Land and Society in the Christian Kingdom of Ethiopia

Land and Society in the Christian Kingdom of Ethiopia : From the Thirteenth to the Twentieth Century

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Donald Crummey's monumental work is the first extended history of Ethiopia to focus on the system of taxation and tribute, called gult, that underpinned the region's social and political structure for some six centuries. By making imaginative use of previously overlooked records, particularly property documents that were written in the margins and flyleaves of Ethiopian manuscripts, Crummey provides new insight into how ordinary farming and herding folk were incorporated into and affected by the institutions that ruled them. He examines how social relations affected the conditions for economic production and how, in turn, people of power drew on the wealth created by society's basic producers. The persistence over six centuries of a continuing pattern of social inequality, Crummey concludes, can only be explained by the social character of gult as a foundation of enduring relations between the tribute payer and the tribute more

Product details

  • Hardback | 400 pages
  • 159.8 x 237.2 x 27.4mm | 756.42g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252024826
  • 9780252024825

Review quote

"A rare event in modern academic publishing, the culmination of a lifetime's scholarship... a tour de force of research... Crummey shows how statehood, religion and land rights, autonomous but closely linked, defined the relationship between production and authority in highland Ethiopia over a period of some seven centuries... A book for which to be grateful." -- Christopher Clapham, Times Literary Supplement "An excellent volume on the relationship between land, social relations, and power in Ethiopia from medieval times to the present." -- Choice "While Crummey's study incorporates some of the essential elements of social history, his interpretation extends well beyond social history to include Ethiopia's complex dynastic and ecclesiastical history." -- Christopher A. Conte, African Studies Review ADVANCE PRAISE "An extraordinary achievement." - Christopher Clapham, author of Transformation and Continuity in Revolutionary Ethiopia "Promises to make a truly important contribution to Ethiopian studies, African history, and comparative feudal studies... This is exceptionally rich material, scrupulously researched, trenchantly argued, and lucidly expounded." - Donald N. Levine, author of Greater Ethiopia: The Evolution of a Multiethnic Society "This is one of the most important works to have been written in recent years on the political and social history of Ethiopia. It is based on a rich corpus of documentary material and it demonstrates a masterful handling of the pertinent Ethiopianist as well as general African scholarship. With the publication of this work, Ethiopianist historiography has made one major step forward." - Bahru Zewde, author of A Modern History of Ethiopiashow more