State Administration

Administration is the socioeconomic institution installed to control resources within a defined terrain, the estate. In state administration, control operates at the national level, and in Egypt its client is the royal court. Control is a function of technological development. Ancient technologies, particularly those of communication, do not permit instant response across large distances. Sources on the subject indicate a journey time of about three weeks for a ship traveling from the Nile Delta upriver to southern Upper Egypt; this creates a response lag of about six weeks, short for the ancient world but not comparable to modern conditions. The premodern state characteristically enjoyed only limited administrative reach into the lives of the inhabitants of its territory. Such differences necessitate careful translation and interpretation in areas like security (army and the border) and revenues (defining rent and tax). The sources are not explicit on the system of land rights in Egypt; in most documents, the frequency and basis of revenue collection are not stated. The apparent monopoly of Egypt's royal court in many areas may reflect its dominance in economic or ideological terms, more than juridical regime.

From its invention in the late fourth millennium BCE, writing technology (script and material) played a major role in administration. Nonetheless, administration is first a practice based on social relations, rather than a set of documents. The texts provide extensive data on administration, but this remains a partial view of the reasons and methods of any social control of resources. Archaeological evidence may help to complete the picture in the case of urban storage, building, and quarrying expeditions, but it has not yet enlightened us on irrigation or rural organization.

The Egyptians distinguished between local and national levels of administration by prefixing to a title a phrase invoking royal authority: in the Middle Kingdom it was “seal-bearer [?] of the reigning [?] king,” and in the New Kingdom it was “king's scribe.” In general, these phrases denoting national office seem confined to high officials in the royal court. When a provincial governor prefixed the phrase to his main title, it might indicate that he had been promoted to that inner group of national officials. A seventeenth dynasty royal decree records a “king's seal-bearer, mayor of Coptos,” at a time when the king ruled from nearby Thebes over only southern Egypt. Often the royal prefix-title distinguished national treasurers or overseers of estates and workforces from men with identical function at a lower level, in one province, or on one estate. Coordination between national and provincial levels of administration seems to have fallen to the ṯʒty (“highest official”), a title conventionally translated “vizier” in Egyptology. It is less easy to identify court officials responsible in each period for connections between Egypt and foreign dominions.

Ancient Egypt had two centers: an ideal personalized center—the king; and an institutional center—offices of revenue and expenditure (notably military and monumental). The personal center had always to be on the move, to maintain the unity of the state. Royal travel was a religious motif, cast in the Early Dynastic period as the Following of Horus. In the Middle Kingdom textual record, the king travels to different places always with a religious mission, to establish or renew cult in specific localities. Simultaneous military and economic objectives may be discerned; royal visits to the First Cataract of the Nile in the sixth dynasty and to Medamud in the thirteenth dynasty included the reception of foreign rulers. Since divine kingship united religious, military, and economic terrain, the historian cannot assume precedence for one of the three in revenue-raising and expenditure. The depersonalized center of ancient Egypt was the sum of buildings and staff involved in maintaining the royal court. Few locations are known for these, even at Amarna, the best-preserved of the royal cities. The administrations did not form one complex at a single place of royal residence. The Old Egyptian term ẖnw (“the residence”) denoted a fixed location for the central offices of state, but it did not exist in every period. The Old Kingdom figures in later literary texts as the “period of the residence,” but it is not known whether this was a single place or a new palace for each reign. In the Middle Kingdom, there seems to have been no residence until Amenemhet I founded a fortified residence, called Itjtawyamenemhat (“Amenemhat secures the Two Lands,” abbreviated to Itjtawy) probably near his pyramid at el-Lisht. In the New Kingdom, there again seems to be no residence in the eighteenth dynasty until Akhenaten founded his capital, Akhetaten, with nearby royal tomb, the southernmost point from which the Two Lands were governed. In the nineteenth and twentieth dynasties, the residence was in the northeastern Delta at Piramesse; it was abandoned in favor of the still more northerly site of Tanis in the twenty-first dynasty. The next secure evidence for a residence comes in the late fourth century BCE, when Alexander the Great founded Alexandria, on the Mediterranean, at the westernmost edge of the Delta. In the late Middle Kingdom, when official titles were most precise, and the residence at Itjtawy was still functioning, special phrases identify some high stewards and overseers of sealers as “following the king” or “who is in the palace.” Presumably the existence of a fixed residence for the ever-traveling king made it necessary to share a position between two men, one accompanying the king around the country, the other responsible for the fixed head office.

By the standards of modern state budgets, the requirements of the early state were minimal, with none of the vast industrialized enterprises of warfare and welfare. Translations of ancient offices as “departments” of defense, trade, or agriculture constitute an anachronism that may distort a reconstruction of the revenue-raising and -spending patterns of the early state. The bureau of an Egyptian high official lies between the two poles of informal/personal and formal/depersonalized in the development of the modern state. Even where the term ḫʒ (“bureau”) was used, it may refer physically to the reception rooms in the palatial home of the particular official. Five great officials of state may be noted: vizier, treasurer, general, royal documents scribe, and chief lector-priest. After the vizier, who was key coordinator of the system, the treasurer seems to be the leading official of state. His responsibility for revenue covers two areas, each governed by a separate national official. One bore the title “overseer of sealers” (the men responsible for items of high value in small scale, requiring sealing), the other was “high steward” (responsible for other commodities: for the “stewards,” literally “overseers of estates,” see below). The “overseer of fields” was another national official in the area of revenue, who was involved in calculating estate values. The general (literally “taskforce overseer”) seems at the national level to cover security rather than building or quarrying; the latter, in particular, always included a military dimension, as an activity in wild terrain. Little is known of documentation and storage, which presumably formed the core duties of the royal documents scribe, another official at the highest level. High status fell in the religious domain to the high priests of Heliopolis and Memphis (later also of Thebes) and to the chief lectorpriest. Lectors (literally “holders of the festival roll”) would have been competent in reading hieroglyphs, since the festival rituals were written until the late Middle Kingdom in that sacred script rather than in ordinary long-hand (Hieratic). The chief lector presumably supervised the copying and composing of hieroglyphic texts for royal inscriptions in the domains of eternity: the temples and cemeteries. Inscriptions of Amenemhet III and Hatshepsut record that chief lectors under divine inspiration provided the four sacred throne-names added at accession by the king to his birth-name. The presence of chief lectors at the highest level emphasizes the importance of the religious dimension of the early state in Egypt.

