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David M. Goodblatt


The BT evidence on the poll tax in Babylonia dates on the whole to the fourth century. It therefore provides evidence for a period in which we lack detailed information on Sasanian taxation. The evidence consisted of nineteen pericopae comprising legal discussions, anecdotes, and Biblical exegesis. The details on the tax were generally mentioned only in passing. In several cases, we could not be sure of the precise meaning or implication of the passages or of crucial terms appearing in them. Consequently, the information we derived from these sources did not yield a coherent picture, and our conclusions were often tentative. But since we have almost no other evidence for this period, whatever we can learn is of value. I shall summarize here the results of my investigation.