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The long-term demographic dynamics of preindustrial societies were characterized by a combination of millennial trend dynamics with secular cyclical dynamics (see, for example, Korotaev, Malkov, and Khalturina, 2005). At the same time, for a deep understanding of the dynamics of "secular cycles", it is necessary to take into account the dynamics of the "millennial trend". In this article, we will begin our analysis of the long-term political and demographic dynamics of Egypt by identifying the general nature of the trend dynamics characteristic of Egypt in the period of interest.

Estimates of the overall long-term demographic dynamics of Egypt can be graphically presented as follows (figure 1):

Chart 1. Population dynamics of Egypt (thousand people, 10,000 BC-2000 AD)


Sources of data on population dynamics in Egypt for 1950-2005: [Maddison, 2001; US Bureau..., 2005; World Bank..., 2005]; for 1897-1950: [Arab..., 1990, p. 205; Namik, 1952; Cleveland, 1936, p. 7; Craig, 1917; McCarthy, 1976, p. 31-33]; for 1800 - 1897: D. Panzac's estimates were used [Panzac, 1987]1-see fig. below is the rationale for using these estimates; for Ancient Egypt, we used the estimates of K. McEvedy and R. Jones [McEvedy and Jones, 1978, p. 226-229], as well as K. V. Butzer [Butzer, 1976, p. 81-98]; source of reconstruction of the general form of ancient Egyptian political and demographic macrocycles 2: [The Oxford..., 2000].

1 Taking into account the estimates of human losses as a result of the plague epidemic (1835) made by J. McCarthy [McCarthy, 1976, p. 15].

2 These macrocycles, in turn, consisted of microcycles, which we preferred to refrain from reconstructing at this stage of the study.

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Estimates of population dynamics in Egypt from 300 BC to 1900 AD can be presented graphically as follows (diagr. 2):

Chart 2. Population dynamics of Egypt (thousand people) (300 BC-1900 AD)

For the end of the first century BC, the estimate of Diodorus Siculus (1.31.6 - 9) was used, which is considered the most reliable of all ancient estimates [Bagnall and Frier, 1994, p. 53-56]. We also proceed from the estimate of the maximum population of Roman Egypt at 4.75 million people, based on R. S. Bagnall and B. V. Frier [Bagnall and Frier, 1994, p. 56].3 The general form of political and demographic cycles of Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt is reproduced according to S. A. Nefedov (Nefedov, 1999 (1), Nefedov, 2003).

The assumption that in the Ptolemaic era the population of Egypt exceeded the level reached in any of the previous epochs is based on the following considerations: "The annual flooding of the Nile was an essential element of the continuity of agricultural life in Egypt from Antiquity to Modern Times. The ancient Egyptians developed a system of dams and pools that trapped flood waters and directed them to the fields using a basin irrigation system. However, basin irrigation allows only one crop to be harvested per year; in order to harvest more than one crop per year, a canal system is needed. Effective operation of such systems became possible only after the introduction of such water lifting devices as the Saki and Archimedean screw, which began to be used in the Ptolemaic era, into agricultural production.4 Thus, it was during the Ptolemaic era that the irrigation system expanded significantly" (Bowman and Rogan, 1999, p. 2), which could not but lead to a very noticeable expansion of the ecological niche (see also, for example, Thompson, 1999).

The population dynamics of Egypt in 170-640 is reproduced according to Russell (1966). E. Ashtor's estimate [Ashtor, 1976, p. 92] of the population of Egypt on mo-

3 R. S. Bagnall and B. V. Frier themselves note that they consider this figure "somewhat overestimated" (Bagnall and Frier, 1994, p. 56). We agree with them on this, but still decided to stick to this figure for lack of strictly justified lower estimates.

4 Note, however, that the introduction of Saki may have begun as early as the Persian era (Butzer, 1976, p. 46; Ritner, 1998, p.2).

