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Land-Tenure in Mycenaean Greece and the Hittite Empire: Linear B Land-surveys from Pylos and Middle Hittite Land-Donations

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The article is a comparative study of Mycenaean Greek and Hittite land-tenure systems. It is based upon a systematic comparison of two groups of documents: land-registers (the so-called E-series) from Pylos and Middle Hittite land-donations. The traditional interpretation of both Mycenaean Greek and Hittite documents is challenged and alternative interpretations are offered. Thus, on the Mycenaean side, the construction with the preposition pa-ro is reinterpreted, and on the Hittite side an entirely new interpretation of a Hittite expression pir-sahhanas is offered. Both land-tenure systems are interpreted as two manifestations of compulsory labour service of small landholders attached to large agricultural estates. Cet article est une étude comparative des systèmes de tenue de la terre dans la Grèce mycénienne et l'empire hittite. Elle est fondée sur une comparaison systématique de deux groupes de documents : les registres de la terre (appelés la série E) de Pylos et les donations de terre moyenne hittite. L'interprétation traditionnelle des documents mycénien et hittite est ici remise en question et une nouvelle explication est offerte. Ainsi, du côté mycénien, la construction avec la préposition pa-ro est réinterprétée, et du côté hittite une interprétation entièrement nouvelle de l'expression pir-sahhanas est proposée. Les deux systèmes de tenue de la terre sont interprétés comme deux manifestations d'un service de travail obligatoire dus par des petits propriétaires attachés à des grandes propriétés agricoles.


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