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The Cost of States: Politics and Exactions in the Christian West (Sixth to Fifteenth Centuries)

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with the extraction of resources and the development of fiscal systems, and with the institutions that enabled these. It addresses the following questions: How was political activity funded? How were political structures influenced by the manner of the funding? What were the social and economic consequences of the circulation of resources activated by politics? Resources are understood in a broad fashion, as the incomes of a given community but also as the procedures, rules and practices regulating the social interactions that determine production, distribution and consumption. Examining types of States and revenues in the feudal world, the significance of tithe as form of extraction, and the place assigned to tribute and plunder in historiographical models, Carocci and Collavini's article invites discussion of the extent to which the western models of the relationship between politics and resources are also applicable to the Byzantine or Islamic areas.

Keywords: Byzantine area; economic consequences; feudal world; fiscal systems; Islamic areas; social interactions



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