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Death Dates in Umayyad Stipends Registers (Dīwān al-ʿAṭāʾ)? The Testimony of the Papyri and the Literary Sources

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Chapter Summary

This chapter builds on earlier research that authenticated a report in Abū Zurʿa's Tārīkh suggesting that death dates were recorded on stipends registers in mid-Umayyad times. It examines, first, the secretarial practices of the bureaucrats in charge of writing Umayyad stipends registers, to see how this recording could have fitted into them. The chapter then looks at some papyri that have been connected to these registers and tries to explore how and where those dates could have been physically recorded on a register, a sheet of papyrus. It carries out this investigation on two complementary levels: a theoretical one, in which the chapter examines relevant dīwān accounts reported in the literary sources, and a practical one, in which it examines actual papyri that have survived and that have been suggested to have some connection to stipends registers.

Keywords: Abū Zurʿa's Tārīkh; dīwān; literary sources; mid-Umayyad times; papyri; stipends registers



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