Article

Revenues and Expenditure

Wolfram Brandes and John F. Haldon

in The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199252466
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199252466.013.0051

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

 Revenues and Expenditure

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Until the last 200 years of its existence, Byzantium derived a greater part of its income from agriculture and related production. Revenues generated from agriculture always outweighed those generated from trade and customs. In the late Roman and Byzantine worlds, taxation was essentially designed to maximize exploitation and hence revenues. In the later Roman period this had been achieved by a system whereby land registered for taxation but not cultivated was attributed for assessment to neighbouring landlords, a process known as adiectio sterilium. In addition to the regular taxation of land, the state also collected a wide range of extraordinary taxes and corvées, including obligations to provide hospitality for soldiers and officials, or maintain roads, bridges, and fortifications. This article discusses the revenues and expenditures of Byzantium.

Keywords: revenues; expenditures; Byzantium; income; agriculture; taxation; adiectio sterilium; land; corvées

Article.  3778 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Middle Eastern Languages

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