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03/03/2020 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

Taxation in Fourth Century Egypt:

A Peculiar Case of P.Giss. II 128

Marcin Kotyl

The lecture will focus on the peculiar case of P.Giss. II 128, a text that concerns taxes that are assessed on the basis of the kephale concept. In this context, kephale, the Greek word for “head,” was probably used as an abstract unit of land. This method of taxation is poorly attested and raises a number of questions. The lecture will address the following questions: (1) What was kephale in the Egyptian tax system? What was its value? How was it used to calculate the rate of payment? (2) What was the relationship between the kephalai and the rates of payment? Why were some taxes assessed on the basis of kephalai and the others on the basis of arourae, the traditional measure of land in Egypt? (3) How was the commonly used capitatio et iugatio system applied in Egypt? A discussion of these topics will also provide insight into other tax issues, including tax deduction and rebates, surcharges, and accounting.
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