Working Papers by Author

Andrew Monson - Classics Department, Stanford University


100703 Communal Agriculture in the Ptolemaic and Roman Fayyum
Andrew Monson, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - The article presents the model that rising demand for land drives the process of privatization. It likens ancient developments in Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt to similar trends towards privatization in nineteenth-century Egypt. Given the difficulty imposed by the ancient evidence for tracing changes over time, it concentrates on observable regional variations that conform to the model. Differences in population density seem to correlate with differences in agrarian institutions. There are especially good data for tenure on public land in Roman Egypt, so this period is treated in more detail. In the more sparsely populated Fayyum, communal peasant institutions remained important for the cultivation of public land just as they were in the Ptolemaic period. In the Nile Valley, by contrast, private landowners encroached on public land by having it registered into their names and treating it more like private property.
This paper has now been published in "Communal Agriculture in the Ptolemaic and Roman Fayyum" S.L. Lippert and M. Schentuleit (eds.), Graeco-Roman Fayum: Texts and Archaeology. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2008, pp. 173-86.

080701 Rule and Revenue in Egypt and Rome: Political Stability and Fiscal Institutions
Andrew Monson, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper investigates what determines fiscal institutions and the burden of taxation using a case study from ancient history. It evaluates Levi’s model of taxation in the Roman Republic, according to which rulers’ high discount rates in periods of political instability encourage them to adopt a more predatory fiscal regime. The evidence for fiscal reform in the transition from the Republic to the Principate seems to support her hypothesis but remains a matter of debate among historians. Egypt’s transition from a Hellenistic kingdom to a Roman province under the Principate provides an analogous case for which there are better data. The Egyptian evidence shows a correlation between rulers’ discount rates and fiscal regimes that is consistent with Levi’s hypothesis.
This paper has now been published in "Rule and Revenue in Egypt and Rome: Political Stability and Fiscal Institutions." Special Issue: New Political Economy in History. Historical Social Research 32/4 (2007), pp. 252-74.

010705 An Early Ptolemaic Land Survey in Demotic: P. Cair. II 31073
Andrew Monson, Stanford University
Abstract - This paper provides a preliminary edition of an early Ptolemaic land survey from the southern Fayyum and related accounts. Although photographs and a brief description were included in the Cairo catalogue of Demotic papyri in 1908, it has never been edited or fully discussed. The text furnishes valuable data about land tenure, agriculture, and taxation, especially on royal land. This version is meant to provide a basis for further discussion until the edition is complete. Version 2.0 includes revisions to the dating, overview, and some readings in the text, superceding the earlier version. This version replaces 050606.
This paper has now been published in A. Monson (2012). Agriculture and Taxation in Early Ptolemaic Egypt: Demotic Land Surveys and Accounts. PTA 46. Bonn: Habelt Verlag.

010704 Royal Land in Ptolemaic Egypt: A Demographic Model
Andrew Monson, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - Studies of Ptolemaic agrarian history have focused on the nature of state ownership. Recent work has emphasized the regional differences between the Fayyum, where royal land was prevalent, and Upper Egypt, where private land rights were already established. This study proposes a demographic model that regards communal rights on royal land as an adaptation to risk and links privatization with population pressure. These correlations and their reflection in Demotic and Greek land survey data raise doubts about the common view that patterns of tenure on royal land in the Fayyum can be attributed to more intensive state control over this region than the Nile Valley. Version 2.0 is substantially revised and replaces the earlier version 050602.
This paper has now been published in "Royal Land in Ptolemaic Egypt: A Demographic Model." Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 50/4 (2007), pp. 363-97.

050605 An Early Ptolemaic Land Survey in Demotic: P. Cair. II 31073
Andrew Monson, Stanford University
Revised. See 010705, January 2007, version 2.

050602 Royal Land in Ptolemaic Egypt: A Demographic Model
Andrew Monson, Stanford University
Revised. See 010704, January 2007, version 2.

110511 The Ethics and Economics of Ptolemaic Religious Associations
Andrew Monson, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper considers the economic status of the members in Ptolemaic religious associations and offers a model to explain why they participated. Drawing on Charles Tilly’s comparative study of trust networks, I suggest that religious associations institutionalized informal ethical norms into formal rules that lowered the costs of transacting and facilitated cooperation among villagers. The rules related to legal disputes illustrate how associations exercised this power and even tried to prevent the Ptolemaic state from intruding in their network. NB: This has been published in Ancient Society 36 (2006), 221-238.