Wolfram Brandes, Finanzverwaltung in Krisenzeiten. _Untersuchungen zur byzantinischen Administration im 6.-9. Jahrhundert_. [Forschungen zur byzantinischen Rechtsgeschichte, 25.] [Book Review]

Byzantinische Zeitschrift 96 (2):717-728 (2003)
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The history of the transformation of late Roman fiscal administrative structures into those of the middle Byzantine period have been at the centre of discussions of the nature of the Byzantine state for over a century, and not simply because they were fundamental to the ways in which late Roman and early Byzantine government could function. For the fiscal administration of the empire reflected both the social structure of the society in which the state was rooted as well as the logistical and environmental constraints which informed the way in which the imperial court and the emperors could run their empire. Brandes' important contribution to this discussion is perhaps one of the most significant publications yet to appear, not only because he is able to take into account all the latest research (and the literature exploited is exhaustive) but also because we now have at our disposal a far better basis in the contemporary sources than hitherto – and in particular, in the form of the vast wealth of sigillographic data which earlier scholars such as Bury or Dölger or Lemerle could only begin to appreciate.



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