Land Tenure and Taxation

Authored by: Sally L.D. Katary

The Egyptian World

Print publication date:  September  2007
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415427265
eBook ISBN: 9780203820933
Adobe ISBN: 9781136753770


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The Egyptian pharaoh exercised in theory absolute rights of ownership over the lands and resources of Egypt as both the living Horus and the ruler of a centrally planned and organized state. He was entitled to bestow lavish gifts of land and property on those institutions, settlements and individuals he favoured. At the same time, the king was equally justified in demanding that the recipients of his largesse recompense the state in the form of duties or imposts of various kinds on land and property. These ‘taxes’ might include a share in the produce of the land, cattle and other livestock from herds throughout Egypt, as well as human labour for state projects. Since the king regularly apportioned the land of Egypt for individuals and institutions, which in turn produced revenues of all kinds for the state, it was a mutually beneficial relationship.

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