A tribute (from Latin tributum, contribution) is wealth, often in kind, that one party gives to another as a sign of respect or, as was often the case in historical contexts, of submission or allegiance. Various ancient states exacted tribute from the rulers of land which the state conquered or otherwise threatened to conquer. In case of alliances, lesser parties may pay tribute to more powerful parties as a sign of allegiance and often in order to finance projects that benefited both parties.
Athens received tribute from the other cities of the Delian League. The empires of Assyria, Babylon, Carthage and Rome exacted tribute from their provinces and subject kingdoms. Ancient China received tribute from various states such as Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Borneo, Indonesia, South Asia and Central Asia. The Roman republic also exacted tribute in the form of payments equivalent to proportional property taxes for the purpose of waging war.
Famous quotes containing the word tribute:
“O heart, we are old;
The living beauty is for younger men:
We cannot pay its tribute of wild tears.”
—William Butler Yeats (18651939)
“To shoot a man because one disagrees with his interpretation of Darwin or Hegel is a sinister tribute to the supremacy of ideas in human affairsbut a tribute nevertheless.”
—George Steiner (b. 1929)
“If it were not for the intellectual snobs who payin solid cashthe tribute which philistinism owes to culture, the arts would perish with their starving practitioners. Let us thank heaven for hypocrisy.”
—Aldous Huxley (18941963)