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The estimate of the Arab conquest of 4 to 4.5 million people seems frankly overestimated - indeed, it is difficult to imagine how the Egyptian population could have recovered almost to the level of the Roman maximum in just a few years after the cataclysms of the sixth century (and especially the Justinian Plague, see, for example: Korotayev, Klimenko, and Prassakov, 1999).), the revolts of 608-610,5 and the Persian occupation (see, for example, [Alston, 2002, p. 361-366]). Moreover, the data that the area of cultivated land in Egypt at that time was only about 1.5 million feddans (see, for example, [Cleveland, 1936, p.5]) suggest that the population of Egypt at that time could hardly have exceeded 2.5 million people. 6 We estimate the population of Egypt at 3 million people as of 600 AD from Kaegi [Kaegi, 1998, p. 34]. The general form of political and demographic cycles of medieval Egypt is reproduced according to S. A. Nefedov (Nefedov, 1999 (2); Nefedov, 2003)). We also take into account the estimates of the population of medieval Egypt made by J. K. Russell (1966) based on data on the volume of land collections of palogh-kharaj (fig. 3):

Figure 3. Population dynamics of medieval Egypt, in thousands of people (640-1422) according to Russell (1966: 81, Fig. 1)

Although Russell made a very significant contribution to identifying the demographic dynamics of medieval Egypt, it should be noted that the above diagram3 (reproducing Fig. 1 of Russell [Russell, 1966, p. 81]) significantly distorts the real picture of this dynamic. To begin with, Russell rather significantly underestimates the size of the population of medieval Egypt, which follows from his underestimation of the average size of the traditional Egyptian household (he equates it to 5 souls, not 7-however, as we will see below, a similar mistake was made long before Russell and was an important source of underestimation of the total population Egypt in the first half of the 19th century). Therefore, Russell's estimates were calibrated using the Panzak correction (see below) .7

However, even this fact is not the main reason for the distorted impression of medieval Egyptian demographic dynamics that the Russell diagram creates. The main problem is rather that this chart does not reflect the dynamics of political and demographic cycles. For example, it creates a vpe-

5 " In 608-610. Egypt, to a greater extent than any other Byzantine province, experienced the severity of the fighting and the resulting human and economic losses (both among the civilian population and among the military) in conflicts between the armies and supporters of the usurper Phocas and the African exarch Heraclius who rebelled against him..." [Kaegi, 1998, p.37].

6 For example, at the beginning of the 19th century, 3.5 million feddans of cultivated land (Nofal, 1995, p.146) supported a population of 4.5 million people (see below).

7 It should be noted that the estimates of the absolute population size of medieval Egypt obtained as a result approximately correspond to the estimates made by another method of O. G. Bolshakov [Bolshakov, 2001, pp. 135-136]. Ceiling of land bearing capacity in Egypt up to the 13th century (inclusive) It is estimated by O. G. Bolshakov at 5.5 million people [Bolshakov, 2001, p. 135]. This estimate seems extremely plausible to us. We also fully agree with O. G. Bolshakov's statement that the population of Egypt in the VII-XIII centuries never reached the level of the ceiling of the earth's bearing capacity [Bolshakov, 2001, p. 136].

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chat says that between 884 and 1075, the population of Egypt was continuously declining, which seems to be a clear simplification of the real picture. As a matter of fact, it is even difficult to talk about some mistake made by Russell, who simply reproduced on his diagram those time points for which he had data on the size of tax collections at his disposal, which made it possible to make estimates of the population. At the same time, the relative population levels at the corresponding time points were determined by Russell quite correctly; but the general idea of the demographic dynamics of medieval Egypt, which gives the Russell diagram, is still significantly inadequate.

To begin with, the time points used by Russell refer to different phases of political and demographic cycles, and the latter were represented by their different phases. The point of 884 reflects the situation when the Egyptian population during the reign of Ibn Tulun largely managed to recover its size after the demographic collapse of the 30s of the IX century [Bianquis, 1998; Nefedov, 1999 (2)], while the data for 970 refer to a time when the population of Egypt did not fully recover. there was no time to recover from the demographic collapse of the late 60s of the ninth century. The next time point on the Russell diagram corresponds to the situation observed in Egypt after the demographic collapse of 1065-1072; thus, the Russell diagram does not reflect the significant demographic growth that Egypt experienced in the first decades of Fatimid rule, confirmed both by data from narrative sources and by S. A. Nefedov's analysis of indirect quantitative indicators [Semenova, 1974; Sanders, 1998; Nefedov, 1999 (2)].

