Go to Section Menu
Go to Article


This databse aims to present the quantitative, fiscal, and social data in the Villages of the Fayyum in a digital format.

Given the nature of the source, the digital presentation of the data in Excel Spreadsheets is preceded by explanation of the most common categories of taxes, fees, and loans that are listed in the village entries.

We discuss and present the fiscal categories  in the order in which they are listed by al-Nābulusī in his village entries. Each village entry starts with an overview of the village, including its status as either iqṭāʿ, endowment or part of the royal domain, its fiscal value, tribal affiliation, and water rights. The list of taxes normally begins with the fiscal revenue (irtifāʿ), which consisted of the land tax and taxes on trade. These major categories are followed by a list of fees, including a separate category of pasture fees. In most village entries, the fees are followed by the alms-tax, poll-tax, and payments to the Ministry of Religious Endowments.

The explication of the taxation system builds on, complements, and corrects earlier studies by Cahen, Cooper, Rabie, and Sato.[1] Many of the taxes are explained by Ibn Mammātī in his administrative manual, and further information is supplied by the Mamluk-era manuals of al-Nuwayrī (d. 1333) and al-Qalqashandī (d. 1418). In other cases, the meaning of the terminology has to be inferred from a close reading of al-Nābulusī’s text and through reflection on the realities of medieval rural economy.

For the weights and measurements used in the treatise, see Glossary of Measures, Weights, and Monetary Units.

[1] Cahen, ‘Le régime des impôts’; Rabie, The Financial System; Cooper, ‘Ibn Mammati’s Rules’; Sato, State and Rural Society.