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The Early State Analogues

В сборник Кульпина на англ. Отдано в начале 2007 года

Leonid E. Grinin

‘Social Evolution & History’, Volgograd, Russia


It is recognized widely enough that a pre-state society in order to get transformed into a state must have a certain size of territory and population, a necessary degree of sociocultural complexity and an ability to produce sufficient quantities of surplus. However, sometimes cultures significantly exceed required levels of those parameters without forming states. In addition to this, we know historically and ethnographically a considerable number of stateless societies not at all inferior to the early state societies with respect to their territory, population, sociocultural and/or political complexity. So, the question is: how to classify such societies? Compared to unquestionably pre-state societies, such as, for example, simple chiefdoms, they are not only larger in size but much more complex as well. In a certain sense, they can be regarded as being at the same level of sociocultural development as early-state societies. And, since both types of societies faced similar problems and solved similar tasks, I identify complex stateless societies as analogues of early state.


We know many historical and ethnographic cases of polities which differ from the early state significantly in political organization and power as well as administrative structure, but are similar to the state in size and complexity (Beliaev et al. 2002; Bondarenko 1995, 2000a, 2000b, 2001; Bondarenko and Korotayev 2000; Bondarenko and Sledzevski 2000; Crumley 1995, 2001; Girenko 1995; Grinin 1997, 2000a, 2000b, 2001, 2002a, 2002b, 2002c, 2002d; 2003a, 2003b, 2003c, 2004b; Grinin, Carneiro, Bondarenko, Kradin, Korotayev 2004; Korotayev 1995, 2000a, 2000b; Kradin et al. 2000; Kradin, Bondarenko, and Barfield 2003; Kradin and Lynsha 1995; McIntoch 1999a, 1999b; Popov 1995a, 1995b, 2000; Possehl 1998; Schaedel 1995 etc.).

It is recognized universally enough that to form a state a pre-state society must possess a certain set of minimum characteristics with respect to territory, population, complexity, sociopolitical differentiation and ability to accumulate surplus (cf. e.g., Claessen 1978, 2000, 2002)1. Pre-state societies, however, after reaching a certain size and a certain level of sociocultural complexity (at which the transition to the state is already possible), may continue to develop without building political forms of an early state for a long time. So they can significantly outgrow the respective levels of those indices – but without forming a state. In particular, a culture may have a high level of social stratification (examples are given further in the text) but lack a state system. How then should such societies be classified? Still as pre-state cultures, or as something else?

Some of such societies can be characterized by the term heterarchy (about the term and the concept heterarchy see e.g., Crumley 1995, 2001; see also McIntosh 1999b). But among such societies there are many hierarchical (homoarchical) polities as well as those of some other types (examples are given further in the text).

So I am convinced that the most productive path to follow is to recognize them just as early state analogues (Grinin 1997, 2000a, 2000b, 2000c, 2001, 2002a, 2002b, 2002c, 2002d, 2003a, 2003b, 2003c, 2004b, 2004c; Bondarenko, Grinin, and Korotayev 2002). This is because, on the one hand, if compared with doubtlessly pre-state societies, such as, for example, simple chiefdoms, tribes, independent simple communities, big-men systems etc., they are not only bigger in size but much more complex as well. On the other hand, their size and complexity were comparable to those of early states and they dealt with problems of comparable scale and essence. That is why they may, in a certain sense, be regarded as being at the same level of sociocultural and/or political development as the early state societies. The latter, certainly, differ significantly from their analogues, but not as much in the development level as in some peculiarities of political organization and in ‘the mechanics’ of administration (for details see Grinin 2002b, 2002c, 2003c, 2004b).

However, despite the differences in the mechanics of regulation of sociopolitical life, similar functions were still performed in both types of societies2. Perhaps such an approach will be also helpful to clear up a bit the problem of minimum characteristics of early state because ‘less agreement than one might expect exist in the scholarly literature concerning the size and scale of archaic state’ (Feinman 1998: 97; see also Chabal et al. 2004: 55). Below I shall give some examples of early state analogues. However, before doing this, I should provide some additional explanations.

