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Feyd-Rautha nodded. Wealth was the thing. CHOAM was the key to wealth, each noble House dipping from the company’s coffers whatever it could under the power of the directorships. Those CHOAM directorships – they were the real evidence of political power in the Imperium, passing with the shifts of voting strength within the Landsraad as it balanced itself against the Emperor and his supporters.


Hi. What does the bold part mean in this context? I’m not sure about the meaning of the phrase “balance A against B”.

Thank you.

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The idea of a balance to determine the outcome of an event is as old as ancient Egypt. According to Egyptian religion recorded in the Book of the Dead, when a person dies, Anubis balanced the person's heart against a feather. This determined the fate of his soul in the underworld. Scales have long been a symbol of considering the merits of one choice versus another.

Comments  

You have to imagine an old balance-style scale like the one Lady Justice holds. The Landsraad is in one pan, and the Emperor is in the other. The "weight" is the strength of the faction.

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 AlpheccaStars's reply was promoted to an answer.

Thank you.