In managing royal concerns nationwide, holders of different titles might perform the same functions. This applies in particular to overseers of construction, quarrying, or mining, and to the judicial aspect of officialdom. In the Old Kingdom, the tasks of an “overseer of works” might fall to a vizier or a “chief of directors of craftsmen” (the latter becoming the designation for the high priest of Ptah at Memphis). There seems to have been no separate architectural or engineering division of the administration any more than there was a separate judiciary. The title sʒb is often translated “judge,” but it seems to be a generic term for “official” when applied to a named individual, in contrast to the term sr, which is the generic term for “official” in the indefinite. As coordinator of the administration, the vizier most often held the responsibility of “overseer of the six great mansions,” a term that covered at the national level all centers of royal authority. One Middle Kingdom security official, an “overseer of disputes” held the variant “overseer of the six mansions in Itjtawy,” expressing from a different angle authority over places of judgment at the residence. The administration of justice formed an important aspect of all officialdom and land ownership; this is reflected in the literary Story of Khuninpu (the “Eloquent Peasant” of Egyptological literary studies), where a traveler robbed on the land of a high steward petitions that high official directly at his town house.

Revenue collection may be divided into periodic and sporadic. Rent cannot be distinguished from taxation unless the property rights are known for the items collected. In most instances, underlying ownership is not recorded, and it is probably wiser to adopt the broad term “dues” in preference to the term “tax,” which assumes specific relations between revenue collector and payer. Similarly, in the delivery of foreign goods, the broad Egyptian term inw ought to be translated first as “deliveries,” rather than (as is often the case in modern histories) as “tribute.” Goods collected may be raw materials or worked products; they may be divided first into foods and others, then into staples and luxuries. Even simple homes may have nonstaples. Ancient Egyptian economy and demography are little known, but it seems reasonable to assume majority dependence on local agriculture and animal husbandry, as opposed to hunting-gathering (still an important element of early states) or urban commerce. There is little if any evidence for centralized intervention in irrigation or animal and plant domestication. Irrigation networks in the Nile Valley depended on regional basins, not a national system of control. Irrigation may have played a role in the consolidation of oligarchic power at some stage of the Predynastic, but there is no precise data for effective control of high and low annual Nile floods in relation to forming or maintaining the unified state. Nearly all texts refer to centralized interest in produce rather than in the maintenance of lands, and land assessment by officials relates to harvest yield, not to irrigation repairs. One of the most explicit texts on irrigation works is the twelfth dynasty composition inscribed on tomb figurines called shawabtis (the meaning is unknown). The oldest version orders the figure to substitute for the deceased in any of these four tasks in the afterlife: on replacement land (the meaning is unknown); removal of a sector; fertying earth from riverbank lands; and ploughing new lands for the reigning king. The fourth implies royal expansion (but not maintenance) of irrigation, using conscripted labor.

The existence of royal land would have given court officials specific interests throughout Egypt. The proportion of those to other lands is not known, and the relation of the Egyptian term pr nswt (“royal domain”) to other domains is problematic. The twelfth dynasty inscription of Nebipusenusret assigns officials to “royal domain” or “temple,” but that refers to function rather than to salary source. The scale of the surviving Old and Middle Kingdom temple architecture does not suggest an important role for it in the state economy, but the archaeological record may be misleading, since the national religious centers at Memphis and Heliopolis are little known. From the New Kingdom, religious architecture is better preserved, and it apparently was conceived in different form, which included vast enclosures surrounded by massive walls. Temple enclosures seem the most secure nonmilitary structures in the New Kingdom and Late period landscape. In a nonmonetary but partly urbanized economy, grain is currency, and granaries are the principal banks. The regional temple granaries may form local points of royal power. New Kingdom temple economy may then be the result of a restructured state economy, under a complex system of resource management. The relationship between royal domain and temple is additionally obscured because royal cult centers lay within temple domains. The principal center of the royal cult, near the burial place of the king at Thebes, was “in the Amun domain.” This religious expression would not have given the Amun priesthood any additional resources; temple officials were appointed by the king, and “temple lands” could be managed by high court officials. The longest Egyptian manuscript, Papyrus Harris I, records massive donations by Ramesses III of the twentieth dynasty to his own cult, centered at Medinet Habu “in the Amun domain.” High officials managed the Ramesses III cult estates, and their resources flowed into the temple of the king, not the households of the priests. The civil war at the end of the twentieth dynasty may have centered on control of the national bank—the granaries in the Amun domain at Thebes. The viceroy of Kush needed these to pay for his troops and seems to have wrested control by force from their usual state official, the high priest of Amun; in response, the Delta-based court of Ramesses XI had to enlist the help of Libyan settlers to restore order. The death of Ramesses XI left a new Libyan king ruling Egypt from the North, a Libyan general governing Upper Egypt from Thebes (legitimated by taking the title “High Priest of Amun”), with the viceroy independent in Nubia.

In these struggles, as in the general question about relations between separate “domains,” using the European concepts of Clergy and State is inappropriate. Behind the Egyptian religious title of an estate, the economic and political structures emerge only in precise data on goods, their origins, and their destinations. The Abusir Papyri from the Old Kingdom indicate a complex web of estates, passing “on paper” goods from one estate via others to a final destination. The royal court accounts in Papyrus Boulaq 18 from the early thirteenth dynasty present a similar banking system of dues from various departments and places. The New Kingdom festival list of Ramesses III confirms the web of rights and obligations from which the accountant calculated the actual destination of a product.

Egypt as a central state raised revenues in kind from the local areas, but the basis, frequency, and regularity of the collections are not known. To raise revenues efficiently and fairly, the central administration required a national record of property; one part of that is preserved indirectly in hieroglyphic references to the “time of the count of cattle and people.” Livestock and labor force form two naturally variable resources, and their calculation was the basis for the assessment of estates. Middle Kingdom official documents from Illahun recorded household populations—in one case a soldier with his family, in another a lector with a large household. For accuracy in herd counts, a new census would fall every first, second, or third year after the preceding one (not necessarily fixed as biennial, as is often stated). During the Old Kingdom, Egyptians used the count to calculate time in general, and the recurrent “year of count” became the term for consecutive “year of reign” by the First Intermediate Period. The assessment of estates also depended on records of land ownership; indirect evidence for these survives in legal cases in which the parties resort to state records, most notably in the hieroglyphic inscription from the tomb-chapel of Mes, a Ramessid official. Transfers of ownership underwent official approval in the bureau of the vizier as “deeds of conveyance” (literally “house contents”), according to the Duties of the Vizier (as preserved in eighteenth dynasty tomb-chapels) and to earlier documents from Illahun (late Middle Kingdom). The near-total destruction of Egypt's state records obscures an implied gargantuan scale of assessment.

