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17

Speaking very generally, merchant groups were relatively marginalized in all pre-modern societies. They formed networks across city-states in different regions, but were not allowed to take strong political footholds in more centralized states. Political rulers saw economic power as a threat, a (sometimes necessary) evil and were generally successful in ...


14

The Inca might have been the largest non-literate society in history. Allow me to explain by way of two definitional digressions. Any society has peripheral or marginal members that are less in tune. We won't know quite where to draw the line, and of course the population data we have is worse than incomplete. More so, the concept of society that we all ...


10

Question: Did the Catholic Church have a police force in the medieval period? For example, if a British king was accused of heresy by the church, who would have arrested him? I’m specifically interested in the time period around 500 AD Britain wasn't primarily a Christian territory in 500 AD. Rome had recalled it's legions 383 AD and the Britons ...


5

Olivier Bernier's biography 'Louis XIV' says, based on Mme de Motteville's account (II, 286): "Having seen the Queen in her bed, we went off home ... As soon as we had left, the gates of the Palais Royal were closed with the command to not open them again. The Queen got up again to think about her situation and confided her secret only to her First ...


4

The African state of Mthethwa might count. It was a nation that existed from around 1775 to 1817 that predated the Zulu Kingdom and, as far as we know, had no formal writing system. The nation used military innovations such as the system of age regiments (amabutho) that would come to be utilized by the Zulu empire. While not as big as the Inca, it was around ...


3

No, the Catholic Church did not have a Police force around 500 AD to arrest a British King. Some of the reasons why this was not so: Police, as it is known today, started to form during the 17th Century in the Roman Empire the army was commonly used where needed The Catholic Church, as a state authority, did not yet exist Kingdoms had envolved from ...


2

Basically I am trying to paint a vivid mental picture of how the merchant class gained power equal to or above the kings in Europe, China, and India (or anywhere else). Who were the key merchants (what were their names or ethnicities), and what did they do to aid in this transition? IMHO, you are trying to paint a picture of a world that has never existed! ...


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