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Not actually a student

 
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razz
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:40 pm    Post subject: Not actually a student Reply with quote

I've been trying to learn about ancient egypt but I don't really know anything about it besides reading several dozen websites about it.

This is for a personal project.

What's the difference between the Treasurer and Vizier? All the websites I've read contradict on the powers between the two, although I suspect it's because each Pharaoh establishes different power structures with their reign.

Did ancient egypt have any sort of Privy Council?

How were taxes assessed?

Apparently oracles acted as a sort of legal appeal, in some cases, that I've read. How did that work?

What was the power of the priesthood?

Were high priests appointed and how were they chosen?

Since even ancient egypt changes after centuries, I'll understand if my answers aren't quite... exact.

If you have any resources to suggest so that I may learn more about those question, feel free to suggest.
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Nefer-Ankhe
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Vizier was the highest official in Ancient Egypt to serve the Pharaoh, during the old, middle and new kingdoms. The vizier was appointed by the pharaoh mostly from loyalty or talent but often belonged to a vizierial family.

The duty of the vizier was to supervise the running country, all lesser supervisors were to report to the Vizier. Interestingly, during the new kingdom there were two vizier's, one for upper Egypt and the other of course for lower Egypt.

The treasurer on the other hand seemingly mostly collected the countries taxes (how they collected tax Arrow http://www.egyptancient.net/taxes.htm )
though only heard about toward the end of the old kingdom.
In the middle kingdom however, the treasurer (or chancellor) became one of the most important offices in the royal court, though at the end of the 18th dynasty the office seems to have lost it's importance. ( even though the famous bay held this office.)

Help provided by Wikipedia, because I am also not the best on this aspect of Ancient Egypt, although I really should be. Hope this helped, a bit Smile
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VBadJuJu
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of good questions. Might get more/better answers from a different sub-forum.

Also, there was an office of the Treasurer and Overseer of the Treasury. One was a state office (treasury) the other oversaw the king's private purse.

I have not heard of an institution like the Privy Council, but I suspect some of those with titles like Fanbearer and Cup Bearer indicated the holder was a favorite of the king and likely to seek their council on occasion. I'd hate that job: if a decision works, the king gets the credit; if not the blame falls to the council.

"Taxes" are kind of the wrong word to use but it will do. As the link posted shows, the king owned all the land and the people (at least in theory). The peasants were more or less tenant farmers (not unlike sharecroppers) of the king's land. The 'tax' in grain or cattle was simply the kings share. (The payment in kind is because there was no currency yet, besides the king/state can use goats as well as grain). At least by the NK, there were also small household industries around (AE version of home based internet biz).

Naturally, there were lots of bureaucrats to handle the output. Overseer of the Double Granary, Overseer of Hoofs, Horns, Feathers and Fins (animal products), Overseer of the Double House of Gold and Silver, Overseer of the Works in the Palace of Eternity... These guys handled the collection of the taxes/king's share as well as the redistribution to other departments and eventually dependent workers.

Lots and Lots of people worked for the state and were wholly dependent on the king. The army, stone quarry workers, tomb cutters, masons, carters, tomb decorators, sculptors, gold miners, jewelers, jewel miners, wineries, copper miners, the bureaucrats, the harem, forges and many more. Add to that, overseers or first line supervisors who would do things like weigh copper/bronze tools to make sure the workers did not shave off a little. These people all worked for the king/state and food collected from taxes was given to them. It drives home how fertile the land was.

A few industries fell more under almost entirely under the control of the king/state. Gold mines, copper mines, tool/weapons forges and wineries are some where the entire output was reserved for the use of the king. At least some stone quarries as well. The output from these was not shared with the workers as with herders and farmers.

As far as I can tell, the priests were sort of a pocket economy. The various cults owned a lot of land, which was worked and taxed. At least some of the goods grown were used for the daily offerings to the god, some was traded for work to build or repair monuments, statues, hold festivals etc. I dont know where the rest went, the cults seemed to have their own granaries. Some went to the priests (many who were part time: 3 weeks a month at your regular job, 1 week at the temple), and they must have been well paid because fathers often tried to pass their job to their sons (not just the high priests, the part timers too).

There were also taxes (appropriating someone else's wealth for the use by the monarch/state). A stela from the time of Tut or Horemheb declares the king has decreed that the Overseer of the Treasury has been commanded to collect taxes from the 2 lands for divine offerings in the houses of all the gods. I guess these would just be an addition to the standard amount due the king.

Finally there were taxes on the wretched foreigners in the conquered lands. I dont know how that was calculated, probably by the ambassador or viceroy of the area (cant recall the term used in the Amarna Letters). The tribute or tax level though was not oppressive or all that different from the levels in U and L Egypt.

Thutmose III; A new Biography (Cline, ed) might have a chapter on government. I know, 'Amenhotep III: persepctives on his reign' (O'Conner, ed) does, most of the above is from there.
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razz
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Lots of good questions. Might get more/better answers from a different sub-forum.

Yes, but I will constantly ask different questions about different aspects, and I can't be bothered making half a dozen threads.


What did the ancient egyptians call government organizations, such as an Office or a Ministry?
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razz
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another question: what were factories/mines called?
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VBadJuJu
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dont know that they had a word that we would associate with Office or Ministry. They may have, but most often references were to the man, i.e. 'office of the overseer of xxxxxxx'.

If you search for the [Great] Edit of Horemheb, corruptions in various 'ministries' are details and what he is going to do about it. Most references are to the man/overseer such as "officers of the Pharaoh's house of offerings" or 'officers of this or that'. I thought there was one on the form of 'office of the overseer..." but I cant find it now.

HTH
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:51 am    Post subject: Re: Not actually a student Reply with quote

razz wrote:
... How were taxes assessed? ...

Sally Katary : Taxation. - UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology, 2011. - 26 p.

razz wrote:
... Apparently oracles acted as a sort of legal appeal, in some cases, that I've read. How did that work? ...

Martin Stadler : Procession. - UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology, 2008. - 13 p.

The UCLA - Encyclopedia of Egyptology is a reliable source for introductory information. The project is work in progress and will be expanded. It is supported by renowned Egyptologist from all over the world, a modern version of the "Lexikon der Ägyptologie".

Greetings, Lutz.
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