In periods of unity, Egypt occupied and administered neighboring lands. Excavations at Buhen in Lower Nubia revealed an Egyptian copper-working station of the Old Kingdom, established by the fourth dynasty; there is as yet little indication of the early military and administrative organization of such outposts. During the Middle Kingdom, at least one town on the eastern Mediterranean coast, Byblos, traded with Egypt to such an extent that its rulers occasionally used the Egyptian language and hieroglyphic script, with the self-description “mayor of Byblos”; however, there is no evidence for an Egyptian military settlement in the Near East or for separate administration of territories there or produce from that quarter. During the Middle Kingdom, the rulers of the twelfth dynasty launched military campaigns to conquer Lower Nubia, and the Egyptians occupied the area as far as the Second Cataract until some time in the thirteenth dynasty. Senwosret I (before 1900 BCE) and Senwosret III (by 1850 BCE) established massive fortresses along the occupied Nubian Nile Valley. Senwosret III set up a series of boundary stelae to mark the Second Cataract border, inscribed with instructions to allow no one to pass whose business was not peaceful and known. These hieroglyphic records are confirmed by the chance survival of a papyrus at Thebes that contained copies of official despatches from fortresses between the Second and First Cataracts. Presumably, a single courier or ship collected the messages, traveling from south to north, and delivered them to a central administrative office at Thebes. This indicates that during the Middle Kingdom, Thebes was administrative center for southern Upper Egypt and Lower Nubia. The despatches from the southern fortresses record, in detail, the movement of men with animals over desert roads, with decisions to allow or refuse passage. No special Nubian administration existed, but the area appears dominated by the fortresses and their regular Egyptian military officials; it may have been operated as a depopulated military zone.

The kings of the early eighteenth dynasty conquered a greater area of Nubia, as far south as the Fourth Cataract; they also established military garrisons in strategic centers of the Near East as far north as Syria. Campaign records dominate royal inscriptions of that period, and the records show that considerable quantities of booty and then of recurrent supplies of raw materials and other goods entered Egypt. The larger regions underwent reorganizations that were adapted to the varying circumstances of Nubia and the Levant. In the New Kingdom, a viceroy (literally “king's son”) of Kush administered Nubia from Aniba, with the help of two “deputies,” one at Derr for the northern area (Wawat) and one (perhaps at Amara) for the southern (Kush). As in Egypt, “mayors” ruled the larger population centers, while local “rulers” continued to lead the existing segments of the Nubian population. Military assistants to the viceroy bore the title “Head of Bowmen of Kush”; otherwise, officials in Nubia held unmodified Egyptian titles, as if incorporating the territory directly into Egypt. The founding of temples to the Egyptian national gods would also have cast Nubia as a smaller model of Egypt. Despite the Egyptianization in local burial customs at such sites as Aniba, this reconfiguration of Nubia as a mini-Egypt may not have deleted local social structures; certainly it did not prevent the abrupt secession of viceregal Nubia in the civil war at the end of the twentieth dynasty. Egyptian military organization of Near Eastern territories is attested in part from late eighteenth dynasty international diplomatic correspondence in cuneiform script (Amarna tablets). Egyptian “overseers of northern lands” administered three provinces, Canaan (headquarters at Gaza), Upe (headquarters at Kumidi, under the protection of the ruler of Damascus), and the northernmost province of Amurru (headquarters at Simyra, under the protection of the ruler of Amurru). As in Nubia, the military commanders bore the title “Head of Bowmen”; but the Egyptians did not establish temples in the Near East on the scale of the monuments in Nubia.

Interests abroad lay in the security of Egypt's borders and the delivery of revenue. Security, revenue, and justice define the factors important to ancient Egyptian government. Therefore, the principal difference between foreign dominions and home territory lay in the responsibility of providing justice in personal, land, and property disputes.



  • Butzer, Karl W. Early Hydraulic Civilization in Egypt: A Study in Cultural Ecology. Chicago, 1976. Essential guide to the system of agriculture in the Nile Valley, showing gaps in our sources and disputing the theory that the early states arose from the need to coordinate irrigation systems.
  • Janssen, Jac. J. “Prolegomena to the Study of Egypt's Economic History during the New Kingdom.” Studien zur Altagyptischen Kultur 3 (1975), 127–185. The fundamental essay on problems of interpreting Egyptian administrative texts; includes a summary of the principal administrative New Kingdom texts.
  • Kemp, Barry J. Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Civilization. London and New York, 1989. A wide-ranging introduction to Egypt over the Old to New Kingdoms, this is one of the only works to combine archaeological with textual evidence in the study of the Egyptian economy.
  • Quirke, S. The Administration of Egypt in the Late Middle Kingdom: The Hieratic Documents. New Malden, 1991. Discussion of Papyrus Boulaq 18 and other textual sources for reconstructing state administration at that period.
  • Strudwick, Nigel. The Administration of Egypt in the Old Kingdom. London, 1985. Describes the history of principal titles across the Old Kingdom, drawing extensively on the hieroglyphic sources of the period.
  • Trigger, B. G., B. J. Kemp, D. O'Connor, and A. B. Lloyd. Ancient Egypt. A Social History. Cambridge, 1983. A general introduction to each period from the Predynastic to the arrival of Alexander the Great in 332 BCE. The first three chapters were first published in The Cambridge History of Africa, vol. 1. Cambridge, 1982.

Stephen G. J. Quirke

Provincial Administration

The term provincial administration refers to the governance of Egypt on the regional level—that is, the individual districts. By analogy with the Roman Empire, Egypt's districts are sometimes called “provinces,” but on the basis of the situation in Greco-Roman times, the usual designation for these Egyptian regional administrative districts is “nome.” A nomarch headed the administration of each nome.

Egypt's large land area must have required regional administration at a relatively early date, but little is known about it. The classical view of the administration of the nomes in the Old Kingdom may not reflect the earlier situation. Indisputable evidence for this early administration is mentioned in pottery inscriptions from the tomb complex of Djoser (early third dynasty), which contain the names of administrators of the sixteenth Upper Egyptian nome. Since there is no evidence of any special status for this region, nome administration was probably in place during the reign of Djoser at the latest. The various titles of these men, however, may indicate a longer prior development of this branch of administration. (The assessment of other earlier written sources is at present still disputed among researchers.)

