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Village Institutions in Egypt in the Roman to Early Arab Periods$
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Micaela Langellotti and D. W. Rathbone

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266779

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266779.001.0001

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Fiscal Institution or Local Community?

Fiscal Institution or Local Community?

The Village Koinon in Late Antiquity (Fourth to Eighth Centuries)*

(p.155) 10 Fiscal Institution or Local Community?
Village Institutions in Egypt in the Roman to Early Arab Periods

Lajos Berkes

British Academy

The abundant papyrological evidence surviving from late antique Egypt (4–8th c.) includes thousands of documents in Greek and Coptic on village life. These sources shed light on aspects of rural realities barely known from other areas of the ancient Mediterranean. Village administration and government are especially well documented. Late antique villages in Egypt were organised in a fiscal community (koinon) which was collectively liable for the payments of the taxes incumbent on the village and the cultivation of their land. This institution was governed by a body of officials consisting of members of the village elite. This chapter discusses the relationship of the fiscal village community, administration and elite in Byzantine and early Islamic Egypt.

Keywords:   Egypt, Villages, Late Antiquity, Papyri, Administration, Community, Elite, Byzantine, Early Islamic

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