Early state analogues:

size and some characteristics

First of all, the size of the analogues should be mentioned. This issue becomes of a rather great importance because of the following relationship: the bigger is the population of a polity, the more complex its structure is (all other conditions being similar), because a higher population and a larger territory may require new levels of hierarchy and administration (see, e.g. Carneiro 1967; Feinman 1998; Johnson and Earle 2000: 2, 181). But since we compare early state analogues with the early state proper, first it should be established what is considered to be the minimum size required for an early state.

To start with, there is no uniformity of opinion on this subject (for details, see Feinman 1998: 97–99); however, something like the following pattern tends to be traced:

simple chiefdom – population of thousands;

complex chiefdom – population of tens of thousands;

state – population of hundreds of thousands or millions

(Johnson and Earle 2000: 246, 304; see also Vasilyev 1983: 45).

This produces an elegant and perfect line of levels of cultural evolution: the family – the local group – the Big Man collectivity – the chiefdom – the archaic state – the nation-state (Johnson and Earle 2000: 245).

In general, such a line is a fruitful method of constructing evolutionary patterns, but it is useless for our purposes since it completely ignores states with population from several thousand to one hundred thousand although there are quite enough of such states even in the modern times (e.g. Nauru, Kiribati, etc.), while in the ancient and medieval times their number was even larger. At the same time, an opinion (arguable but deserving some attention) has been voiced according to which the first states (meaning pristine states as termed by Fried) must have been small in size at any time and anywhere and must have incorporated one single territorial community or several interconnected communities (D'jakonov 2000: 34). In this respect, therefore, the early states counting from several thousands to 100–200 thousand people are of special interest to the researchers of state formation process. In general, I am inclined to consider the point of view expressed by Claessen (2002: 107) to be more true to fact. In his opinion, for a polity to become a state it must have a population of not less than several thousand people. And he adds that population of the smallest Tahiti states counted not less than 5,000 (ibid.). But this, certainly, is the lowest limit for an early state.

D'jakonov (1983) cites some interesting facts regarding the assumed population numbers of Mesopotamian city-states (the ‘nomos-states’ according to this author) in the 3rd millennium B.C. In the 28th – 27th centuries B.C. the population of the Ur city-state (90 sq. km) encompassed 6,000 people, of which two thirds resided in the city of Ur itself. In the 27th – 26th centuries B.C. the population of the Shuruppak nomos could amount to 15,000–20,000 people (1983: 174). In the 25th – 24th centuries B.C. the population of Lagash approached the figure of 100,000 people (1983: 203). Presumably, the population of 40,000–50,000 people could live in the early state that existed around 100 B.C.–A.D. 250 at Monte Albán in the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico (Kowalewski et al. 1995: 96).

Other examples can be cited as well. Thus, if in the 5th century B.C. the population of even such a small Greek city as Argos, Thebes, Megara was around 25,000–35,000 people (Struve et al. 1956: 241), the population of many Greek poleis including rural areas (of course, with the exception of such cities as Athens, Corinth, Syracuse), was within tens of thousands, and it probably was even less in the earlier epoch. The population of Olbia [Olivia] (the North Black Sea area) even during its florescence (the 5th and 4th centuries B.C.) did not exceed 15,000 (Shelov 1966: 236). Population of the largest North Italian city-states (such as Milan, or Venice) in the 12th – 15th centuries did not exceed 200,000 (Batkin 1970: 252; Bernadskaya 1970: 329; Luzzatto 1954: 283). Population of most other city-states was substantially smaller. The one of San Gimignano at the beginning of the 14th century reached 14,000, the population of Pisa in 1233 was no more than 50,000 (Skazkin et al.1970: 208, 261). Florence population in the 14th century was of the same order of magnitude (50–60,000) (Rutenberg 1987: 74, 112).

Thus, the differences in population numbers and, respectively, in the complexity of organization of early states may conventionally be reflected in the following graduation (also see Table 1):

a small early state – from several thousand to several dozen thousand people;

a medium early state – from several dozen thousand to several hundred thousand people;

a large early state – from several hundred thousand to 2–3 million people;

a huge early state – more than 3 million people.

