Tribute - Encyclopedia

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TRIBUTE (Lat. tributum, a stated payment, contribution), a sum of money or other valuable thing paid by one state or person to another state or person, either as an acknowledgment of submission, or as the price of peace or protection. Hence, in a secondary sense, an offering to mark respect or gratitude. Revenue by means of tribute was one of the most characteristic forms of the financial systems of ancient states. In imperial Athens large revenues were derived from the states of the Delian league, while in both Carthage and Rome inferior or dependent districts and races were laid under contribution to a very considerable extent (see Finance).

The word tribute was also applied in the Roman republic to (I) certain extraordinary taxes, as opposed to the ordinary vectigalia. Such, in particular, were certain property taxes, raised to meet the expenses of war. They were levied on all citizens alike, in proportion to the extent of a man's fortune, and varied according to the total amount of revenue to be raised. (2) To the ordinary stipendium or tax of fixed amount paid either in money or in kind, on property, trades, or as a poll-tax, raised in the Roman provinces (see Province).

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