106 Following


Not so much a blog; just lots of books

Currently reading

A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century
Barbara W. Tuchman, Nadia May
Progress: 696/1718minutes
Conservation of Shadows
Yoon Ha Lee
Progress: 22%
Le premier jour
Marc Levy
Progress: 180/496pages
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.