Paolo Tedesco

State, Taxation and Power in in Late Roman West A.D. 300-700

From the very start of my study, I have developed a strong interest in Max Weber’s work on ancient and medieval economic history, and, closely related to this, in history of the economic thought and social evolution. This led me to look into the historical evolution of the social and economic organization in the ancient and early medieval world through the lens of the representatives of the Nationalökonomen and Fachhistorikern (the so-called Bücher-Meyer Controversy). In particular, I looked at the fairly universal interest of these scholars to connect social evolution (and level of civilization) to different types of economy (natural, monetary and capitalist), and to specific forms of labour organization (slavery, serfdom and wage-labour).

This projekt represensts the logical next step to focus on a deeper level on the transition within the Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages. The intellectual challenge is therefore to discuss and rehash the theses that speak of historical evolution in terms of modes of production and social formations in order to elucidate similarities and differences both from a theoritical and empiral point of view.