Piety, Tax-Heavens and the Future of the Family
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If Attaleiates’ political ideology outlined a world amenable to his own self-interest, his investments in piety also sought to bolster his family’s position in society. In Chapter 6 we studied Attaleiates’ household, his economic strategies, and their social implications. Here, we scrutinize the spiritual, economic, and social activity of Attaleiates’ monastic complex to reveal its footprint on Constantinopolitan and more broadly Thracian society. The judge’s calculated investments in piety expose a careful strategy for the safeguarding of his family’s economic interests. The monastery was not, however, simply a tax shelter for the judge’s wealth. It was also a social welfare scheme for his family’s close associates and servants. This society of trusted monks cast a sacred shield over the judge’s coterie of secretaries and paralegals.