Respectively the early state analogues must be classified as small early state analogues, medium early state analogues and large early state analogues (about the possibility of the existence of a huge early state analogue see Table 1). It goes without saying that all three of them appreciably differ from each other. The relation between the sizes of early states and their analogues are given in Table 1.

The watershed between the states and the analogues runs within the polity size of several hundred thousand people. For the analogues, this size is, probably, the final limit beyond which such a polity either breaks down or transforms into a state. That is why large state analogues are very rare. The only case of such analogues among the examples given further, are the large nomadic ‘supercomplex chiefdoms’. The population of such supercomplex chiefdoms (Kradin 2000a, 2000b, 2001a, 2001b), even by the most optimistic estimates, never exceeded 1,500,000 people (Kradin 2001a: 127). Thus, such analogues only correspond to relatively smaller varieties of large states, whereas analogues of huge states could not simply exist.

Table 1

Polity size

Type of early state and examples

Type of early state analogue and examples

Several thousand to several dozen thousand people

A small early state (Ur in the 28th –27th centuries B.C.)

An analogue of a

small early state

(Iceland in the 11th century A. D.)

Several dozen thousand to several hundred thousand people

A medium early

state (Hawaii in 19th


An analogue of a

medium early state

(Aedui, Arverni, and Helvetii of Gaul

before Caesar)

Several hundred

thousand to 2–3

million people

A large early state

(Poland in the 11th–14th centuries3)

An analogue

of a large early

state (Hsiung-Nu in

200 B.C. – A.D. 48)

> 3,000,000

A huge early state (Rome in the 2nd century B.C.; the Inca state4)

Analogues of huge early states do not appear to exist

Early state analogues: classification

All the analogues, no doubt, differ from early states in their peculiarities of political organization and administration. However, this distinction is manifested in each analogue type in a different way. For example, the separation of the power from the population in self-governing communities is rather weak; confederations exhibit weakness of power centralization, etc. That is why I did my best to classify the early state analogues according to peculiarities of their political forms, although this principle is hard to keep to consistently. The following types and sub-types of the analogue can be distinguished:

First, one could single out some self-governing communities and territories, such as:

a) Urban communities, especially the ones with developed commercial structure (Grinin 2001; Korotayev 1995). As examples of self-governing townships the following can be cited: certain Greek poleis (Korotayev 1995), although too few of them can be classified as analogues5; some temple-civil communities of ancient Arabia (Korotayev 2000b: 266; Korotayev et al. 2000: 23); possibly, some towns of Gaul where the number of ‘true towns’ reached 1,000 (Shkunaev 1989: 143), some of them with the population of several dozen thousand (Shkunaev 1989: 134).

b) Large enough self-governing settlers' territories (e.g. Iceland in 10th–13th century A.D.).

Iceland was sectioned into territorial areas and dozens of legal-administrative districts, with Althing (the people's assembly) and Lögretta (a kind of senate) as supreme organs of administration. The level of electoral procedures and conventions was high, the proof of which being the decisions adopted from time to time by the Althing by voting. Thus, in A.D. 1000 it was decided to change the religion and adopt Christianity. At the same time toleration was preserved: it was allowed to secretly worship pagan gods and eat horseflesh, the basic food for the population. It was also decided to divide big land possessions of the nobility and distribute them among the farmers; this process was completed in the middle of the 11th century A. D. (Olgeirsson 1957: 179–191). However, in the 12th century the wealth and social inequality again became so strong that it started influencing the transformation of the basic institutions of the Icelandic society (Gurevich 1972: 8, 9). In the 13th century the population grew up to 70,000–80,000 people (Filatov 1965: 343).

c) Territories inhabited by large groups of déclassé persons of various descent (‘outlaws’), that had their own bodies of self-government and constituted an organized and formidable military force-like, for example, the Cossacks of Don or Zaporozhye (Korotayev et al. 2000: 19; Rozner 1970), and, if Gumilev (1993: 11–13) is right, possibly the Juan-juan in Central Asia (4th–6th centuries A. D.) as well. But on the whole the question of the origin of the Juan-juan is rather arguable (for detail, see Kradin 2000a: 80–94).

