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Counting the People in Hellenistic Egypt
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  • Page extent: 720 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 1.565 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 304.6/0932
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: DT92 .C53 2004
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Egypt--History--332-30 B.C.--Sources
    • Egypt--Population--History--To 10--Sources
    • Egyptian language--Papyri, Demotic
    • Manuscripts, Greek (Papyri)--Egypt

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521838382 | ISBN-10: 052183838X)

This volume publishes fifty-four Ptolemaic papyri from the Fayum and Middle Egypt, with English translations and extensive commentaries. The texts, dating from c. 250–150 BC and written in either Greek or Egyptian demotic, record lists of adults, ordered by village, occupation and social group, and by household, together with the taxes paid on their persons, their livestock and trades. Some are more than twenty columns long. All texts have been studied on the originals by an international team of scholars. Many are published here for the first time; the others have been extensively revised with numerous new joins between fragments. Lists of tax-payers and their payments provide a wealth of information on population and family structure, administrative practice, social and professional groups and naming practices. Providing the documentary basis for the historical studies of Volume II, P. Count is essential for any serious evaluation of that account.

• The texts (in both Greek and Egyptian demotic), together with the historical studies, provide a broad picture of Hellenistic society • These volumes illuminate many aspects of the relations (and differences) between immigrant Greeks and the existing majority Egyptian population • The rich demographic material from third-century BC Egypt allows family reconstruction and the analysis of ethnic differences


List of plates; List of figures; Preface; List of abbreviations; List of conventions; Greek records including: salt-tax records, household records, tax-district records, tax-collectors records, list of occupations, list of ethnics and occupations, tax-exemptions records, taxpayers records, tax-registers; Bibliography; Indices.


Review of the hardback: 'Good books are common. Great books are rare, and rarer still are great books that have the potential of moving scholarship in a new direction. Such a work is Counting the People in Hellenistic Egypt, … By reconstructing 427 households containing 1,271 adults and situating them in their socio-economic context, they have laid the indispensable foundation for all future studies of the social history of Ptolemaic Egypt. All historians of Hellenistic Egypt are in their debt.' Stanley M. Burstein, California State University, Los Angeles

Review of the hardback: 'What we have here is an enormous and well-written body of scholarship by two leading scholars in the field of many aspects of the population of (early) Ptolemaic Egypt. Discussion ranges from the tiniest detail in straightening fibers in a papyrus document to an overall comparison of the Ptolemaic situation with that in other pre-modern societies, and everything in between. These volumes are a must-read for anybody interested in Ptolemaic Egypt, or the Hellenistic world at large. … This is, indeed, wonderful piece of scholarship, setting the framework of Ptolemaic society, and providing future studies with a strong foundation to keep adding new material.' Arthur Verhoogt, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

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