Ancient Egypt: The Naukratis Decree
For best results save the whole webpage (pictures included) onto your hard disk, open the page with Word 97 or higher, edit if necessary and print.
Printing using the browser's print function is not recommended.
Nectanebo I: The Naukratis Decree
.......... Let be given one tenth of the gold, of the silver, of the timber, of manufactured goods, of everything coming from the Sea of the Greeks, of all the tolls paid into my treasury in the town called Hunit, as well as one tenth of the gold, of the silver , of everything which is in Pamariti, called also Krati, on the bank of the canal Anu, and credit my treasury, - the mortmain of my mother Neith for all eternity, in addition to what she had before, in order to institute [an offering of] a bull, in numbers 1, a flock of geese and of five mines of wine for the daily services.............
G. Maspero Etudes de mythologie et d'archéologie égyptiennes, vol. 7
1 Year 1, fourth month of summer, day 13 under the majesty of Horus: Mighty-of-arm; King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Two Ladies: Who benefits the Two Lands; Gold-Horus who does the gods' wish: Kheperkare; Son of Re, Nekhtnebef, ever-living, beloved of Neith, distress of Sais. Good god, Re's image, Neith's beneficent heir.
Hunit: Honë, Thonis, port of entrance on the Canopic branch.
Krati: Naukratis, center of Greek life in the Delta.
Neith: The temple of Neith at Sais
Naucratis Decree, 380 BCE
The Heracleion stela
Source: Le Figaro, 30 June, 2001 Nekhtnebef: Nectanebo I, 380-362 BCE
Appointed him ruler of the Two Lands: Nectanebo I had come to power by deposing Nepherites II.
Mighty monarch guarding Egypt: Nectanebo fought off a Persian attack.
lightland: the horizon.
Sole god of many wonders,
Served by the sun-disk's rays;
Whom mountains tell their inmost,
Whom ocean offers its flood;
Whom foreign lands bring 7 their bounty,
That he may rest their hearts in their valleys.
His majesty rose in the palace of Sais, and set in the temple of Neith. The king entered the mansion of Neith, and rose in the Red Crown beside his mother. He poured a libation to his father, the lord of eternity, in the mansion of Neith. Then his majesty said:
"Let there be given one in 10 (of) gold, of silver, of timber, of 9 worked wood, of everything coming from the Sea of the Greeks of all the goods (or: being all the goods) that are reckoned to the king's domain in the town named Hent; and one in 10 (of) gold, of silver, of all the things that come into being in Pi-emroye, called (Nau)cratis, on the bank of the Anu, that are reckoned to the king's domain, to be a divine offering for my mother Neith for all time 11 in addition to what was there before. And one shall make one portion of an ox, one fat goose, and five measures of wine from them as a perpetual daily offering, the delivery of them to be at the treasury of my mother Neith. For she is the mistress of the sea; it is she who gives its abundance.
Let there be given one in 10...: According to Lichtheim: ... the literal reading of the terxt shows that the king is not granting the Neith temple the proceeds of a 10 per cent tax on imports to Naucratis, nor the proceeds of a 10 per cent trades tax levied on goods manufactured at Naucratis. Rather the king grants the temple one-tenth of all the goods that are taxed (or taxable) at Naucratis on the basis of a customs tax and a trades tax, both taxes being levied at unspecified rates of taxation.
According to this interpretation the actual rate of royal taxes is nowhere mentioned in this decree.
Sea of the Greeks: the Mediterranean
"My majesty has commanded to preserve and protect the divine offering of my mother Neith, 13 and to maintain everything done by the ancestors, in order that what I have done be maintained by those who shall be for an eternity of years."
His majesty said: "Let these things be recorded on this stela, placed in Naucratis on the bank of the Anu. Then shall my goodness be remembered for all eternity!"
On behalf of the life, prosperity, and health of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Kheperkare. Son of Re, Nekhtnebef, ever-living. May he be given all life, stability, dominion, all health and happiness like Re forever!
M.Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature Vol.3, pp.86ff
the Anu: the Canobic, westernmost branch of the Nile.
Janet H. Johnson & Edward F. Wente (eds.), Studies in Honor of George R. Hughes, Oriental Institute Chicago 1976, pp.139-146
M. Lichtheim: Ancient Egyptian Literature, Vol.3
G. Maspero Etudes de mythologie et d'archéologie égyptiennes, vol. 7, Bibliothèque égyptologique, Tome XXIX
 M. Lichtheim, "The Naucratis Stela Once Again" in Johnson & Wente 1977, p.141
|Index of Texts|
|Dues and duties|
|Index of Topics|
|Main Index and Search Page|
Feedback: Please report broken links, mistakes - factual or otherwise, etc. to me.Thanks.