Second, some large tribal ‘confederations’ with a supreme chieftain exercising power strong enough (e.g., ‘kings’, khans, etc.), such as:

a) More or less stable tribal unions, ethnically uniform or having a firm monoethnic main body. German tribal unions of the period of the Great Migration of the Peoples in the 4th–6th centuries A.D. (Burgundianes, Salian Franks, Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Vandals, etc.) that counted from 80,000 to 150,000 of population (Bessmertny 1972: 40; Le Goff 1992: 33; Neusyhin 1968; Udaltsova 1967: 654), tribal unions of some Gallic peoples, particularly in Belgica and Aquitaine (Shkunaev 1989: 140), and others may serve as examples.

b) Very large polities that emerged as a result of successful wars (like the Huns ‘empire’ under Attila in the 5th century A.D. or the Avars ‘empire’ in the 6th–7th centuries A.D.), usually rather unstable and ethnically heterogeneous. In the 4th century A.D. on the northern Black Sea coast the union under the Gothic leader Ermanaric was similar to such a type and it consisted of a number of heterogeneous multilingual tribes including nomadic and agricultural ones (Smirnov 1966b: 324). But the Goths arrived at higher level of social stratification and culture than the Huns or the Avars and had more unruly aristocracy (see Tikhanova 1958).

c) The unions that can be defined as a transitional type between the analogues described in items ‘a’ and ‘b’ are the ones under the leadership of this or that outstanding chieftain and consisting of ethnically close peoples but rather unstable and usually breaking apart after their leader's death or even during his life (as it happened with Maroboduus's alliance). For example, in the 1st century B.C. and the 2nd century A.D. the Germans had large unions: Ariovistus's union of the Suebi, Arminius's union of the Cherusci, Maroboduus's union of the Marcomanni, Claudius Civilis's union of the Batavi and others (Neusyhin 1968: 601–602; Oosten 1996). It is possible to judge the scale of some of these phenomena if we consider, for example, the Germanic tribal union under the king Maroboduus (the end of the 1st century B.C. up to the 1st century A.D.) who created a large army following the Roman pattern and numbering 70,000 infantry and 4,000 cavalry. ([Kolesnitskij] 1966: 123). The Geto-Dacians tribal union under the king Burebista (Fyodorov and Polevoy 1984) and the union of the Slavonic tribes of Bohemia and Moravia (the so-called Samon state [Lozny 1995: 86–87]) are other examples of analogues of this kind. To a similar type one should also refer different nomadic unions of smaller size with one leader; those unions did not usually outlast leader's death, though sometimes they had short dynasties. To set another example of this type one can name the eastern Kipchak union (the Don area) under the leadership of Khan Konchak and his son Yuri Konchakovich (Pletnyova 1966: 457–462; see also further on the Kipchak tribes Vasyutin 2002: 95–96).

d) Large formations held together basically by the power of the chiefs' authority and not by coercion. For example, the pre-Incan (the 15th century A.D.) Lupaca chiefdom of southern Peru had the population of over 150,000 people and was ruled by two paramount chiefs without the institution of coercive force, and both specialized and corvee labor was supplied on an essentially consensual basis (Schaedel 1995: 52).

Third, large tribal unions and confederations without royal power.

a) Saxons of Saxony (Kolesnitskij 1963; [Kolesnitskij] 1969a); Aedui, Arverni and Helvetii in Gaul (Shkunaev 1989: 140) may serve as examples of such tribal unions without royal power. At the same time it should be specifically pointed out that the processes of social and proprietary differentiation had gone quite far within them, going ahead of political development.

