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Studies in Byzantine Economy: Iugatio and Capitatio

  • Angelo Segrè (a1)


Diocletian imposed on the whole Roman Empire two new taxes, the iugatio, to be exacted from the cultivated land, and the capitatio, to be exacted from the agricultural population. The reform was effected in Egypt, and presumably in the whole Roman Empire, in the year 297 A.D., as shown by an Edict of Aristides Optatus, prefect of Egypt.



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1 P Cairo, Journal d'entree n. 57074; published by A. E. R. Boak, ‘Early Byzantine Papyri from the Cairo Museum’, Études de Papyrologie 2 (1934) 1-22.—Pr. SB. 7622; Wilcken, Archiv f Pf. 11 (1933–35) 312; A. Piganiol, ‘La capitation de Dioclétien’, Revue historique 186 (1935) Iff.

2 People under age are qualified as adcrescentes. See, however, sect. 6 infra.

3 Wilcken loco cit. translates: ‘deren Kopien ich diesem meinem Edikt für die Öffentlichkeit vorangestellt habe.’

4 The responsibility of the for the taxation of the villages shows that the municipalization of the Greek towns was decreed in the year 297 The theory of the administrative reform of Diocletian was that the central Government ceased to maintain agents in the metropoles, entrusting the entire administration of each district to the city council and exercising supervision only through the provincial Governors, Jones, A. H. M., The Cities of the Eastern Roman Provinces (Oxford 1937) 339ff. For the changes in the city councils at the end of the fourth century, see P Oxy. 1252 (288–97), introd.

5 According to Boak 3.—Collomps, P., Revue des études anciennes, 36 (1934) 538, suggests the readings

6 Wilcken, op. cit. 326ff.

7 Wilcken, ibid. shows that the quality of the soil does not refer only to the old definitions of inundated and non-inundated land, as is shown by later census returns.

8 This reference, says Boak, seems to settle the often discussed problem of the existence of the capitatio plebeia in Egypt.

9 See sect. 7 infra.

9a Segrè, Angelo, ‘Note sull’ Editto di Caracalla,’ Rendiconti della Accademia Pontificia Romana d'Archeologia 16 (1940) 181197

10 See however honesti and plebs in Plinius, Epist. 10, 79; Rostovtzeff, Social and Economic History of the Roman Empire (Oxford 1926) 323 and 599ff.

11 Mommsen, Römisches Strafrecht (Leipzig 1899) 907, 919–21, 924, 949–980, 983–85, 1032–36, 1044–49.

12 Stein, E., Geschichte des spätrömischen Reiches (Wien 1928) 44ff.

13 See Segrè, A., Rivista Italiana di Filologia 1926 pp., and Rend. Acc. Pont. 16 (1940) 192.

14 For the position of the town in the early Byzantine period see Gelzer, Studien 90ff.; Maspero, Jean, Journal des savants 1911, pp. 180ff.; Bell, Journal of Hellenic Studies 28 (1908) 103ff.; P Lond. IV, General Introd. p. xxi; Rouillard 57ff.

15 With the reform of Diocletian, the nomos became territory of the town, the strategos did not supervise the administration of the town any longer. The town elected the exactor (exactor civitatis, exactor of the nomos) who was a link between the town and the praeses. The metropolis became a polis after 297 although often still called metropolis. With the change into municipalities, the nomoi in Egypt became poleis and each polis had its territory, chora or nomos. (Wilcken, Grundzüge 78).

16 The last declarations I know referring to the old division of the inhabitants of Egypt into Alexandrians, metropolitans and Egyptians appears in PSI 164 (287 A.D.) and P Grenf. 1, 18 (291 A.D.) with mention of of Oxyrhynchos.

17 Dig. 50, 1, 35; cf. Berger, A., PWK s.v. ‘Incola'

18 For an example of a man living in the town, see Wilcken, Archiv f. Pf. 4 (1907–8) 452.

19 This improbability may be very easily shown by the Edict of Caracalla, P Giss. 40, III (215), referring to the Egyptians of Alexandria.

