From: Michael Hardy
To: Dan Ceppa
Date: Jan 23 1996 8:17:00 pm
Subject: census
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-=> Quoting Dan Ceppa to Michael Hardy <=-

MH> In fact, the Romans *did* require people to travel to their
MH> birthplace in order to register for a census.  A census edict from
MH> Egypt, from 104 a.d., shows that they did just that. It begins: "Gaius
MH> Vibius Maximus, prefect of Egypt, says: The house-to-house census
MH> having started, it is essential that all persons who for any reason
MH> whatsoever are absent from their homes be summoned to return to their
MH> own hearths, in order that they perform the customary business of
MH> registration." ("A History of Rome Through the Fifth Century, ed.
MH> A.H.M. Jones, c. 1970, Harper and Row.)

DC> Re-read what you wrote a bid more closely, Michael.  It says nothing
DC> of having to travel all over the world to get to their house.  Most
DC> people did not travel far for a living in those days.  They were
DC> home every night for supper.  It says nothing about going to the
DC> place of their birth, only to their houses to help facilitate the
DC> count of those that lived in the locale.

Think it over very carefully, Dan. The census would take weeks or
months to complete. No single edict issued at the beginning of the
census would tell anyone which night he should be home. It's much more
likely that it refers to people who have left their place of birth,
telling them to return there for registration. (It makes the
bookkeeping easier, and the Romans weren't big on compassion toward the
people who would have to travel.)

... On Dr. McCoy's tombstone: "I'm dead, Jim."

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