The Saxons (of Saxony), before they were conquered by Charles (the end of the 8th century), had had no royal power but their tribal units were headed by dukes. General military command was in the hands of a duke who was chosen by lot (Kolesnitskij 1963: 186). Politically, all the territory was organized as a kind of federation of separate provinces. Common issues were discussed and tackled at a congress of representatives of the provinces (Kolesnitskij 1963: 186). The Saxon society, excluding slaves, was divided into three strata: the tribal nobility (aethelings, nobiles), the free (liberi) and the semi-free (liti). At the same time, the legal statuses of the nobiles and the liberi differed sharply, which was legally affirmed in Lex Saxonum. In the first twenty articles of this code the nobiles appeared as the sole bearers of legal standards and rules ([Kolesnitskij] 1969a: 479; 1969b; Neusyhin 1968: 608). It goes without saying that inequality in wealth was also considerable.

Gaul, by the Caesar's conquest, was a very rich territory with large population – 5 to 10 or even more million people (Brodel 1995: 61–62) – with numerous towns, trades and well-developed commerce. Social differentiation was considerable (Clark and Piggott 1970: 310–328). According to Caesar, the common people lived like slaves (Le Roux 2000: 125). At the same time the Gallic nobles had, each of them, up to several hundred – and even several thousand (up to ten thousand) – of clients to form cavalry troops as a substitute for levies and in this way to confront the majority of Gallic commoners (Bessmertny 1972: 17; Caesar 1993: 9). In the aristocratic civitas (a Roman name for the territory under tribal unions in Gaul) a distinct military unity was observed, while the mechanisms of making political or other decisions were realized through one of several elected magistrates (Shkunaev 1989: 139, 144). The population of certain tribal units and confederations was very great. For example, the number of the Helvetti who in 58 B.C. tried to migrate to the western parts of Gaul was, according to different sources, from 250,000 to 400,000 (e.g., Shkunaev 1988: 503).

b) Confederations of societies, at times making quite stable and strong (from the military point of view) political formations as, for instance, tribal confederations of the Iroquois (Fenton 1978; Morgan 1983; Vorobyov 2000), the Tuareg (Pertshyts 1968) or the Pechenegs (Marey 2000).

c) Township confederations of the type of the Etruscan Confederation. The Etruscan towns proper, with their oligarchic rule of militaristic and priestly nobles (Neronova 1989; Zalessky 1959), were rather not states, as far as scarce data make it possible to judge, but small state analogues (Grinin 2001: 21), while a federation of them may be regarded as a medium state analogue.

d) Autonomous rural territories forming a federation or a confederation of politically independent rural communities, as, for example, it is observed among many highlanders (Korotayev 1995).

Highland Dagestan may be cited as an example (Aglarov 1988). The communities, jama'ats, that formed federations (the so-called ‘free societies’), were themselves, at times, large enough settlements – some of them up to 1,500 and more households (ibid: 207) (which is comparable to a small polis) – and had a multilevel system (up to five levels) of self-government (ibid: 186). As to a federation (sometimes including 13 or more settlements each), it was a political unit of an even more complex constitution and uniting dozens of thousands people. Family groups (toukhoums) were unequal socially and in rank (ibid: 131). Another example is the village groups in southeastern Nigeria, sometimes including dozens of villages with total population of dozens of thousands (up to 75,000). Each village group had its own name, internal organization, and a central market (McIntosh 1999a: 9).

e) Some heterarchies (Crumley 1995, 2001; McIntosh 1999b). ‘Such heterarchical societies can be quite complex, and they are found all over the world’ including Asiatic societies, such as the Kachin and many African societies (Claessen 2002: 109).

Fourth, superlarge nomadic amalgamations, such as Hsiung-Nu (which superfluously resembled large states), termed by Kradin (1992, 2000a, 2000b, 2001a, 2001b) as ‘nomadic empires’ and referred to as supercomplex chiefdoms. According to Kradin, the ‘nomadic empires’ of Inner Asia counted up to 1,000,000–1,500,000 of population (2001a: 127; 2001b: 79).