To determine the absolute level of the trend line around which the population of Egypt fluctuated in the Middle Ages during political and demographic cycles, it is of fundamental importance to establish the population of Egypt in 1800. Significant progress in solving this issue was achieved thanks to the work of J. R. R. Tolkien. McCarthy (1976) and Panzac (1987). Prior to this, there was a tendency to underestimate the population of Egypt in this period, based on calculations made by one of the participants of the scientific mission accompanying the Napoleonic army in Egypt, E. F. Jomard [Jomard, 1818], who estimated the number of settled population of Egypt in 1800 at 2,488,950 people (or 2,618,950 people taking into account nomadic population of this country), which in turn had an impact on estimates of the size of the medieval population of Egypt.

Panzac (1987, p. 12) began by revising the results of the censuses conducted by Muhammad Ali in 1846 and 1847, showing that the actual population of Egypt in 1847/48 exceeded 5.4 million people, i.e. it was significantly higher than the 4.542 million people registered in the corresponding census. Panzak comments on his results as follows: "This discrepancy is not surprising. As in all other countries of the world at that time, the census was primarily a means of determining the number of persons required to perform military service and pay taxes. In 1840, circumstances required Muhammad Ali to impose additional taxes and restrictions, and the memory of this led people to try to avoid registering.8 We have every reason to believe that one-fifth of the population actually managed to do this" [Panzac, 1987, p. 12-13].

An extremely important document for estimating the actual population of Egypt in the first half of the 19th century, D. Panzak was able to find in the archive of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

8 It should be noted that during the previous registration of the taxable population (for example, in 1821 or 1827), the population had even more highly convincing reasons to do everything possible to avoid such registration [see, for example, Namik, 1952; Rivlin, 1961].

page 21

ministries of Foreign Affairs. We are referring to the report of a French diplomat to the French Foreign Minister, which reproduces the following words: "The data available to us on the total population of Egypt are incomplete and unreliable. You have seen the recording of my discussion of this issue with the Viceroy, who insists that there are 4 million people in Egypt, while the prevailing opinion does not allow the idea that the population of Egypt can exceed two and a half million. You may have noticed that the viceroy is based on the number of people who pay a per capita tax... " The report goes on to say: "Another basis for such calculations, which I think is more reliable, is the number of registered households. In 1827, the tax in Egypt was paid by 618,000 households - at the rate of five people per household, this will give 3090000 people of the population " [Panzac, 1987, p. 14].

Panzac draws attention to the fact that the first modern Egyptian censuses (1882 and 1897) recorded that the average size of the Egyptian household was significantly larger - 7.0 and 6.9 people, respectively [Panzac, 1987, p. 15] 9, which leads to the following conclusion: "If we take this average and multiply by The number of houses registered in 1827 gives us a population of 4326,000... to which you need to add those who managed to evade registration 10 .. .The high rate of endemic and epidemic mortality characteristic of this period11 kept the average annual population growth rate between 1800 and 1830 at the level of 3-4%. This means that in 1800, shortly before Muhammad Ali seized power, the population of Egypt should have been approximately 4,500,000 " (Panzac, 1987, p. 14).

It should be emphasized that in the last quarter of the XVIII century. Egypt has experienced a demographic collapse caused by the collapse of state structures, internecine strife, undercity, and epidemics (see, for example: [Atsamba and Kirillina, 1996, pp. 17-18; Sami Pasha, 2002, vol. 2, pp. 95-116; Haredi, 2005, pp. 280-282; Crecelius, 1998, p. 83-86; Raymond,

