© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2010 DOI: 10.1163/002249910X12573963244322 Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 53 (2010) 149-184 brill.nl/jesh Purchase on Power: Imperial Space and Commercial Space in Song-Dynasty Kaifeng, 960-1127 Christian de Pee * Abstract In Song-dynasty Kaifeng, empire and emporia existed in a relationship of mutual depen- dence and mutual competition. Th e imperial government depended on merchants for the shipment of grain and goods to supply its massive armies and to pay the salaries of its oﬃ - cials; the merchants derived their income directly or indirectly from these government expenditures. Th e concentration of wealth and goods in the capital generated in turn a culture of sumptuary competition. Th e contests over space in the streets of the capital, and the competition for the goods that circulated through them, reveal conﬁ gurations of power that rarely ﬁ nd direct expression in writing. À Kaifeng, capitale des Song du Nord, l’empire et les emporia se trouvaient dans une rela- tion de dépendance mais aussi de compétition. En eﬀ et, le gouvernement impérial dépen- dait des marchands pour le transport des grains et des marchandises avec lesquels il approvisionnait ses armées et payait
Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2009
Keywords: Kaifeng; imperial; Song China; commercial city-space; markets; empires
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