Brian P. Muhs
The Oriental Institute, Chicago
© 2005 by the University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
Published 2005. Printed in the United States of America.
This study is intended not only to publish a number of early Ptolemaic ostraca, but also to place them within the broader socio-historical context of the early Ptolemaic tax system. The study thus begins with a general description of how the ancient Egyptian economy became increasingly monetized from the New Kingdom until the early Ptolemaic period, and how taxes and taxation co-evolved with the economy. Then follows a detailed discussion of specific early Ptolemaic taxes, focusing predominantly (though not exclusively) on source materials from early Ptolemaic Thebes, particularly tax receipts on ostraca. The study continues with a prosopographic analysis of the taxpayers in early Ptolemaic Thebes who are known from multiple tax receipts and other sources such as papyri. This analysis helps establish the date, duration, and frequency of the taxes, and hence their nature. The study culminates in the editions of sixty-one ostraca from Harold Nelsonís collection in the Oriental Institute Museum, Chicago. These ostraca are (with one exception) Demotic, Greek and bilingual tax receipts from early Ptolemaic Thebes, representing many of the previously discussed taxes and taxpayers.
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