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RBL 10/2008 Klinkott, H., S. Kubisch, and R. Müller-Wollermann ...

RBL 10/2008 Klinkott, H., S. Kubisch, and R. Müller-Wollermann ...

RBL 10/2008 Klinkott, H., S. Kubisch, and R. Müller-Wollermann

RBL 10/2008 Klinkott, H., S. Kubisch, and R. Müller-Wollermann, eds. Geschenke und Steuern, Zölle und Tribute: Antike Abgabenformen in Anspruch und Wirklichkeit Culture and History of the Ancient Near East 29 Leiden: Brill, 2007. Pp. xxvii + 568. Hardcover. $265.00. ISBN 9004160655. Mark W. Hamilton Abilene Christian University Abilene, Texas This collection of eighteen essays explores facets of redistribution of goods in multiple forms (gift-giving and gift-receiving, taxation and duties, tribute, and booty) in Egypt, Syria-Palestine, Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Greece, and the Greco-Roman world. The volume thus marks a timely intervention in research on these ancient cultures, as we seek to understand the basic social mechanisms by which they operated. The careful distinctions that the authors make, and their close attention to detail, help advance the discussion beyond a reductionistic approach to the economic life of these ancient cultures toward a greater understanding of the intertwined relationships of economy and society. The book begins and ends with essays orienting the reader to the theoretical and evidentiary issues in play here. The opening essay, by Rössler (“Von der Gabe zur Abgabe: Transaktionen im politischen Kontext” [3–37]), draws on diverse theoretical and empirical studies of the relationships between the economic and gifting spheres to work out a threedimensional model of the exchange of goods. Transactions can be ritual gift-giving, tax collection, or market-driven exchanges, depending on the relative balance of three elements: reciprocity, redistribution, and market factors such as price and supply and demand. These types of exchange appear at different stages of social development, with the last correlating with certain types of states. Although such a short essay must perforce This review was published by RBL ©2008 by the Society of Biblical Literature. For more information on obtaining a subscription to RBL, please visit http://www.bookreviews.org/subscribe.asp.

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