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From Ad Hoc to Routine: A Case Study in Medieval Bureaucracy (The Middle Ages Series)

ISBN: 9780812230796
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Edition: First Edition
Publication Date: 1991-02-01
Number of pages: 280
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This study focuses on the evolution of the office of General Receiver of Flanders from 1262 to 1372, and proposes that the emergence of such an office was a crucial factor in the formation of the modern state during the Middle Ages. As the commercial and industrial centre of Northern Europe, the county of Flanders was early in developing a financial apparatus, yet careful examination of a wide variety of Flemish financial records reveals that the Count of Flanders had no preconceived plan for the creation of a central financial office. Instead, the office was formed and sustained by an internal dynamic in which initially ad hoc actions evolved into administrative routine. Where formerly there had existed only a disparate set of functions, confined to no particular member of the Count's household, there gradually evolved a permanent official position - the General Receiver - salaried and accountable, with the management of the county's finances.

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