20 The last military diplomas granting Roman citizenship to the veterans belong to the time of Diocletian. See A. Segrè, Rend. Acc. Pont. 16, 194 ff. in papyri appears only in the third-fourth century: see Pr. Wtb. s.v.; P Genève 58, 5 (IVth c.) and P. Giss. 40, II, 16 (215). in P Lips. 64 (3) means

21 Josephus, Antiquitates 14, 7, 2.

22 Skeat, T. C. and Wegener, , Journal of Egyptian Archeology 21 (1935) 224–42.

23 Wilcken, Grundzüge 58, 128, 189.

24 Quoted and probably misunderstood by Gelzer, Studien 34f. and Wilcken, Grundzüge 85.

25 Egyptians here have no connection with an Egyptian politeuma, see Segrè, Rendiconti Accad. Pont. 16, 192 and 17 (1941) 182. For the exclusion of the Egyptians from the see P Lond. inv. 2565 (supra note 22). In the year 250 the senators of Arsinoe, unable to find enough qualified candidates for the magistracies of the metropolis, adopted the expedient of pressing the villagers into the service, and the latter, since this practice had been expressly forbidden by Septimius Severus, took the matter into court; Bell, H. I., ‘Roman Egypt from Augustus to Diocletian,’ Chronique d'Égypte 13 (1938) 360.

26 See Rostovtzeff, Soc. Hist. 353ff., 365, 367, and particularly p. 414.

27 Cod. Th. 11, 22, 1 (346): ‘Plerique censum fundorum suorum iugorum ad alias civitates transferre curarunt. Uniuscuiusque itaque civitatis censum in omnibus provinciis ad proprias civitates redire censuimus', and Cod. Th. 11, 22, 2 (385).

28 The text as published by Hultsch, Metrologicorum scriptorum reliquiae, I, 56 and II, 153, has to be emended, cf. Journ. Bibl. Lit. 64, III (1945) 371ff. The coriba, unit of land, did not correspond to a Syrian cor, measure of capacity which at the time of Diocletian was of 1200 librae satoriae (liters 393), nor to a Palestinian cor of librae satoriae (liters 218.3).

29 In Egyptian measures the iugerum was equal to 1.28 arurae.

30 L'impǒt de capitation sous le Bas-Empire romain (Paris 1916) 81.

31 Leges saeculares edd. Bruns-Sachau, Syrisch-römisches Rechtsbuch aus dem fünften Jahrhundert (Leipzig 1880) §121, p. 37 = edd. Ferrini-Furlani, Fontes iuris romani antejustiniani II (2nd ed. Florence 1940) 795f. The system of taxation is attributed here to Diocletian. The iugerum is reckoned as 2 plethra. The measure used in Syria are 1 mile = 1000 passus = 500 measures of the length of 8 cubits. If the text is correct these cubits are measures of 18 Philetaerean fingers (mm. 393.4).

32 Some other passages may be used for calculating the land tax imposed on a iugum. They have been studied by Lot, Revue historique de droit français et étranger, 4e sér. 4 (1925) 36ff. but we do not completely agree with this scholar. In Cod. Th. 13, 5, 14 (371), the annona imposed on 50 iuga seems to be 1000 modii, or 200 modii (= 60 artabae) for each iugum.—In Nov. Valent. 5 (440), De pantapolis ad urbem Romam revocandis §4 ‘illud quoque pro tuendo statu venerandae urbis decernimus, ut a collatione tironum et ab exsolvendis septem solidis per millenas nuper indictis, caespes formensis, arensis, calcarius et vecturarius habeatur immunis,’ the indictio of a millena appears to be 7 solidi which, if the millena is a iugum, would correspond rather well to the imposition of 200 modii on a iugum in Cod. Th. 13, 14.—The passage of Amm. Marcell. 15, 5, 4 (see Grenier, in An Economic Survey of Ancient Rome III, 605): ‘(Iulianus) quod primitus partes eas ingressus, pro capitibus singulis tributi nomine vicenos quinos aureos repperit flagitari, discedens vero septenos tantum munera universa complentens,’ shows that Emperor Iulianus reduced the tributum of the caput from 25 to 7 solidi. Here, however, the caput probably was a Lot (p. 12) attempts to calculate the iugum in the civitas Aeduorum (Autun) on the basis of the statement of Eumenes, Panegyr. 5(8)5, 4f.: ‘Iacebat illa civitas (Flavia Aeduorum) non tam ruinis, quam civium defectione prostrata ex quo eam novi census examinarat acerbitas. Nec tamen iuste queri poterat cum et agros qui descripti fuerant haberemus et gallicani census communi formula teneremur, qui fortunis nemini possumus aequari. Quo magis, imperator, clementiae tuae gratias agimus, qui remediis sponte concessis fecisti ut quod non poteramus iure petere, iuste obtinuisse videamur. (6) Habemus enim, ut dixi, et hominum numerum qui delati sunt et agrorum modum, sed utrumque nequam, hominum segnitia terraeque perfidia. (10, 5) Relevaturus censum definisti numerum, reliqua remissurus, quantum deberemus interrogasti. (11, 1) Septem milia capitum remisisti, quintam amplius partem nostrorum censum. Quantum sit hoc, imperator, beneficium, quam necessarium nobis, quam utile etiam devotionis officiis non queo satis dicere. Remissione ista septem milium capitum, vigenti quinque milibus dedisti vires, dedisit salutem, plusque in eo consecutus es quod roborasti, quam recidisti in eo quod remisisti,’ etc.—The civitas Aeduorum in the year 311 was assessed with 32,000 capita, reduced to 25,000 by Constantine. Lot calculates the territory of Autun at 13,500 kmq = about 2,700,000 iugeri. A iugum, according to these calculations, had been of 84 iugeri and about 110 after the fiscal alleviation. These figures are not helpful. Much of the soil of Autun was probably not cultivated; moreover, the capita here, as in the passage of Amm. Marcell. 15, 5, 4, are not mere iuga but