The frequently proposed hypothesis that the Egyptian nomes evolved from the drainage area of royal estates cannot be proven; such estates were not considered nomes anywhere in Egypt during any earlier period. No nome metropolis can be distinguished in the Old Kingdom as a previous royal estate, and no nome name from the Old Kingdom suggests any relation to such estates. Thus it must be presumed that nomes were created as administrative units for the purpose of governance in the drainage areas of ancient, very likely religious, centers—since the names of the nomes reflect ancient religious concepts. The nomes of the Old Kingdom were not so much homogeneous units that had grown up naturally but artificially created units, which accounts for the instability that was manifested, particularly in southern Upper Egypt, at the end of the Old Kingdom.

In the Old Kingdom, the nome names were written either with the so-called nome hieroglyph, a general designation for an administrative district, or with a nome emblem, which at the same time indicates its name. Most of the nome emblems, mainly signs of gods, stand on so-called standards. The nome hieroglyph, an elongated rectangle with vertical and diagonal lines drawn inside it, was for a long time thought to reflect land marked by irrigation canals; however, since it cannot be proven that an artificial irrigation system of canals existed in Egypt's earliest period, this idea must be rejected. Instead of canals, dams for catch-basins can also be recognized in the hieroglyph; then, too, it may schematically represent a sharply defined area, with clearly delineated parcels of land, as were recorded in deeds.

The earliest known nomarchs bore the title “Nome Ruler” or the title “Leader of the Land.” Both titles still occurred side by side during the early fourth dynasty, in the lists of titles of Upper Egyptian nomarchs; the first title then disappeared, while the second is attested into the early sixth dynasty. Characteristic of the lists of titles of nomarchs in Upper Egypt is that they were composites; they are composed of the different titles that describe the individual areas of the nomarch's responsibilities. His function as an overall leader was still marked by the title “Leader of the Land,” because it is questionable whether the title of the “division” (wpt) was the actual official title of the nomarch. Instead, this title seems to mark its bearer as being responsible for one, albeit essential, part of the duties of a nomarch—namely, the recording of the economic resources of his administrative district—which involved the land areas that were usable for agriculture and the people who lived on and were bound to them. This interpretation of the title derives from wpt being known as a technical term for drawing up and recording lists and from the fact that in the Old Kingdom, the bearers of this title certainly held an office subordinate to that of the nomarch (Coptos Decrees of Pepy II). Against this backdrop, parts of the Metjen inscription can be understood, where the nome administration is informed of changes in the ownership of land, so that they could be recorded in the deeds. In these reports the individual named as the recipient is always an official who bears the title “Supervisor of the Division.” The officials who were responsible for assigning people from the individual nomes to state work projects (corvée labor), for military expeditions to Nubia, or for the delivery of bricks were designated iri iḫt nswt. In the lists of titles of nomarchs in the earlier period, all such titles appear together with other titles which, for example, imply responsibility for state properties or oversight over particular population groups. Then, in the sixth dynasty, first in southern Upper Egypt, a new title for nomarchs was introduced, namely the “Great Head of the Nome.” As for provincial administration in Lower Egypt during the Old Kingdom, little is known with certainty. There is, for example, one nomarch attested with the official title “Supervisor of the Nome.”

The essential task of the provincial administration was to use a portion of the economic resources in the individual nomes for state purposes. A portion of the agricultural production of each region was collected as taxes (the collection of the cattle tax is repeatedly depicted in tombs, for example), and the population was recruited for work projects for the state. As the basis for this, it was necessary to record details of the region in registers. These basic tasks of the nome administration were not only true for the period of the Old Kingdom, but also for later periods. In geographical terms, the scope of their responsibilities comprised the settled and cultivated areas in the Nile Valley. With the exception of the nomarchs of the fifteenth Upper Egyptian nome who, in the late Old Kingdom, were also responsible for leading expeditions to Hatnub (the alabaster or calcite quarries), the oversight of such undertakings did not fall within the competence of provincial administrators. The epithets of nomarchs make reference to their legal jurisdiction (at the lower level), which can also be shown for the New Kingdom.

The tasks in the provinces were carried out in close cooperation with the central authorities, under the control of the highest executive official of the land, the vizier. The nomarchs were subject to the instructions of the vizier and had to answer to him. The assessments of taxes and the calculations of the number of corvée laborers to be provided were made in the central offices. The tasks assigned were then executed in each locality under the direction of the nomarch, according to the directives of the central authority, as communicated through the regional authorities. These very complex administrative procedures can be most clearly seen in the texts of the exemption decrees for provincial temples of the Old Kingdom. These decrees released any temple, for which they were issued, from performing every kind of duty for the state. In addition, they were removed from the jurisdiction of the provincial officials. These decrees show that tax collection and the corvée were organized by nomes and that the nomes were administrative units.

In the second half of the fifth dynasty, the office of “Supervisor of Upper Egypt” was created; this official functioned as the representative of the vizier in Upper Egypt and, as the authority to whom the nomarchs were subordinated, took on part of the oversight duties of viziers over the nomarchs. The headquarters of this official was in Abydos, and besides him, there were other officials who were responsible for only one part of a region in Upper Egypt. So, at one time, there was a supervisor of Upper Egypt in Meir for the middle nomes and one in Akhmim for the northern nomes (those north of Abydos). As to whether there were established supraregional subdivisions of the office of “Supervisor of Upper Egypt” for any significant period cannot be proved. In the late Old Kingdom, even nomarchs bore this title—and so they became independent of the supraregional officials, likely gaining greater autonomy with respect to the recruitment of corvée labor or the disposition of the taxes that were collected. This suggests, for example, a possible early form of the title borne by nomarchs “Overseer of the Barley of Upper Egypt.” A Lower Egyptian counterpart to this supraregional office in Upper Egypt cannot be attested for this period.

The city of Elephantine seems to have held a special position in Upper Egypt. There is still no evidence that this island in the Nile was part of the first Upper Egyptian nome or the administrative seat of that nome. (Rather, we ought to look to Kom Ombo to locate the nomarchial seat.) The officials who resided in Elephantine during the sixth dynasty were responsible for local administration and for relations with Nubia.