9 It should be noted that underestimation of the average number of people per household is one of the most common reasons for underestimating the population size when using data from local tax registration (see, for example, [Durand, 1960]). This is largely due to the fact that in such cases, tax officials were not interested in all household members: the least interesting were newborns and minors, a significant part of whom, in the conditions of traditional Egypt, had no chance to grow up to such an age as to become the object of real interest of tax authorities (see, for example: [McCarthy, 1976]). It is also doubtful that when Zhomar's group interviewed the sheikhs of the villages of the al-Minya region of Egypt in 1800 (the data on which were later used to estimate the total number of non-urban settled people in Egypt), the sheikhs, when asked how many people lived in their villages, gave information about the population of their villages. villages in the modern sense, i.e. taking into account newborns and young children. And every time you answer this question, sheikhs in full (or even in part) did you take into account the female population of these villages? Was this not one of the most important reasons for Jomard's underestimation of the total population of Egypt in 1800?

10 If we assume that in 1827 the same percentage of the population managed to avoid registration as in 1847, then its total population in 1827 should have been about 5.2 million people. By the way, the Panzak model also fits well with the data of the tax census of 1821, which "was based on the calculation of the number of households, based on the calculation of 8 people per household in the capital and 4 people per household in the province" and thus estimated the taxable population of Egypt at 2,536,400 [Cleveland, 1936, p. 7See also: Azmi, 1937, p. 9; Namik, 1952, p. 12. Recalculating the data of this census according to the method proposed by Panzak, we get = 5.1 million people. This suggests that in 1821 - 1827 the population of Egypt grew exactly at the rate justified by Panzak, i.e. by 3-4% per year.

11 For further evidence of a truly "high rate of endemic and epidemic mortality" in Egypt in the 1800s and 1830s, see, for example, the article by J. R. R. Tolkien. McCarthy, who also draws attention to the slightly lower birth rate characteristic of this period, caused by the conscription of more than 200,000 men of reproductive age (i.e., almost a quarter of their total number [McCarthy, 1976, p. 15]); E. Lane [Lane, 1966, p. 23] even believed that this period was characterized by a decrease in the birth rate. This factor, combined with a high mortality rate, led to a noticeable decline in the population of Egypt during the period under review, which undoubtedly does not correspond to reality [McCarthy, 1976; Pansac, 1987].

page 22

2001, p. 225; al-Sayyid Marsot, 1985, p. 49 - 50]). According to estimates by J. McCarthy (1976, p. 15), the plague epidemic of 1835 in Egypt claimed at least 500 thousand human lives ("the real losses could be much higher, but not lower"), which corresponds to a population reduction of approximately 10%. At the end of the XVIII century. Egypt experienced two such epidemics: in 1784-1785 and 1791 (in addition to many other disasters that befell the Egyptian population12). It should be noted that both epidemics of the late XVIII century occurred against the background of the collapse of state structures and catastrophic shortages, and in 1835 the plague came to the state, organized more efficiently than any of its predecessors, when there was no question of any collapse of state structures, no civil strife/uprisings or catastrophic food shortages. Thus, there is every reason to believe that each of the epidemics of the late XVIII century. It claimed a larger percentage of the Egyptian population than the epidemic of 1835. In general, the overall decline in the population of Egypt as a result of the demographic collapse of the last quarter of the XVIII century could hardly have been less than 25%13, which suggests that in 1775 the population of Egypt could hardly have been less than 6 million people (but most likely it was noticeably more).

Of course, when combined with the estimate of the maximum population of Roman Egypt at 4.75 million people (Bagnall and Frier, 1994), this suggests that, contrary to the widely held belief (see, for example: [Bowman and Rogan, 1999, p. 6; Lane, 1966, p. 23; Maddison, 2001, p. 239; McEvedy and Jones, 1978, p. 226-229]) the general trend of Egypt's demographic dynamics in the first and 18th centuries was upward, not downward. Our conclusion that the population of Islamic Egypt in the 18th century reached a higher level than in any of the pre-Islamic eras of this country's history does not seem absurd, primarily because we have a large amount of information about the numerous technological innovations introduced into the Egyptian economy during the Islamic era and led to a very noticeable increase in the expanding the ecological niche.