33 Lot, L'impǒt foncier et la capitation personnelle sous le Bas-Empire (Paris 1928) 77 For the cadastre, see Weiss, E., PWK 10, 249ff. s.v ‘Kataster'; B. Kübler, Geschichte des römischen Rechts (Leipzig 1925) 362f.

34 See Deleage, ‘Les cadastres antiques jusqu’ à Dioclétien,’ Études de papyrologie 2 (1932) 111f.—Cf. also Hyginus, de limit. constit. ed. Rudorff p. 205: ‘Agri vectigales multas habent constitutiones. In quibusdam provinciis fructus partem praestant certam, alii quintas, alii septimas (alii decimas), alii pecuniam et hoc per soli aestimationem. Certa enim pretia agris constituta sint, ut in Pannonia agri primi, agri secundi, prati, silvae glandiferae, silvae vulgaris pascuae. His omnibus agri vectigal est modum ubertatis per singula iugera constituta. Horum aestimatio, ne qua usurpatio per falsas professiones fiat adhibenda est mensuris diligentia. Nam ut in Phrygia et tota Asia ex huiusmodi causis tam frequenter disconvenit quam et in Pannonia.'

35 Iuga, however, are found in Cod. Th. 7, 6 (377), referring to the vestis militaris.

36 Ensslin, CAH 12, 401 is inaccurate.

37 P Lips. 62 (384/85) col. II, line 21: P Cairo 67329 (529–30) pag. II line 9:

38 Nov. Iust. 128; Rouillard 87 —The text speaks, as I understand it, of equal assessment in each province, not in the whole diocese of the Oriens.

39 Rouillard 88 assumes that in the time of Constantine in Egypt the iugatio was assessed by the praeses and that with Cod. 10, 23, 4 (468), the delegatio was redacted by the praefectus praetorio of the Oriens; cf. Nov. 128, 1. (Thibault, Les impǒts directs sous Le Bas-Empire [Paris 1900] 56). In the time of the Edict of Optatus the indictio was still assessed by the prefect of Egypt.

40 See Byzantion 15 (1941) 250. We are confronted with an aruratio also in P Cairo 57031 (Boak, Études Pap. 5 n. 23, p. 95 [314]): chaff must be delivered by the village of Karanis from the royal land as well as from the private land to the measure of 25 pounds for each arura.

41 See Wilcken, Grundzüge 226, and Chrest. nn. 228, 229, 230. The census of Sabinus is recorded in BGU 917 (348) line 6, and BGU 1049 (342).

42 Why to the dux and not to the praeses?

43 See Piganiol, ‘La capitation de Dioclétien,’ Revue historique 176 (1935) 7 In Aphrodito, in the sixth century, seed land paid 2 siliquae for each arura, while vineyard land paid 8 siliquae. The same proportion is found in the Syrian book between vineyards and seed land of the first class.—This tax had been assessed after the visit of the imperial inspector who had to assess the tax for the whole pagarchy: P Lond. 5, 1674; Pr. SB. 4894; Rouillard 89. Probably the inspectors had to state the categories of the land and nothing else. Land could be relieved entirely or partially from taxation if unproductive; Rouillard 89.

44 In the formula Aegyptia, probably one of pasture was equivalent to 2 arurae of seed land or 50 olive trees. In the Syrian formula, 20 iugera of seed land of the first class were equivalent to 225 olive trees of the first class or 450 of the second class. In the first case, one arura of seed land was equal to 25 olive trees, in the second case, one iugerum of seed land of the first class was equal to olive trees of the first class, or to of the second. An arura of seed land was about 18 olive trees of the second class. Vineyards are here assessed the same as seed lands.

45 meant cadastre from the Ptolemaic age on. See A. Segrè, An Essay on the Nature of Real Property (New York 1943) 22.

46 For the Egyptian cadastre see Wallace, S. L., Taxation in Egypt from Augustus to Diocletian (Princeton 1938) 6f. Cadastres of buildings were redacted through the and checked periodically with a

47 Rouillard 91ff.

48 P. Cairo, 67092 (VIth cent.) recto I, 38ff.; in a lease the lessor agrees to pay the rent etc.

49 Rouillard 130.

50 See supra at n. 36f.

51 The only exception to the rule is afforded by PSI 1183 (45–53 A.D.) where a Roman veteran made a declaration with estimation of his real estate and movable property. But this text has an exceptional character, see the introduction to PSI 1183.

52 Zeitschrift für Social- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte 4 (1896) 308f.

53 For the cadastres of Thera, Astypalaea and Tralles, see also Lot, L'impǒt foncier 70ff.

54 Cf. in the Byzantine papyri, Pr Wtb. s.v. (p. 228).

55 For see B. Kübler, Gesch. d. röm. Rechts 363 n. 2.

56 Bulletin de correspondance hellénique 4 (1880) 336. Piganiol, op. cit. 11.

57 The inscription from Vulcei in Lucania, CIL 10, 407 (323 A.D.; see Marquardt, Römische Staatsverwaltung, II [2nd ed. Leipzig 1884] 229), according to Abbott and Johnson, Municipal Administration in the Roman Empire (Princeton 1926) 130 n. 3, specifies the sum to be paid by the entire commune and gives a list of possessores arranged according to pagi with the amount to be paid by each taxpayer. The interpretation of the inscription is guesswork. In the items, e.g., col. II, lines 8–11: ‘F Casianus MX K OPPIA NA MII, Postumia MI IUG QUINQUAGINTA P M IIII,’ we do not know what M means. It cannot be millena because there is no fraction of M; nor modii, nor miliarenses, etc.

58 Censitor of the provinces and censitores of the towns in Lactantius, de mort. pers. 23. For other examples see Seeck, op. cit. (supra n. 52) 321.

59 P Strassb. 42 (310) = Wilcken, Chrest. 210, 1, 6, and P Princeton 3, 119 (early IVth cent.).

60 Wilcken, Grundzüge 228.

61 Lydus, de magistratibus 1, 4: cf. P Princeton 3, 119, lines 17ff.

62 Thus Wilcken, Grundzüge 228.

63 False declarations were frequent. False statements by officials of the fisc were threatened with capital punishment, but we do not know the penalties for false declarations by taxpayers.

64 Lydus, de magistr. 1, 4; Wilcken, loc. cit.; Piganiol, op. cit. (supra n. 43) 5.

65 Cod. 4, 47, 2 (319) and 3 (363).

66 See also Nov. 17, 8, 1.

67 Nov. cit.:

68 See also P Würzburg 18 (IVth cent.); P Cairo 67118 (547); 67119 (byz.); P Oxy. 1887 (538); P Würzburg 19 (625).—P Oxy. 1887 is an application by Fl. Euethia, daughter of Apollos, to the office of the collection of taxes of the division and estate of Timagenes, through Theodorus, assistant to the collector of taxes of Oxyrhynchos: ‘From the public lists in your custody under the name of my late mother remove the payable on the property included in my dowry and brought by me to my husband, etc. according to the documents of dowry, namely for the The taxation is now registered in the name of the husband. See introd. to P Oxy. 1887 and 2116.

69 Cod. 8, 53, 7; ‘censualis quidem professio domino praeiudicare non solet sed si in censum veluti sua mancipia deferenti privigno tuo consentisti, donationem in eum contulisse videbis.’ Cod. Th. 6, 3, 1; 11, 12, 1; 11, 24, 6, 6; 11, 28, 12; 13, 10, 1—quoted by Seeck, op. cit. 322.

70 Cod. 11, 52 (393–395): ‘per universam diocesim Thraciarum sublato in perpetuum humanae capitationis censu iugatio tantum terrena solvatuf.'—The previous existence of the capitatio in the Oriens is shown by such laws as Cod. Th. 16, 2, 26 (381), where the guardians of sacred places were not capite censi, and by Cod. 11, 48, 10 (386), where the number of capita could be reduced by reckoning several persons as one caput. As a rule, the inhabitants of the cities had the great advantage that they were not assessed with the capitatio of the rustici. The capitatio plebeia of the rustici was very heavy and implied a mark of social inferiority as is shown by Sozomenos 5, 4:

71 For the adcrescentes see infra at n. 84f.

72 Revue historique, 176 (1935) 3.

73 ed. Riccobono, Fontes iuris romani antejustiniani, I (2nd ed. Florence 1941) n. 93, pp. 455ff.

74 Lines 12f.: ‘ut idem milites nostri militiae quidem suae tempore quinquem capita iuxta statutum nostrum ex censu adque a praestationibus sollemnibus annonariae pensitationibus excusent’ etc. and (lines 15–16) for veterans who had served twenty years, exemption of 2 capita.

75 Cod. Th. 7, 13, 7, 3 (375, Antiochia). The soldier, after the military oath, was freed for his caput in the year of his enlistment in the army After five years of service the comitatensis freed from the capitatio father, mother and wife. Similar measures had been taken by Constantine in Antiochia (325) for the comitatenses and the ripenses. The soldiers were freed si censi inditi habeantur, i.e., if they were plebei rustici.

76 Cod. Th. 20, 4, 4: ‘pro suo debet peculio excusari, quantum pro hisdem si non deessent excusare potuissent, ita tamen ut non pactione cum alteris facta, simulato dominio, rem alienam excusent, sed vere proprias facultates.’ The text has been correctly interpreted by Piganiol, L'impǒt de capitation (supra n. 30) 14 n. 1.—In the passage of Charisius, De mun. (Dig. 50, 4, 18, 29): ‘sive autem personalium dumtaxat sive etiam civilium munerum alicui concedatur, neque ab annona, neque ab angariis, neque a veredo, neque ab hospite recipiendo, neque a nave, neque capitatione exceptis militibus et veteranis excusari possunt,’ the annona is kept separate from the capitatio even as in Cod. 10, 16, 1 (without date): The iugatio seems to have included also the annona, and only the annona, in Cod. 11, 58, 6 (396) where the peraequatores ac discussores who assess wrongly the iugatio, ‘annonarum in quad-ruplum multam subire debebunt.’ In Egypt, however, the annona, possibly the heaviest tax imposed on the arurae, is not the sole global tax, see CPR 44, 5 (IVth cent.): 6, 15 (IVth cent.): see the budget of P. Cairo, 67057 (VIth cent.), and on this subject M. Gelzer, ‘Altes und Neues aus der aegyptischen Verwaltungsmisere,’ Archiv f. Pf. 5 (1913) 348; Rouillard 124ff.

77 See also Cod. Th. 12, 1, 6 (319).

78 Piganiol seems inaccurate in supposing (L'impǒt de capitation 64) the existence of a capitatio terrena. Cod. Th. 12, 4, 1 (428) declares that the estates of curiales which had been sold to non-curiales had to pay annually 4 siliquae ‘pro singulis earum iugis et capitibus’ to the curiales, but a later constitution, Nov. Th. 22, 2, 12 (443), in order to remove ‘aliam quoque de negotio curiali caliginem,’ states that the 4 siliquae referred to the iugationes and not to ‘humanis vel animalium censibus, neque mobilibus rebus.’ Here the constitution means that the provision did not consider the iuga et capita as but that it applied only to the capitatio terrena, i.e. to the mere iuga.

79 Piganiol 70 n. 1 is not quite accurate.

80 Cod. Th. 6, 35, 3 and 13, 4, 4 in Cod. 11, 48, 7 (376): servi censiti are sold with the estate and the originales. Constantine (Cod. Th. 6, 35, 3) allowed the inclusion in the census of slaves of certain categories of officers if they were not already written in the volumina censualia, but they might not be registered as adcrescentes and might not be used to replace other capita. Cod. Th. 7, 1, 3 (349) allows soldiers to take with them ‘servos de peculio castrensi emptos neque adscriptos censibus,’ because, of course, if they were adscripti they could not move.

81 Cod. Th. 8, 5, 1 (315); 2, 30, 1 (315); 11, 48, 1 (328).

82 See Piganiol 28. He misunderstands however (p. 29) the meaning of this passage.

83 P Strassb. 42 (310), however, shows that even boys of the age of twelve were considered as tributarii, while evidence to the contrary appears in the passage of Lactantius, De mort. pers. 23.

84 Thibault (supra n. 39) 43; Piganiol 16; Lot, L'impǒt foncier 36f.

85 The censibus adnotatus or colonus adscripticius could become a cleric if he acknowledged that he had to pay the capitatio to his master and if he could find somebody to replace him in the corvées. The landowners, even military men, who sheltered servi of other estates, had to pay the glebalis professio of the land where these slaves lived, Cod. Th. 11, 1, 12 = Cod. 11, 48, 3 (365). The allusion to military landowners is omitted in Cod. Iust.

86 It may be asked whether also people under age might be called adcrescentes, and therefore adcrescentes were a sort of of peasants. I found a certain parallel to the adcrescentes in the class of Alexandrians described as see Segrè, A., An Essay on the Nature of Real Property 79.

87 See Seeck, PWK 3, 1513ff. s.v. ‘Capitatio'.—The term capitatio (terrena) was already used for assessed arurae in Egypt, in P Brem. 42 (117–118 A.D.), Apollonopolites, line 3:

88 Eumenes, Panegyr 5[8] (311 A.D.) cap. 12: ‘certe et nunc liberi parentes suos cariores habent et mariti coniuges non gravate tuentur, et parentes non poenitet adultorum filiorum quorum onera sibi remissa laetantur. Ita omnium pietas olim fessa respirat et suos quem-que iuvat numerare securum, cum plures adiuvant obsequia paucorum.’ The capitatio iugorum included also the capitatio humana.—Probably capitatio iugorum (here: aruratio) is meant by the word in P Lond. 5, 1793, where Aurelius Banus is guarantor of Aurelius David in the village of Akis (Hermopolites) This text recalls to the editors the passages of P Oxy. 10, 1331: and P Lond. 5, 1807: See Rouillard 80 n. 6.—A capitatio iugorum is probably meant also in the request of Sidonius Apollin. Carm. 13, 19 to the Emperor: ‘Geryonen nos esse puta monstrumque tributum: Hinc capita ut vivam, tu mihi tolle tria.'

89 As is shown in a parallel case for Cyprus, in Theodor. ep. 43 = PG 83, 1221, and ep. 47. See Seeck, Zeitschr. f. Soc. und Wirtschaftsg. 4 (1896) 321.

90 See Cod. 11, 52 and 11, 48, 10 (supra n. 70).

91 For the laographia after the Const. Ant. see Wallace, Taxation (n. 46 supra) 113ff. The last instance of a laographia is given by Wallace (p. 413) for the year 243 in O. Strassb. 118.

92 Wallace 134 notices that the census continued unchanged through 257–58 A.D., and the epicrisis for admission into the favored classes of the metropolitae, until 250. Probably the exaction of the laographia ceased about 260, but the division into politeumata lasted until the year 297 It is probable that the laographia was no longer exacted when the 40 drachmae of the poll tax became a trifle, owing to the inflation.

93 The capitatio on the plebs urbana, however, was assessed only exceptionally. See also n. 96 infra.

94 The reform appeared tolerable at the beginning: Aurelius Victor, Caes. 39, 32. It did not entirely remove the privileges of the solum italicum; we are confronted with praedia italica vel stipendiaria vel tributaria in Cod. Th. 3, 5, 8 (363); italicum sive stipendiarium in Cod. Th. 8, 12, 2 (316?), but the words are omitted in the parallel text, Cod. 8, 53, 26. Ius italicum was a privilege. For the immunities from the tributa see Cod. Th. 14, 13, 1 (370? 373?) = Cod. 11, 21, granted to Constantinople. Cf. Seeck, Geschichte des Untergangs der antiken Welt (3rd ed. Berlin 1910–13) II, 542 and von Premerstein, PWK 10, 1248 s.v. ‘Ius italicum’ For the privileges of Rome see Cod. Th. 11, 20, 3: ‘excepta scilicet aeternabili urbe, quam ab huiusmodi reverentia propriae maiestatis excusat.'

