Ancient Mesopotamia 3300-331 B.C.E.: Social Class and Economy Research Article from World Eras

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The city of Babylon lay on both sides of the Euphrates River, with the two parts of the city connected by one bridge. The governor of Babylon had the prerogative to collect tolls from boats passing under the bridge or mooring at its piers. Marduk-nasir-apli, a member of the entrepreneurial Egibi family, bought or leased these rights from the governor, probably in exchange for a fixed payment made in advance. According to this arrangement, Marduk-nasir-apli was to share the income from these tolls with the "guardians of the bridge." Instead of collecting die tolls himself, however, Marduk-nasir-apli and one of the other shareholders, Muranu, subcontracted the collection job to two other men, Bel-asua and Ubar, for a monthly payment of fifteen sheqels silver. The text of the contract for this complicated arrangement is dated the twenty-sixth year of Darius, or 495 B.C.E.:

The levy (of tolls...

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This section contains 424 words
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