Herodotus on Ægyptian fiscal reform

(in Ancient Egypt):

In [Asychis’s] reign they told me that, as the circulation of money was very slow, a law was made for the Egyptians that a man might have that money lent to him which he needed, by offering as security the dead body of his father; and there was added moreover to this law another, namely that he who lent the money should have a claim also to him who received it, and that the man who offered that security should be subject to this penalty, if he refused to pay back the debt, namely that neither the man himself should be allowed to have burial when he died, either in that family burial-place or in any other, nor should he be allowed to bury any of his kinsmen whom he lost by death.
—Herodotus, Book II, Histories (trans. George Campbell Macaulay)

Cf. the “terribly toiling” Sir Walter Raleigh:

Herodotus, quite omitting Bocchorus, hath Asychis; who made a sharp law (as it was then held) against bad debtors, that their dead bodies should be in the creditors disposition till the debt was paid.
—Sir Walter Raleigh, The History of the World (1614)


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