Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

State Formation And Medieval Government

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

During the 1960s and early 1970s anthropologists and archaeologists developed a four-stage model for the evolution of social organisation: band, tribe, chiefdom and state. With the development of the state, hierarchy becomes increasingly fixed into at least two social classes, the leaders of states in their early phases usually being kings or emperors. This chapter discusses central and controversial problem of the nature of socio-political interaction: to what extent was there a bureaucracy, ordered ranks of seniority among nobility and royal servants, or a judicial and legal structure? This is obviously key to any understanding of medieval government, and something that extant sources such as medieval histories, annals, letters or lawcodes often only hint at; terminology that may appear to represent specific functions or offices as it might nowadays was often used in a very different way in medieval documents, sometimes in conscious imitation of Roman models.

Keywords: four-stage model; medieval government; state formation



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Kingship and State Formation in Sweden 1130-1290 — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation