuations in affluence in the context of the ancient Mediterranean.

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