ï~~Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 46 (2009) 209-211 B.P. Muhs, Tax Receipts, Taxpayers, and Taxes in Early Ptolemaic Thebes. Oriental Institute Publications 126. Chicago: Oriental Institute, 2005. ISBN 1-885923-30-9. This volume is at the same time a study of the early Ptolemaic tax system (pp. 1-103, sections 1-5), a prosopography of early Ptolemaic taxpayers in Thebes (pp. 105-134, section 6), and an edition of 61 Ptolemaic tax receipts from the Nelson collection in the Chicago Oriental Institute (pp. 135-179, section 7). The first part of the book offers a survey of the early Ptolemaic tax system, mainly the taxes in money. These were perhaps already introduced in the Persian period but come to the fore in the Ptolemaic period. They may have stimulated the monetisation of the Egyptian economy. The tax receipts on potsherds, which appear towards the end of the reign of Ptolemy I, are linked to the introduction of the tax-farming system, which is vividly presented on p. 7. The central find of the book is the discovery of the tax reform system of Ptolemy II in 264 BC (pp. 6-10 and 29-60). In that year the yoke tax, for males only, was replaced by the salt tax, at a lower rate, but for both males and females; the harvest tax on vineyards and orchards was now levied by tax-farmers and no longer by the temples; and through the oil and beer "monopoly" the government had a firm grip on important industrial sectors. Part of this was already known thanks to the Revenue Laws, but by his prosopographical method the author was able to redate scores of tax receipts to the earlier part of the reign of Ptolemy II instead of Ptolemy III. Greek papyri start to flow only in the 250's; for the first time the Ptolemaic tax system can be seen at work in the preceding decennium. A new chapter has therefore been added to Ptolemaic administrative history. On pp. 33-99 the author offers useful up-to-date lists of Theban tax receipts for all kinds of money taxes, with lots of corrections for readings and dates: the most common taxes in Thebes are the salt tax (103 receipts), the burial tax (63 receipts), the yoke tax (55 receipts), and the "price of oil" (42 receipts). Though the lists are limited to Thebes, the author consistently uses documentation from other places in his study of the taxes. Here one is aware of the double focus of the work, which is at the same time a study of early Ptolemaic taxation and of early Ptolemaic Thebes. For the salt tax, see now W Clarysse and D.J. Thompson, Counting the People in Hellenistic Egypt 2 (Cambridge 2006) 59-89. The prosopography of 39 Theban tax payers who occur in more than one text (pp. 105-127) is an important methodological tool for dating (and redat
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