In my opinion, Scythia in the 6th–5th centuries B.C. may also be denoted a supercomplex chiefdom. It was a large multilevel hierarchical amalgamation with the ideology of clan unity for entire society, with the principle of redistribution (of both tribute and duties) and united into a single military force. Scythia was divided into three kingdoms each headed by a king who had armed forces of his own and one of those kings was probably the supreme ruler. There is also an opinion that on the whole Scythia was governed by a detached governor's kin that ruled according the ulus principles (Khazanov 1975: 196–199). The cast of priests and aristocracy stood out, whereas aristocrats had their own armed forces and possessed great wealth. However, the administration methods in Scythia still remained basically traditional; therefore, on the one hand, it cannot be regarded as an early state, while on the other hand, it had nothing to do with an ordinary pre-state society. At the end of the 5th – beginning of the 4th century B.C., during the rule of king Ateas Scythia witnessed the transition to early state ([Smirnov] 1966a: 220). This king disposed of other kings, usurped the power, united the country within the boundaries from the Sea of Azov to the Danube and even began to move further westward (ibid.)6.

Fifth, polities whose structure can be hardly described because of scarce data but, on the other hand, there are important reasons to regard them neither prestate nor state ones with respect to their scale and culture. The Indus, or Harappan civilization could serve here as an example.

Some researchers have reasons to believe that it was not an early state. But it is much more important that at the same time it was not a pre-state society either. For instance, Shaffer maintains the Harappan civilization was not a ‘prestate’ in its form and thinks that it was not a state and could have been a unique form of organization in the sense that there is no close parallel in the archaeological, historical, or ethnographic record’ (see Possehl 1998: 283–285). Thus, according to Possehl (1998: 290) that civilization was ‘an example of ancient sociocultural complexity without archaic state form of political organization’. So I can sum up these opinions to say, that in other words the Indus civilization was a specific type of an early state analogue. It was a huge ancient civilization that surpassed greatly such most ancient civilizations as Egypt and Mesopotamia with respect to its territory (Bongard-Levin and Il'yin 1969: 92). Several dozens thousand of citizens or perhaps even more could live in the biggest cities like Mohenjo-daro (Bongard-Levin and Il'yin 1969: 92; Jacobson 2000: 394). There was a class and social stratification within the Indus civilization (Bongard-Levin and Il'yin 1969: 111; Possehl 1998: 287). Crafts and trades were highly developed (Bongard-Levin and Il'yin 1969: 101–103; Possehl 1998: 289). But there is reason to believe that the political system was segmented and decentralized, lacking a ‘king’. Also there is no evidence for a central government, or bureaucracy, implying that older ‘tribal’ organizations wielded political power within regional contexts. But whole civilization held in place through a strong Harappan ideology, which crossed the segmented, regional political boundaries, reaching into every Harappan family. There are other forms of solidarity as trade (Albedil 1991: 56; Bongard-Levin and Il'yin 1969: 102–103; Possehl 1998: 289). Also it is possible to imagine strong temporary alliances among a number of groups (Possehl 1998: 288) though the actual form of organization for the mature Harappan is obviously not well understood (Possehl 1998: 290).

‘The “nonstate” model has to include the notion that Mature Harappan institutions were strong, since there is evidence for strength in Harappan culture. There is suite of artifacts and associated style that covered about 1,000,000 km² for a period of about 600 years. It includes such things as the writing system, the system of weights and measures, and a host of artifact categories like ceramics, beads, figurines, and metal objects. Architectural standards are apparent… The control and manipulation of water within settlements is a notable feature of many Harappan cites. These peoples were also adventurous seafarers…’ (Possehl 1998: 288) 7.


I completely agree ‘that ancient civilizations, or complex societies, are far more variable in their form and organization than typological schemes of traditional, unilineal evolution can accommodate’ (Possehl: 291). However, as we see not only ancient civilizations, but also different other complex societies of very different epochs show the same variety of sociopolitical form and the alternativity of state formation process. New research has detected such directions of sociocultural evolution, which do not lead to state formation at all, whereas within certain evolutionary patterns transition to statehood takes place on levels of complexity far exceeding the ones indicated by conventional evolutionist schemes. So the concept of analogues of the early state may be useful for explaining such cases.


I would like to express my gratitude to Dmitri M. Bondarenko and Andrey V. Korotayev for their invaluable help with the preparation of this article. I would like also to express my gratitude to Henry J. M. Claessen for his valuable comments. I am very thankful to Robert L. Carneiro for his help with English and valuable comments. Needless to mention that neither they, nor any of the other colleagues of mine should be held responsible for any defects in this article.


