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Full description for Order, Legitimacy, and Wealth in Ancient States

  • Three terms, Order, Legitimacy and Wealth, delineate a comparative approach to ancient civilizations initially developed by John Baines, Professor of Egyptology at the University of Oxford, and Norman Yoffee, Professor of Archaeology and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan, in 1992. In an influential paper, they compared and contrasted the nature of social and political power in Egypt and Mesopotamia. This was the first analysis of the impact of wealth and high culture on the development of states. The contributors to the present book, first published in 2000, apply the classic Baines/Yoffee model to a range of ancient states around the world, providing documentary and archaeological evidence on the production and uses of 'high culture', literature and monumental architecture. There are chapters on Mesoamerica, the Andes, the Indus Valley, the Han Dynasty of China, and Greece during the Roman empire, while others expand on the original Egypt-Mesopotamia comparison.