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Re: [ANE-2] Census

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  • David Lorton
    From the reign of Ptolemy III, we have a suriving papyrus recording the number of persons subject to the tax on salt (a sort of head tax) in one of the
    Message 1 of 8 , May 8, 2010
      From the reign of Ptolemy III, we have a suriving papyrus recording the number of persons subject to the tax on salt (a sort of head tax) in one of the subdivisions of the Faiyum. From this information, and with the addition of a few plausible working assumptions, it is possible to arrive at a rough estimate of the population of Egypt at that time. To the best of my knowledge, this is the only solid piece of evidence providing a basis for at least an educated guess at the population/census of Egypt at this or any other time. A brief but elucidative discussion can be found in: Michel Chauveau, _Egypt in the Age of Cleopatra_ (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2000), pp. 55-56, with references to Papyrus Lille III (otherwise called Papyrus Count), the Demotic-language source for this information, along with comparable information from classical writers (Diodorus Siculus, Theokritos, and Pliny the Elder).

      David Lorton
      Baltimore, MD

      -----Original Message-----
      >From: frankclancy <clancyfrank@...>
      >Sent: May 7, 2010 10:46 AM
      >To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      >Subject: [ANE-2] Census
      >
      >Does anyone know when we have the earliest historical record of a census- real or fictional? I suppose people would be counted for military service and/or taxes. Thanks.
      >
      >Frank Clancy
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >------------------------------------
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      >Yahoo! Groups Links
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    • David Lorton
      What is the source for people being called cattle of the king ? I m aware of people being called, metaphorically, august cattle (not cattle of the king )
      Message 2 of 8 , May 8, 2010
        What is the source for people being called "cattle of the king"? I'm aware of people being called, metaphorically, "august cattle" (not "cattle of the king") in Papyrus Westcar (a fiction), a Middle Kingdom text.

        At all periods, the Egyptian administration might well have had an interest in knowing pertinent facts (population count, number of cattle, harvest yields) for practical purposes such as taxation and corvée labor. But a reasonable supposition is not a proven fact, and I understood the question as a request for a solid reference to an administrative document attempting to record an accurate account of human population in a given place at a specific point in time.

        David Lorton
        Baltimore, MD

        -----Original Message-----
        >From: Ian Onvlee <sambacats@...>
        >Sent: May 8, 2010 8:19 AM
        >To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
        >Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Census
        >
        >Hi Frank,
        >
        >If you are talking about cattle census that would be early Second Dynasty of Egypt, attested at the earliest in the reign of Ninetjer. Whether people were counted as well I do not know, although the Egyptians called themselves 'the cattle of the king'. Perhaps an interesting allusion.
        >
        >Regards,
        >Ian Onvlee
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >________________________________
        >From: frankclancy <clancyfrank@...>
        >To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
        >Sent: Fri, May 7, 2010 4:46:16 PM
        >Subject: [ANE-2] Census
        >

        >Does anyone know when we have the earliest historical record of a census- real or fictional? I suppose people would be counted for military service and/or taxes. Thanks.
        >
        >Frank Clancy
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
        >------------------------------------
        >
        >Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
      • Robert M Whiting
        ... The editio princeps of the Harran census is C.H.W. Johns, _An Assyrian doomsday book, or, Liber censualis of the district round Harran in the seventh
        Message 3 of 8 , May 8, 2010
          On Sat, 8 May 2010, Cynthia Jean wrote:

          > Hello Frank,
          >
          > In Mesopotamia, we know the Harran census (Neo-Assyrian period). More
          > info in: Gershon Galil, The Lower Stratum Families in the Neo-Assyrian
          > Perio.

