The Problems of Comparison

in Historical Materialism
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Abstract

This essay replies to the various criticisms made of Framing the Early Middle Ages (2005). It concedes a number of points relating to the importance of ideologies, the distinction between élites and aristocracies, the issue of money, and the question of the importance of the productive forces. It defends the comparative method and defends the discussions of coloni and of the spatial limitations of the peasant-mode of production in Framing. It also explores the nature of the state and aristocracy in this period.

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