chapter  Chapter 7
12 Pages

Interest-bearing debt in Ancient Egypt

WithMurat İstekli, Murat Ustaoğlu

In Ancient Egypt where the economic structure was explained by the model of redistribution and most of economic activities consisted of some kind of exchange, the progress the society had made affected matters such as loans, interest and usury. Interest, which was seen as a detriment to society’s well-being in almost every civilization throughout history, was also perceived as a factor that negatively affected the stability and balance of the social life. Even though interest rates were different from what was the norm during the era, the interest revenue surpassing the capital was strictly banned. Debt enslavement was not allowed in the society where efforts to minimize negativities stemming from interest while not drastically changing the loaning system. Instead of limiting personal freedom, it was encouraged that debtors pay their debts by working hard. The highly respected moral values of the society supported these regulations aiming to increase consciousness about personal accountability.