          The editio princeps of the Harran census is C.H.W. Johns, _An Assyrian
          doomsday book, or, Liber censualis of the district round Harran in the
          seventh century B.C.: copied from the cuneiform tablets in the British
          Museum_, published in 1901 (generally known to Assyriologists as ADB) and
          available on the web at
          <http://www.archive.org/details/assyriandoomsday00johnuoft>. The texts
          were re-edited and discussed in F. M. Fales, _Censimenti e catasti di
          epoca neo-assira_ in 1973 (reviewed by Simo Parpola in a review article "A
          Note on the Neo-Assyrian Census Lists," ZA 64 [1974]: 96-115 and by J.N.
          Postgate in "Some Remarks on Conditions in the Assyrian Countryside,"JESHO
          17 [1974]: 225-243). The texts from ADB, along with some additional
          fragments, are edited and translated in SAA 11 200-219 (also available on
          the web).

          While the census materials from Mari and elsewhere in Mesopotamia of the
          OB period are more than a millennium earlier, the Harran census is the
          earliest for which such extensive and detailed records are preserved.

          Bob Whiting
          whiting@...
        • Ian Onvlee
          Hi David, I have not studied the issue of any census, so I gave the best of my knowledge, which is the cattle count. I study the cattle count only for the
          Message 4 of 8 , May 8, 2010
            Hi David,

            I have not studied the issue of any census, so I gave the best of my knowledge, which is the cattle count. I study the cattle count only for the purpose of chronological questions, not for the purpose of estimating numbers of cattle or people. When I replied, the question was unclear whether the request was for a documented census of cattle, people or whatever. And the association between cattle and people was just my added thought.

            As to the metaphor of "august cattle" for the people of Egypt, whose cattle would these people then be, metaphorically? Since Egypt belongs to the king of Egypt, wouldn't they not simply mean to be ''the august cattle of the king", metaphorically? I forgot where I read that expression, and I wasn't citing anything, so I cannot give you references, but perhaps you are right that these people were simply called 'cattle' (without the addition 'of the king'). That would still make them the cattle of the king, and it's worth investigating whether the cattle count also could have involved counting the people as 'august cattle'. Since the Westcar Papyrus is a Middle Kingdom document the metaphore would be at least that old, and since the Westcar Papyrus concerns Old Kingdom tales going back to at least the early third Dynasty, the expression may also date from the Old Kingdom, when cattle counts were documented. There is no explicit mention of people
            being counted in the Old Kingdom, but I bet that the people were counted as well, along with the cattle and other valuable possessions of the king when his officials went through the country. They all belonged to the king, that's for certain.

            Regards,
            Ian Onvlee

             



            ________________________________
            From: David Lorton <davidlorton@...>
            To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Sat, May 8, 2010 8:09:36 PM
            Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Census

             
            What is the source for people being called "cattle of the king"? I'm aware of people being called, metaphorically, "august cattle" (not "cattle of the king") in Papyrus Westcar (a fiction), a Middle Kingdom text.

            At all periods, the Egyptian administration might well have had an interest in knowing pertinent facts (population count, number of cattle, harvest yields) for practical purposes such as taxation and corvée labor. But a reasonable supposition is not a proven fact, and I understood the question as a request for a solid reference to an administrative document attempting to record an accurate account of human population in a given place at a specific point in time.

            David Lorton
            Baltimore, MD

            -----Original Message-----
            >From: Ian Onvlee <sambacats@yahoo. com>
            >Sent: May 8, 2010 8:19 AM
            >To: ANE-2@yahoogroups. com
            >Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Census
            >
            >Hi Frank,
            >
            >If you are talking about cattle census that would be early Second Dynasty of Egypt, attested at the earliest in the reign of Ninetjer. Whether people were counted as well I do not know, although the Egyptians called themselves 'the cattle of the king'. Perhaps an interesting allusion.
            >
            >Regards,
            >Ian Onvlee
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >___________ _________ _________ ___
            >From: frankclancy <clancyfrank@ hotmail.com>
            >To: ANE-2@yahoogroups. com
            >Sent: Fri, May 7, 2010 4:46:16 PM
            >Subject: [ANE-2] Census
            >

            >Does anyone know when we have the earliest historical record of a census- real or fictional? I suppose people would be counted for military service and/or taxes. Thanks.
            >
            >Frank Clancy
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
            >
            >----------- --------- --------- -------
            >
            >Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >







            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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