First of all, we are talking about the introduction of a very large number of new agricultural crops in Egypt in the first half of the Islamic era, 14 including such important sources of calories as sorghum, rice, taro, sugar cane, durum wheat, 15 and two types of banana, which led to a very noticeable increase in the ceiling of the earth's load-bearing capacity. Thus," sorghum tended to displace various varieties of millet and other ancient cereals due to its higher yield and the ability of some varieties to tolerate droughts and poor soils "[Watson, 1983, p. 9]; by the 13th century, " there is abundant evidence of its cultivation in Upper Egypt ... where it became the main product nutrition" [Watson, 1983, p. 13]. "The tarot has become particularly important in tropical and semi-tropical areas [including Egypt] because of the-

12 To quote only a few lines from the description of this period of Egyptian history: "Murad Bey (one of the leaders of the Mamluk group al-Muhammadiyyah - AK) made annual detours of Lower Egypt, extracting extraordinary taxes from the already overburdened peasants. Many abandoned the land and started uprisings; to teach the rebels a lesson, Murad razed many villages to the ground" [Crecelius, 1998, p.83].

13 For example, R. Alston (Altson, 2002, p. 364) believes that "total epidemics usually led to a 20% reduction in the population of Egypt" [see fig. also: Alston, 2001].

14 Eggplant (Solarium melongena), artichoke (Cynara cardunculus), spinach (Spinacia oleracea), watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) , two types of banana (Musa sapientium and Musa paradisiaca), four types of citrus (Citrus aurantium, Citrus limon, Citrus aurantifolia and Citrus grandis), cotton (Gossypium arboreum and Gossypium herbaceum), taro (Colocasia antiquorum), sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum), durum wheat (Triticum durum), rice (Oryza sativa), and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) (Watson, 1983, p. 9-75).

15 It should be noted, however, that the introduction of durum wheat into agriculture in Egypt may have begun as early as the Byzantine period of its history [Watson, 1983, p.20].

page 23

the logo of a number of its advantages: an exceptionally high yield of starch per unit of cultivated area, despite the fact that this starch is unusually easily digested; its ability to tolerate slightly colder weather than, say, yams; a very short ripening period, which allows you to get 2 - 3 crops per year from one plot of land; the ability to produce a large amount of starch to be stored without spoilage for many months, both fresh and dry, which was extremely useful in order to help people survive in the hungry part of the year... " [Watson, 1983, p. 66], and al-Makrizi (1364-1442) notes that by his time taro qulqas became one of the most important components of the diet of the inhabitants of Lower Egypt (al-Makrizi, 1959, p.78). Sugar cane "is capable of producing more food calories per acre than any other agricultural crop" [Harrison, Masefield, Wallis, 1969, p. 14] , and al-Makrizi notes that by his time, halaua made from sugar cane had become one of the most important components of the diet of the inhabitants of Upper Egypt [al- Makrizi, 1959, p. 78]. In general, sugar cane was an extremely important source of food calories for the working population of Egypt, rather not in the form of sugar itself, but as a by-product of the production of refined sugar, the so-called black honey (asl isuid - molasses), which was eaten, as a rule, mixed with sesame oilcake. 16

During the Ottoman period, the earth's load-bearing capacity ceiling experienced a further increase due to the introduction of New World crops, primarily maize. Note that during this period, "Late Summer crops [referring to the third harvest coming from Egyptian fields] were sown in May, June, July, and August ... when the Nile began to rise in Upper Egypt. This crop consisted primarily of corn" (Shaw, 1962, p. 51). The introduction of the maize crop has led to a marked improvement in Egypt's food security (and thus to a significant increase in the ceiling of the land's load-bearing capacity). For example, in 1809, when wheat was not born, it was " the corn harvest that saved the country from famine "(Rivlin 1961, p. 50).

So, the general trend of demographic dynamics in medieval Egypt was rather upward than downward. At the same time, there is reason to assume that the load-bearing capacity of the land in medieval Egypt increased significantly more than the size of its population. In our opinion, this was due to some specific characteristics of the political and demographic cycles of medieval Egypt, which we will discuss in a separate article.

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16 We take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the Professors of the American University in Cairo, E. Sartain and E. Fernandez, who drew our attention to this fact.

page 24

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