95 Ensslin, CAH 12, 402.

96 The capitatio paid in Egypt by the inhabitants of the towns after the reform of Diocletian was assessed, I believe, on the plebei rustici living in the towns—mostly former metropoleis. The bulk of the population of these towns was formed by Egyptians, now mostly plebei rustici. The edict of Licinius, Cod. Th. 13, 10, 2 (313) shows that in the Oriental provinces no capitatio was paid by the plebei urbani; therefore we could easily explain the capitationes in the Egyptian towns by supposing that they were applied to the plebei rustici living in the towns. The Byzantine capitatio in Egypt was levied, even as the Roman laographia, according to the statements of the masters of the households, and by streets, towns and villages. An was paid in Oxyrhynchos with a formula: according to the order of the in the name of the taxpayers, or of a The paid in the documents of Oxyrhynchos, PSI 163 (301–2), 1200 dr siliquae); (303–4), 2000 dr. (about 8 siliquae); 4, 302 (308–9), (?); 5, 402 (314), 2400 dr. (about siliquae; see Byzantion 15 [1941] 250ff.) are very small items, probably instalments of a capitatio paid by single persons. The letter of P Oxy. 1152 (late IIId cent.; see note to PSI 163), refers to the first professiones of the time of Diocletian: the writer wishes her sister to register on her behalf for the census and to pay the poll tax for her. Piganiol, Revue historique 176 (1935) 7, supposes a continuity between the laographia and the Byzantine capitatio. As collector of both poll taxes, Piganiol says, there In PSI 3, 164, a father of a family asks the of Oxyrhynchos to inscribe his son, fourteen years old, in the category of i.e., in the category of the metropolitans. In the year 301–2 (PSI 3, 163), the registers a payment of 1200 drachmae from a taxpayer as In the year 304, a (P Oxy. 12, 1452) receives a declaration of death; in the year 305 (PSI 7, 780), a receives 2400 drachmae from a taxpayer. The suggestion of Piganiol that the may correspond to the 12 drachmae paid by the metropolitans is certainly incorrect. In another study we shall deal with the Egyptian poll tax which goes under the name of

97 See also Cod. 11, 55, 1 (290).

98 Galerius cos. VIII, Maximinus cos. II

99 Lactantius, de mort. persec. 36, 3.

100 Cod. Th. 13, 10, 2 (313): ‘Idem A. (i.e. Constantinus) ad Eusebium v[irum] p[erfectissimum] praesidem Lyciae et Pamfyliae. Plebs urbana, sicut in Orientalibus quoque provinciis observatur, minime pro capitatione sua conveniatur, sed iuxta hanc missionem nostram immunis habeatur, sicut etiam sub domino et parente nostro Diocletiano seniore Augusto eadem plebs urbana immunis fuerat.'

101 Sozomenos, Hist. Eccl. 5, 4.

102 The φóρos is probably to be understood as a capitatio of the plebei rustici.

103 The exemption of professors of painting from the aurum coronarium and from the capitatio, in Cod. Th. 13, 4, 4 (373), and the temporary immunity from the capitatio granted to the actuarii and annonarii qui censiti sunt, in Cod. Th. 8, 1, 3 (333), refer very probably to plebei rustici censiti.

104 Seeck, PWK 3, 1516 s.v. ‘Capitatio,’ assumes that the estates and the population of the towns were freed from the annona, on the basis of Cod. 11, 49 (313): ‘plebs urbana minime in censibus pro capitatione sua conveniatur,’ and of Nov. Iust. 168: The view of Seeck, I believe, is incorrect, for Cod. 11, 49 refers to exemption from the capitatio humana of the plebs urbana, and not to iugatio, while Nov. Iust. 168 says only that the estates in the country, and not the estates of the town, have to be registered in the census. Cod. Th. 11, 16, 6 (346): ‘Palatini (et Constantinopolitani cives—om. Cod. 12, 23, 1) pro capitibus seu iugis suis tantum pensitationem atque obsequia recognoscant extraordinariis et temonariis oneribus liberati,’ shows that not even the citizens of Constantinople had been exempted from the iugatio. Seeck is not accurate when he says that the citizens of towns exempted from the capitatio and the iugatio were assessed with the and with heavier fixed tributes. The annona was a fixed tribute from the year 297 on. The same inaccuracy is found in Ensslin, PWK s.v. ‘Superindictio.'

