Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Re: [ANE-2] Census

Expand Messages
  • 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 1 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]
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.