In the late Old Kingdom, the nomarchs were in many cases also directors of the local temple administrations, particularly the provincial temple, which was located at their administrative seat. As a result, two originally separate administrative offices were brought together under the control of a single person. Toward the end of the Old Kingdom, the central power of the state declined in importance. This led to a degree of de facto autonomy for the individual regions in the province that was quite far-reaching. Those who held power in the regions took over for their own areas tasks that were previously reserved to the central power. They laid claim to complete discretionary power over taxes and corvée labor, something that had begun in the late sixth dynasty. They also had their own troops and engaged in battles against their local rivals. As a result, at least in southern Upper Egypt, the old traditional nomes no longer existed. In many places, the temple administration was the actual local or regional administrative constant, as seen when the title “Great Head of the Nome” declined in significance and the high priests functioned as the leaders of the provincial administrations.

During the First Intermediate Period, new areas of power or administrative districts gradually took shape. The ancient nomes were replaced by so-called city districts, the area of which, at least in Egypt's south, was often smaller than that of the older nomes. After the reunification, under the kings of the eleventh dynasty, and the founding of the Middle Kingdom, the city districts became the new nomes. Characteristically, their names (as in the later Greco-Roman period) were formed from the name of each regional seat of administration, the capital of the nome.

An obvious exception in Middle Egypt was the fifteenth and sixteenth Upper Egyptian nomes, where, even in the early Middle Kingdom, the nomarchs used the title “Great Head of a Nome” and designated their administrative region with the ancient nome emblem. The area of the sixteenth Upper Egyptian nome was, however, reduced in size when Amenemhet I redrew the nome boundaries and created a separate district on the eastern bank of the Nile. For this new district, a new form of the name and the new nomarch title of ḥʒty-ʿ was used; it had already been introduced during the eleventh dynasty to the south of that area.

The title ḥʒty-ʿ is usually translated as “mayor,” and since this designation falsely suggests a leadership function in an (urban) settlement, it will not be used here. The evidence shows that officials with that title were usually also responsible for the surrounding rural area and for the collection of taxes on agricultural products. The “city” that they administered was an extensive area, with fields and waterways, as can be seen from the description of the reordering of the provinces in the twelfth dynasty, under Chnumhotep in Beni Hasan. These were nomes. To what extent this situation also applies to the pyramid cities—whose mayors are known in the late Middle Kingdom—must remain open. The only thing that is certain is that, within the state administrative structure, they had a status that corresponded to that of the nomes. No “mayors” of the two capital cities Itjtawi and Thebes are yet documented. That the title was a functional one is attested to by the fact that it was written twice in complete lists of titles, where it occurs a second time outside the series of rank titles.

The nomarchs of the Middle Kingdom were also responsible for the collection of taxes and the recruitment of the population liable for corvée labor. From Middle Egypt, the documentation shows that they had a large staff of coworkers to help carry out their duties. In that respect, the provincial administration was organized according to the model of the national state administration. Among other things, there is evidence of a “Speaker of the Nomarch,” whose function corresponded to that of the vizier on the national level, as well as a treasurer and a director of the nome's office of records (usually understood as a prison). Under the “speaker,” there was an official who was in charge of the irrigation canals of the region (ḳnbty n w), which had meanwhile been introduced. Then there was a series of scribes who belonged to the middle level of the administration. For other regions of Egypt, less evidence of this kind of complex administrative structure exists in primary sources; however, such a structure can be inferred from the so-called tax list in the tomb of Rekhmire, a more recent copy of an older text.

As in the Old Kingdom, the provincial administration was under the authority of the vizier. For the southern part of Upper Egypt, the supraregional administrative unit (wʿrt) of the “southern head” (tp rsy), was set up in the time of Senwosret I; it was under the authority of the “speaker” (who must be differentiated from the “nome speakers”), who functioned as the representative of the vizier. He took over the duties that had been the responsibility of the governor of Upper Egypt, and his administrative seat was Thebes, which during the Middle Kingdom had become co-capital with Itjtawy, the royal residence in the North.

The postulated major administrative reform of the Middle Kingdom by Senwosret III must be viewed with greater skepticism than has been the case. Beyond question, the large and sumptuously decorated tombs of the nomarchs—known from Aswan, Middle Egypt, and northern Upper Egypt—were no longer constructed toward the end of the twelfth dynasty. Whether this finding can be used to infer a radical internal political change, consisting of the elimination of the so-called nome princedoms, is less certain. First, it must be determined that these tomb complexes were not ended abruptly under this king. Second, the existence of such tombs cannot be proven for other regions, even for the earlier period, although the existence of nomarchs is documented in those places. Third, the situation in Aswan, well known from the numerous finds there, does not show this radical break in the administrative structure. Therefore, a general administrative reform that affected the whole of Egypt did not take place.

As for the lack of tomb complexes in later times, religious reasons might also be cited. Even for the officials who exercised supraregional activity like the “speaker” in Thebes, no large decorated tombs can be found. The existence of nomarchs was later documented for the thirteenth dynasty and also the seventeenth dynasty. Among these, some cases are documented in which a son took over the father's office, so that no radical break can be shown with respect to the inheritance of offices. In contrast, earlier nomarchs of the twelfth dynasty, in order to take over their father's or grandfather's office, needed legitimization by the king; only he installed them in the position their fathers had held. They were, by law, royal officials—not princes in their own right. In their inscriptions, despite many instances of usurping formerly royal attributes, they are at pains to present themselves as loyal servants of the king.

Typically the nomarchs of the Middle Kingdom were often also at the same time high priests at the local temples. As to whether this was the case for all regions of Egypt cannot be determined for lack of sources. Following the model of Egypt proper, a nomarch was also put in place in Nubia on the southern limit of the territory then ruled by Egypt. According to the sources, this nomarch was in charge of the entire area of the Second Cataract along with its forts.

The New Kingdom provincial administration was similar to that of the Middle Kingdom. The nomarchs bore the same official title, and nomes continued to be called by the name of their capital, as this was true for both Upper and Lower Egypt. The personal bond of the nomarchs to the local temple administrations soon became looser, and generally, they were no longer high priests of these temples. Their responsibility for the collection of taxes remained, and until the rule of Thutmose III, they were responsible for the recruiting of those compelled to perform state labor. The nome prince of Elkab was also in charge of the gold mines of the Eastern Desert. For the Ramessid era, the sources concerning provincial administration are rather poor. No tombs are known for members of the provincial administration. Wilbour Papyrus shows that they were responsible for overseeing state lands, and according to the Haremheb Decree, the nomarchs were responsible for the king's supplies during his visit to Luxor for the Opet festival; with priests of the local temples, nomarchs comprised the district court of justice. Hardly anything more is known about other members of the provincial administration subordinate to the nomarchs; the administrative structure had been greatly simplified.