1 Although the analysis of existing points of view, as regards what the state is and what its basic features are, is beyond the scope of this paper (for detail see Grinin 2004a), it is necessary to point out that throughout this paper within this context the early state is regarded first of all as a special political organization of a society (a system of political and administrative institutions) that could emerge (not always, but only under certain conditions) in societies that have already reached a necessary level of development, and, particularly, a certain level of sociocultural and political complexity, that produce necessary amounts of surplus, and have necessary territory sizes and sufficient populations.

Cohen (1978: 2–3) suggested to divide all definitions of the state generally into two groups, the first of which related the state to social stratification of society and the second one did to the structure of administration and power. True, Cohen also mentions the informational approach by Wright and Johnson (1975). Proceeding from such a classification, my own understanding would seem to be closer to the second group – but with the ideas of Wright and Johnson being taken into account. For my opinion concerning definitions of the state see Grinin 2004a.

2 What I mean are the following functions that are characteristic of both early states and early state analogues, namely:

– establishment of political and ideological unity and cohesion within enlarged society (or a group of closely related societies) directed at solving common problems;

– ensuring security from external threat and providing conditions for expansion;

– ensuring social order and redistribution of surplus product in the conditions of social stratification and in the context of the growing complexity of problems to be solved;

– provision of a minimally necessary level of government including legislation and adjudication, as well as ensuring the discharge of compulsory duties (with respect to military service, property, labor) by the population;

– creation of conditions for economy reproduction (especially where coordination of common efforts was required).

3 D'jakov 1993: 13.

4 The estimates of the Inca state's population are being within 3,000,000–37,000,000 people (see Schaedel 1978: 293–294).

5 For example, Delphs (see Gluskina 1983: 45, 71. For detail also see Grinin 2003b: 8–9, 2004c).

6 As to when the Scythian state emerged there is no unanimity of opinions (see, e.g., Smirnov 1966a: 146–150). For instance Khazanov (1975, 1978) believes that there already were Scythian kingdoms in the 7th –5th centuries B.C. But I support the opinion that it happened exactly during the reign of the King Ateas (at the end of the 5th – beginning of the 4th century B.C.), and my reasoning is as follows. From political and social points of view, what happened was: other kings were eliminated, and royal power was strengthened. Along with the expansion of the territory of the polity, the ethnic heterogeneity became more pronounced, the exploitation of the dependent population grew, and the degree of social stratification increased. From economic point of view, a firmer foundation for building a state appeared as a result of expanding trade that was controlled by the elites, as well as of accelerating sedentarization processes (Khazanov 1975; [Smirnov] 1966: 219–220).

7 It should be pointed out that some authors also refer other society types to forms alternative to the state. Thus, in the view of Bondarenko (1995, 2000a, 2000b, 2001) Benin in the 13th–19th centuries should be regarded not as an early state but as a specific type of the complex non-state hierarchical socio-political society that may be called ‘megacommunity’ since this society was from top to bottom penetrated with communal and quasicommunal relations and notions and on the whole represented a sort of a single gigantic ‘megacommunity’. However, I have not included ‘megacommunity’ into my own classification of analogues because I consider Benin to be an early state rather than a specific alternative type of a state analogue. One more example – the confederation called Ashanti (Asante) in the 18th century. Popov defines it as ‘a union of tribes, similar to the League of Iroquois, Confederation of the Creeks, the Huron Confederation and other supratribal formations (1995b: 189). However, taking into account the characteristics he gives himself (1995b: 189195; 1990: 131), the Ashanti Confederation is more like a primitive state, than an analogue (the presence of the certain administrative authorities, tendency to substitute the clan and tribe elite for warden elite; beginning of the taxation; carrying out a number of reforms in management, in particular the reforms of Osey Kodjo and so on). It is not by chance that Popov himself notes that the Ashanti had a kind of ‘a syndrome of the state’, but there was not any state in Marxist interpretation (1995b: 194).


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