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Not so much a blog; just lots of books

Currently reading

How To Be a Victorian
Ruth Goodman
Pandora's Star
Peter F. Hamilton, John Lee
Progress: 485/2241minutes
Moby-Dick: or, The Whale (Penguin Classics)
Herman Melville
Manifold: Time
Stephen Baxter, Chris Schluep
Progress: 99/480pages
The Long War
Stephen Baxter, Terry Pratchett
Progress: 68/501pages

Reading progress update: I've read 103 out of 894 pages.

The Grass Crown  - Colleen McCullough

Were the Romans really this averse to a state-funded bureaucracy?


Instead of sending out tax collectors to assess how much tax is owed etc., they have publicani bid on the tax contract. The Romans declare their minimum tax required, and they award the contract to the publicani that bid the highest. So then the publicani squeeze as much taxes as possible from the region so that they can pocket the difference between what is paid and what is owed to the Rome to maximize their profits.