While the nomarchs of Egypt proper continued to be subject to the vizier, those in Nubia were under the authority of the viceroy of Kush. For a long time this also applied to the nomarchs of Elephantine, when the southern part of Upper Egypt belonged to the Nubian administrative region; for a time its northern border was near Hierakonpolis.

In the eighteenth dynasty, the nome was still designated as a city district (nἰwt), while in the Ramessid era, it was replaced by the term ḳʿḥt. After the New Kingdom, nomes were called tʒš. For the period after the New Kingdom, the Third Intermediate Period, little is known about provincial administration. The splintering of the state into various independent Libyan princedoms in Middle and Lower Egypt led to a situation in which the provincial administration no longer played any major role—since the character of the territorial state had, in many instances, been lost. Frequently, there was no hinterland, no province in the strict sense of the word, located at any distance from the seat of the ruler. Therefore the question of its administration became moot. Still, for larger contiguous areas, there remains documentation for leaders of the regional administration who held the title ḥʒty-ʿ (“nomarch”). Nothing is known about the functions and duties of this official or even about the structure of the administration under him. In the inscription of King Piya, in keeping with his idea of a new unitary state, the independent princes were also designated as nomarchs. The title ḥʒty-ʿ has also been documented for the Theban theocratic state. Under these officials there were nome scribes; this situation can be traced to the period of the Ptolemies.

From the period of the First Persian Occupation, the twenty-seventh dynasty, nomarchs of Coptos are known from inscriptions in the Wadi Hammamat. Since they had Persian names, they may have been members of the foreign ruling class. As to whether this was the rule for holding the office during that period, the lack of additional sources make it impossible to say with certainty. From Greek sources, the complex provincial administrations of the Ptolemaic and Roman periods are known. At first, nomarchs headed the nomes but later strategoi were appointed. For the supraregional administration, an epistrategos was responsible; his position is similar to that of the “speaker” in the administration of the “southern head,” during the Middle Kingdom.

The lists of nomes of the Egyptian temples from the Ptolemaic and Roman periods do not reflect the administrative reality of their own times, since they show the administrative situation of the Old Kingdom. The twenty-two Upper Egyptian nomes from that ancient period are well documented; for a large portion of the Lower Egyptian nomes, this was also the case. Nomes were added to these lists for Lower Egypt, to create an archaic effect, so they are thereby anachronistic.

See also Administration, article on STATE ADMINISTRATION; OFFICIALS; and TAXATION.


  • A brief overview of provincial administration in ancient Egypt is afforded by F. Gomáa, R. Müller-Wollermann, and W. Schenkel in Mittelägypten zwischen Samalut und dem Gabal Abu Sir (Beihefte TAVO, series B, number 69, pp. 5–19), Wiesbaden, 1991. They deal with its development from earliest times to the Coptic period.
  • W. Helck describes the nomes as administrative districts in Die altägyptischen Gaue (Beihefte TAVO, series B, no. 5), Wiesbaden, 1974. He demonstrates the evolution of provincial administration to the Greco-Roman period. (This book has the drawback of having used the lists of the nomes from the Greco-Roman period as its ordering principle, so for most of the periods of Egyptian history, this is an anachronism.)
  • For the Old Kingdom and the First Intermediate Period, the following are available: E. Martin-Pardey, Untersuchungen zur ägyptischen Provinzialverwaltung bis zum Ende des Alten Reiches (Hildesheimer Ägyptologische Beiträge, 1), Hildesheim, 1976; and H. G. Fischer, Dendera in the Third Millennium B.C., Locust Valley, N. Y., 1968. Fischer's work, along with statements that apply to the provinces in general, contains an exemplary description of a province in Upper Egypt.
  • The most reliable published description of the circumstances of provincial administration in the Middle Kingdom is provided by Dietlef Franke in Das Heiligtum des Heqaib auf Elephantine (Studien zur Archäologie und Geschichte Altägyptens, 9), Heidelberg, 1994.
  • For the Middle Kingdom and the New Kingdom, with a brief overview of the following period, W. Helck's is still the basic work, Zur Verwaltung des Mittleren und Neuen Reiches, Leiden and Cologne, 1958.

A study of provincial administration after the New Kingdom has not yet been published.

Eva Pardey; Translated from German by Robert E. Shillenn

Temple Administration

From Old Kingdom times to the beginning of the Roman period, temples had a prominent role in ancient Egyptian society. Temples were not only religious institutions but economic ones as well, having their own resources and their priestly, administrative, and productive personnel. Textual and archaeological sources show that many different types of temples existed, ranging from large temples in the main religious centers (notably Thebes, Abydos, Memphis, and Heliopolis) to modest shrines in the countryside. A basic distinction should be made between (1) the cult temples of local deities (though acknowledged throughout Egypt), whose buildings and provisions were, ideally, added to by each king, and (2) the funerary (or memorial) temples that were the personal foundations of a king. These two types of institutions had essential differences in their administrations during both the Old and Middle Kingdoms. During the New Kingdom, the administrative status of the memorial temple, which was no longer part of the royal tomb complex, came to resemble that of local cult temples. The cult temples had religious and economic ties with the memorial foundations in their vicinity. No separate memorial temples are known for the pharaohs of the Late and Greco-Roman periods, but new sanctuaries were built in these periods for the increasingly popular worship of sacred animals.

Temple Estates.

The religious duty of the pharaoh, as son of the gods, was to build his divine father and/or mother a house, and to provide them with food and luxury items. According to temple inscriptions, the way to do this was to give the temples their own means of production, as well as part of the materials and objects required. The concept “give,” however, stands for different and complex processes in economic reality. In the Old Kingdom, the endowments of land for local cult temples were modest and emphatically meant for the upkeep of the priests. More is known about the funerary temples of this period, which were assigned their proper domains throughout the country. Yet the temples did not collect the revenues from these domains; this was done by the royal residence, which kept part of the products and passed on the rest to the funerary temples. A further intermediate stage was the solar temple, to which a funerary temple was economically attached, and only that solar temple had sufficient facilities to produce and store the offerings required for its own cult and for that of the funerary temple. Middle Kingdom documents also mention offerings being transferred to royal funerary foundations from nearby cult temples.