105 Piganiol, L'impǒt de capitation (n. 30 supra) 22. See also Revue historique 176 (1935) 9f. where Piganiol goes back to the old opinion of Godefroy that the land taxation was levied by a system of matriculae, with capitatio of the estate (or iugatio), capitatio of the peasants (or capitatio humana), and also a capitatio animalium. This opinion seems correct to me.

106 Thibault, op. cit. (n. 39. supra).

107 Die Schätzungsordnung Diocletians,’ Zeitschr. f. Soc. und Wirtschaftsg. 4 (1895) 275 und Geschichte des Untergangs der Antiken Welt II, particularly ch. V and VI. See also PWK 3, 1515ff.

108 If we assume that Egypt had seven million inhabitants of which six million were rustici, male rustici of age may have been about million capita, while the number of iuga terrena in Egypt might have been about 250,000 (see supra), i.e., one iugum per ten capita.

109 Cod. 9, 55, 1 (290) and Epistula Constantini et Licinii (n. 73 supra).

110 Unusquisque annonarias species pro modo capitationis et sortium praebiturus per quaternos menses anni curriculo distributo tribus vicibus summam conlationis implebit’ etc.

111 Seeck, PWK 3, 1515 s.v. ‘Capitatio', with references to Cod. 10, 16, 2 (260) and 3 (249); Cod. 11, 49 (313); Plinius, Paneg. 29; Dig. 19, 1, 13, 6; 26, 7, 32, 6; 33, 2, 28.

112 Seeck, loc. cit.; see also PWK 9, 1328 s.v. ‘Indictio'; Geschichte des Untergangs II, 210ff.—Private transactions continued on a monetary basis, but to a much lesser degree than was assumed by Mickwitz, Geld und Wirtschaft (Helsingfors 1932) and Ensslin, CAH 12, 402f.

113 See the references n. 107, supra.

114 See, e.g., the Egyptian laographia. B. Kübler, Geschichte des römischen Rechts 363, followed by De Francisci, Storia del diritto romano III (Milano 1936) 168, assumed Diocletian intended with the new order to levy the taxes from the landowners in kind because the landowners had profited by the inflation, by paying their taxes in money while the prices of commodities rose steadily. This assumption is not correct, for land taxes were paid in kind, with very few exceptions.

115 Nov. 128, 1: etc.

116 Nov. 128, 8:

117 Supra, at n. 95.

118 Wallace, Taxation (n. 46 supra) 94, assumes that the refers to a capitation tax, as opposed to a property tax. This is true in most cases (see Index, s.v Land taxes in imperial Egypt usually were not assessed in The annona however, an extraordinary tax, could be assessed as a land tax with as is shown in O. Tait n. 42 (p. 70) where the annona seems to have been assessed as a (Wallace, op. cit. 425). In the fiscal system of Diocletian, iugationes as well as capitationes were usually assessed with

119 PWK 9, 1328f. s.v. ‘Indictio'

120 Revue hist. 176 (1935) 3ff.

121 Lot, L'impǒt foncier (n. 33 supra) 52.

122 See Cod. 9, 41, 9.

123 For the tributum capitis assessed on the provincials after the Constitutio Antoniniana see the present writer's article, ‘A Reply to Bell, H. I.; Giss, P. and the Constitutio Antoniniana,’ Journal of Egyptian Archeology 30 (1944) 69ff.

124 The administration of Egypt had been reformed before 297. The catholicus, the minister of finances of the province in the early Byzantine age (catholicus Aegypti et Libyae in P Oxy. 1410 [IVth cent.]), displaced the as early as the time of Carinus. The last to be known is Ulpius Aurelius in P Oxy. 1409 (278). In the municipal hierarchy, the curator civitatis, originally an extraordinary official sent by the emperor, became an official of the town elected by the city council and confirmed by the emperor, probably before the reform of 297, as is shown by BGU 3, 928. See Wilcken, Grundzüge 80.

125 PWK 9, 1328ff. s.v. ‘Indictio’ See also Wilcken, Grundzüge pp. lix and 222ff.

126 A Papyrus Roll in the Princeton Collection (Princeton 1933) 25ff.

127 See also P Würzb. 18: Wilcken, Abhandlungen der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, phil.-hist. Klasse 1933, Nr. 6, p. 97.

Studies in Byzantine Economy: Iugatio and Capitatio

  • Angelo Segrè (a1)


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