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date: 10 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the history of state formation in the Byzantine Empire, or the eastern Roman Empire, during the fourth century to the fifteenth century CE. It explains that the Byzantine successor state evolved out of Roman institutional arrangements structured as a hierarchy of administrative levels and that it was a complex bureaucracy which required a substantial degree of more-than-minimal clerical literacy for its day-to-day administration. The chapter also chronicles the growth of the town-based landlord elite or gentry that was associated with the economic expansion and growth of the period, and which had critical implications for state control over the distribution of resources.

Keywords: Byzantine Empire, state formation, Roman Empire, Byzantine successor state, complex bureaucracy, landlord elite, institutional arrangements, economic expansion, state control, distribution of resources

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