382 The Legacy to Modern Egypt The local circulation centres in the local market, which, like so much else, retains a great deal of its ancient character simpli- fied. It has not quite the same range as on the reliefs at Saqqara. That is an inevitable consequence of extreme centralization which impoverishes country life, as we can see happening in Europe. In ancient reliefs the men dominate the market. Now in Lower Egypt it has passed almost entirely into the hands of the women, but south of Minya the men still retain it, because they disapprove of their women selling in public. Where the sphere of trade is restricted the sphere of marriage tends to be restricted also. The peasant, and still more his wife, do not like their daughters to pass out of easy range. A girl who marries at what is for us a short distance is cut off from her family. In Upper Egypt it is even more a matter of kin than of distance: it is a shame to marry one who is not kin, even if he lives in the village. The proper marriage everywhere is that of agnatic first cousins. This is only a little less exclusive than the ancient custom. Kings used to marry their sisters. The wives of the common people are often described as sisters; but we do not know how far the term we so translate has the same meaning as our own word, or how far it does not include, besides sisters, other female agnates of the same generation. Many, if* not all, the 'sister marriages' recorded among the common people may be unions with cousins. In that case no change has occurred beyond condemning the closer union which was cer- tainly encouraged in high circles, if not in lower ones.1 Islam has, unlike Christianity, absorbed very little of the 1 In technical parlance ft all turns on the question whether the ancient kinship system of Egypt was classificatory or genealogical. There can be no doubt that it was derived from a classificatory system, if not itself classificatory. Kinship terms are still used at the present day in the same manner as in classificatory systems; e.g. paternal uncles may be addressed as fathers, at least among the peasantry. See Hocart, T&e Progress of Man (London, 1933), chap, sxi, and 'Kinship Systems*, Antbropos^ xxxii (1937), 545.