This chapter provides a overview of the state of research on rural institutions in the ancient world, with a focus on Egypt. It is divided in three main sections. The first section explores the reasons behind the scholarly importance of studying village institutions in Egypt in the longue durée, from the early Roman to the Arab period. The second section includes a review of the most representative village studies of the ancient world and their key features and shows how this volume stands out from existing works. Finally, the last section examines the best attested village institutions as they are investigated in the eleven papers of this volume.
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