Only from the New Kingdom onward was there a great degree of autonomy within the temples, with regard to their economic sources. In the Ramessid period, the temples in prominent religious centers had their own estates, many of which were of a considerable size. The endowments made by King Ramesses III, for example, to his newly founded temples are thought to comprise 13 to 18 percent of the arable land and about 2.5 percent of the Egyptian population (estimated at about three million in that period). To his new temple in Western Thebes, Ramesses “gave” 62,626 persons; and to the Theban temples, he “gave” 2,382 square kilometers of cultivable land (which, however, means nothing more than that those people and fields were somehow attached to the temples in question). The numbers quoted might include many fields actually leased out for cultivation, as well as their tenants.

The temples' agricultural domains were of two types: those worked by temple cultivators and those worked by private tenants or by other institutions (including other temples). The crops of the second type were shared between the temple (which received only a small part) and the cultivating party. Surprisingly, many of the domains cultivated by the temples themselves came under the authority of functionaries without any titles relating to temple administration. Besides their own fields, the temples also administrated royal domains, from which they may have received partial revenues, the rest being collected by government officials. The main products of the temple and the domains were emmer wheat, barley, flax, and fodder. Vegetables, fruit, olives, and grapes (for wine) were grown in the temple gardens or vineyards. In addition to their fields, gardens, and personnel, the temples also had their own granaries, treasuries, workshops, fowlyards, cowsheds, slaughterhouses, and boats. Together, these resources constituted the temple estate. Such an estate, which could be further enriched by minor donations on behalf of the king or private individuals, was called “divine offering,” in perfect agreement with the reason for the Egyptian temple as an economic institution. Much of the produce of the estate was presented on the altars of the gods, to be redistributed afterward among the priests and temple administrators. A considerable part of the annual temple revenues, however, may have been used to support the temple personnel in a more direct way, while the crops of some types of domains had to be paid to other parties as described above. Temples might also trade their products for precious materials, such as oil or silver.

The Persian conqueror Cambyses (r. 525–522 BCE) reduced Egyptian temple revenues, but he was more careful with regard to the most important sanctuaries. The Ptolemaic kings also tried to reduce the temple estates, introducing a new tax (Gr., the syntaxis) as an alternative source of temple revenue. Despite this development, the temples remained rich and important economic institutions until they lost their estates under the Roman emperor Augustus (r. 30 BCE–14 CE) and came to depend entirely on taxes levied by the state.

Temple Administrators.

Although the long history of the Egyptian temples saw many changes in the organization of their personnel, some basic features remained. One such feature was the distinction between the priests, supervisors, and scribes and the lower productive and administrative personnel. The distinction was not so much between priestly and nonpriestly functions: priests might be concerned with everyday economic affairs, and temple craftsmen could also be part-time priests. The two groups, rather, represented different social classes. Official inscriptions emphasized that priests and temple officials were appointed from prominent local families or from the ranks of high state officials, whereas productive personnel were usually referred to in the same texts as “slaves” or “serfs,” who were collectively assigned (“given”) to the temples, rather than appointed.

During the Old Kingdom, the priests of funerary temples bore the titles of wʿb (“pure one”), lector-priest, god's servant, and the somewhat enigmatic title ḫnty-š. God's servants and ḫnty-š were organized in shifts, each shift having its own supervisors. All priests were responsible for temple property and the daily offerings. The ḫnty-š are also mentioned as holders of fields, but it is unclear whether that was their administrative duty. To the regular temple priesthood must be added the priests who officiated in private funerary cults. Such cults were often attached to temples, and their priests shared in the temple offerings. The nonpriestly personnel included agricultural workers and the personnel of workshops and storehouses (which were collectively referred to as “serfs”), as well as craftsmen, scribes, and guards. The local cult temple was supervised by a “high priest” or by an “overseer of priests,” who also managed the temple's economic affairs. Toward the end of the Old Kingdom, the title “Overseer of Priests” was held by mayors and provincial governors, who thus supervised the temples in their districts. During the Middle Kingdom, the mayors were also “overseer of priests” or “temple overseers” of royal funerary foundations.

In a New Kingdom temple, the main body of priests comprised men who bore the lower priestly title of wab. They performed their religious duties in shifts, which probably explains how wʿb-priests could at the same time be administrators and craftsmen. Together with the god's servants, god's fathers, and lector-priests, they were supervised by the high priest, who also had administrative responsibilities. An “overseer of priests of Upper and Lower Egypt” was responsible for all the priests of all the Egyptian temples. Throughout most of the New Kingdom, this title was held by the high priest of the Temple of Amun at Karnak, but at times it was held also by the high priests of other temples or by the vizier.

The high priest shared his responsibilities with the temple steward (“overseer of the house”), as well as with the scribes and overseers of the temple workshops, granaries, treasuries, and cattle. The estates of the larger temples of this period were immense, and huge numbers of personnel were involved in the production, administration, and transport of their revenues. The titles of temple stewards and overseers were often held by functionaries who were otherwise engaged in quite different fields of administration; most of these were high government or army officials, who probably received their temple functions as additional sources of income. They were probably seldom to be seen in the temple area, but they were represented on the spot by deputies and scribes.

Ideally speaking, priests were appointed by the king—since, in theory, they replaced the pharaoh as the performer of temple rituals. In practice, however, priestly offices were usually passed on within the same families, which led to the existence of veritable priestly dynasties, especially well known from the New Kingdom and later periods. At the end of the twentieth dynasty, things took an exceptional turn in Thebes—the main religious center of New Kingdom Egypt. The accumulation of priestly offices by a few families, the concentration of power in the person of the high priest of Amun at Karnak (who then also became responsible for the affairs of other Theban temples), and the royal status claimed by the high priest and general Chnumhotep and his successors, all led to the development of a “state within the state” that rivaled the waning Ramessid dynasty and the succeeding dynasties in the North of Egypt. An important person from that time onward was the “Divine Consort” (or “Divine Adoratrice”) of Amun; the ancient title (also held by New Kingdom queens and princesses) became applied to a celibate woman of royal and priestly status who headed a vast estate.

Apart from the exceptional office of “Divine Consort,” women are seldom attested as priests: Old and Middle Kingdom texts contained references to female “god's servants” and wab-priests, mainly for female deities, Hathor in particular. The temples also had chantresses and female musicians, and in later periods, these were the only temple functions held by women. Although such titles indicated their high social status, women never appeared in documents as temple administrators.

