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Volume :18 Issue : 72 2000      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Prices of Foodstuff in Egypt During the Fatimid Era (358 A.H/968 A.D-567 A.H/1167 A.D) (in Arabic)

Auther : Esa al-Azzam

This paper deals with the prices of grains and foodstuff in Egypt in terms of three aspects: reasons for price fluctuations, effects of high prices on the population, and the state’s policy to control high prices.

The prices of grains and foodstuff were not stable. They were influenced by the political and administrative conditions of the state, flooding of the Nile, epidemics and the monopolistic policy practiced by senior merchants.

The Fatimid state attempted to curb high prices through controlling the currency weight, tightening its control over markets to prevent monopoly in particular and establishing shops for selling grains and bread in order to stabilize or lower their prices. In addition, the Fatimid state restored to price fixing starting from the reign of the Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim Biarmillah (386 A.H/966 A.D.-411 A.H./1020 A.D).

High prices had severe effects on the overall conditions of the states in terms of destabilization of security, pillaging of markets and handicrafts shops, deterioration of trade, spread of epidemics, and the rise of death rates. Furthermore, people were forced to sell their properties for the cheapest price to obtain food, especially as the salaries and wages of most state employees were disproportionate with the high prices.

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