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Counting the People in Hellenistic Egypt
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Details

  • Page extent: 418 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 1.032 kg

Hardback

 (ISBN-13: 9780521838399 | ISBN-10: 0521838398)

The historical studies of this second volume provide an examination of the economic and social history of Ptolemaic Egypt. The salt-tax registers of P. Count not only throw light on key aspects of the fiscal policy of the Greek pharaohs but also provide the best information for family and household structure for the Western world before the fifteenth century AD. The makeup of the population is thoroughly analysed here in both demographic and occupational terms. A constant theme running throughout is the impact of the Greeks on the indigenous population of Egypt. This is traced in cultural policies, in administrative geography, in the realm of stock-rearing and in the changing religious affiliations traceable through the names that parents gave their children. The extent to which Egypt is typical of the Hellenistic world more widely is the final topic addressed.

• 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

Contents

1. Ptolemies, taxes and papyri; 2. The census; 3. The salt-tax and other taxes; 4. Settlement in the Fayum; 5. The people counted; 6. Counting the animals; 7. Family matters; 8. Naming the people; 9. Conclusion; Appendix; Bibliography; Index.

Reviews

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.' Ancient West and East

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, a 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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