Despite intermittent turbulence and destruction, much of the Roman West came under barbarian control in an orderly fashion. Goths, Burgundians, and other aliens were accommodated within the provinces without disrupting the settled population or overturning the patterns of landownership. Walter Goffart examines these arrangements and shows that they were based on the procedures of Roman taxation, rather than those of military billeting, as has long been thought. Resident proprietors could be left in undisturbed possessions of their lands because the proceeds of taxation, rather than the land itself, were awarded to the barbarian troops and their leaders. In tracing these arrangements, Professor Goffat documents the transmission of certain administrative institutions to the early Middle Ages, illustrates how Goths, Burgundians, and Lombards obtained a place in the society of the ex-Roman West, and suggests what became of imperial taxation under new management.
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