The Late period brought an increase in the number of priestly offices, among them a new office with supreme administrative responsibility: that of the lesonis. According to documents from the time of the First Persian Occupation and the Ptolemaic period, that priest was elected by the temple priesthood, perhaps annually, and appointed by the government. In the Ptolemaic period, the lesonis was subordinate to an epistates, who supervised the temple on behalf of the government administration. Priests are well represented in the Greek and Demotic texts of the Ptolemaic period, as collectors of taxes and as the holders of temple fields; with regard to cultic and economic temple affairs, royal proclamations reflect the decisions of priestly synods. The priests lost their administrative power in the Roman period, however, when the temple estates were dissolved.

State and Temple.

The economic traffic between the Old Kingdom funerary temples and the royal residence, as well as the later Ptolemaic and Roman temple taxes, demonstrate that the state and temple administrations were closely interrelated. Throughout pharaonic history, however, the protection of temple property or personnel from interference by other institutions was the subject of special royal decrees. Since such “immunity charters” were always concerned with specific temples or specific circumstances, it is difficult to establish to what extent such protection was a matter of course. Even the seemingly autonomous temples of the New Kingdom had their obligations toward government administration. As discussed above, part of their agricultural production was collected by state officials on account of khato domains, and there are other indications for taxes to be paid to the king or his representatives. Reference has also been made to the supervision of temple domains by officials who had no titles relating to temple administration. The temples were also subject to inspections by officials of the royal treasury, concerning temple property or misbehavior of temple personnel.

Although considerable portions of Egypt's economic resources became part of temple estates, those resources remained available to society as a whole. Many people benefited from them—as priests or temple officials, who were entitled to share in the divine offerings, or as tenants of temple fields. Thus the temples played an active, integrative role in the national economy while retaining a distinct administrative identity.



  • Evans, J. A. S. “A Social and Economic History of an Egyptian Temple in the Greco-Roman Period.” Yale Classical Studies 17 (1961), 143–283. History of the temples in that period, exemplified by the fortunes of the temple of the god Soknebtunis in the Faiyum Oasis.
  • Goedicke, H. “Cult Temple and ‘State’ during the Old Kingdom in Egypt.” In State and Temple Economy in the Ancient Near East, vol. 1, pp. 113–131. Orientalia Lovaniensa Analecta, 5, edited by E. Lipinski. Leuven, 1979. On the endowments of land to temples by the Old Kingdom pharaohs.
  • Haring, B. J. J. Divine Households. Administrative and Economic Aspects of the New Kingdom Royal Memorial Temples in Western Thebes. Egyptologische Uitgaven, 12. Leiden, 1997. Case study of the administrative structure and economic significance of the temples founded by the pharaohs of the New Kingdom on the western bank of the Nile, opposite present-day Luxor.
  • Helck, W. Materialien zur Wirtschaftsgeschichte des Neuen Reiches. 6 vols. Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur. Abhandlungen der geistes- und sozialwissenschaftlichen Klasse (1960, nos. 10 and 11; 1963, nos. 2 and 3; 1964, no. 4; 1969, no. 4). Wiesbaden, 1961–1969. Extensive collection of economic data from New Kingdom documents, including various aspects of temple administration (mainly in vols. 1–3).
  • Janssen, J. J. “The Role of the Temple in the Egyptian Economy during the New Kingdom.” In State and Temple Economy in the Ancient Near East, vol. 2, pp. 505–515. Orientalia Lovaniensa Analecta, 6, edited by E. Lipinski, Leuven, 1979. General discussion, with specific remarks on the Theban memorial temples.
  • Kemp, B. J. “Temple and Town in Ancient Egypt”. In Man, Settlement and Urbanism, edited by P. J. Ucko, R. Tringham, and G. W. Dimbleby, pp. 657–680. London, 1972. Fundamental essay on the economic role of temples in ancient Egyptian society, especially as the centers of settlements.
  • Kemp, B. J. Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Civilization. London and New York, 1989. History of the ancient Egyptian society until the end of the New Kingdom; also deals with the economic role of temples.
  • Kitchen, K. A. “The Vintages of the Ramesseum.” In Studies in Pharaonic Religion and Society in Honour of J. Gwyn Griffiths. Occasional Publications 8, edited by A. B. Lloyd, pp. 115–123. London, 1992. Reconstruction of the location and administration of vineyards of a New Kingdom memorial temple.
  • Meeks, D. “Les donations aux temples dans l'Egypte du Ier millénaire avant J.-C.” In State and Temple Economy in the Ancient Near East, vol. 2, pp. 605–687. Orientalia Lovaniensa Analecta, 6, edited by E. Lipinski. Leuven, 1979. Concentrates on the donations of land to temples by private individuals in the Late period.
  • O'Connor, D. “The Social and Economic Organization of Ancient Egyptian Temples”. In Civilizations of the Ancient Near East, vol. 1, edited by J. M. Sasson, pp. 319–329. New York, 1995. Discusses the historical development of Old, Middle, and New Kingdom temples; attention is given to the socioeconomic context.
  • Posener-Kriéger, P. “Les papyrus d'Abousir et l'économie des temples funéraires de l'Ancien Empire.” In State and Temple Economy in the Ancient Near East, vol. 1, pp. 133–151. Orientalia Lovaniensa Analecta, 5, edited by E. Lipinski. Leuven, 1979. Expert description of the intricate relationships between the residence and the royal funerary temples of the fifth dynasty.
  • Sauneron, S. The Priests of Ancient Egypt. New York, 1960. Classic study of the priests and their place in Egyptian society throughout the pharaonic and Greco-Roman periods. Translation of Les prêtres de l'ancienne Egypte (Paris, 1957; 2d ed., Paris, 1988).
  • Spalinger, A. J. “A Redistributive Pattern at Assiut.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 105 (1985), 7–20. On the circulation of offerings in a Middle Kingdom cult temple.
  • Spalinger, A. J. “Some Revisions of Temple Endowments in the New Kingdom.” Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 28 (1991), 21–39. On temple inspections as the background of royal decrees with regard to temple property.
  • Stead, M. “A Model to Facilitate the Study of Temple Administration in Graeco-Roman Egypt.” In Atti del XVII Congresso Internazionale di Papirologia, 3. Naples, 1984. Brief outline of temple revenues and expenses.

Ben Haring