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The Economies of Hellenistic Societies, Third to First Centuries BC$
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Zosia Archibald, John K. Davies, and Vincent Gabrielsen

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199587926

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199587926.001.0001

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Animal Husbandry in Ptolemaic Egypt

Animal Husbandry in Ptolemaic Egypt

(p.390) 18 Animal Husbandry in Ptolemaic Egypt
The Economies of Hellenistic Societies, Third to First Centuries BC

Dorothy J. Thompson

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines animal husbandry during the three hundred years of Ptolemaic rule in Egypt (332–30 BC). It focuses on the role of the settlers, mainly Greek military settlers known as cleruchs (klērouchoi), in promoting stock-rearing alongside the cereal production, which continued to represent the main agricultural wealth of Hellenistic Egypt. The settlers played a key role in the expansion of the agricultural area and in the development of crop production, which contributed to the success of the Ptolemaic economy. It is argued that animal husbandry was a further source of wealth, for both the settlers (in terms of income) and the crown (in terms of tax revenue). The development of animal husbandry also played a part in the progressive monetization of Egypt. This particular economic activity met the demands of the urban centres of Egypt, which grew and underwent economic development during this period.

Keywords:   Hellenistic period, Ptolemaic Egypt, animal husbandry, Greek military settlers, cleruchs, cereal production

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