Hellenistic Egypt: Monarchy, Society, Economy, Culture

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University of California Press, 2007 - 305 pages
Hellenistic Egypt brings together for the first time the writings of the preeminent historian, papyrologist, and epigraphist Jean Bingen. These essays, first published by Bingen from 1970 to 1999, make a distinctive contribution to the historiography of Hellenistic Egypt, a period in ancient Egypt extending from its conquest by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C. until its annexation as a province of the Roman Empire by Octavian (later Augustus) in 30 B.C., after his defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra. Ruled by Ptolemaic kings during this period, Hellenistic Egypt was a sophisticated, rich, and fertile country. Its history is intimately bound up with the history of the Mediterranean as a whole, yet parts of that history remain relatively obscure and open to debate. New evidence, particularly from papyri, emerges frequently and shifts our understanding and interpretation of this significant time. For the last six decades Jean Bingen has been a leading editor and interpreter of such evidence. In particular his work on the Ptolemaic monarchy and economy, which illustrates how the Greeks and Egyptians interacted, has transformed the field and influenced all subsequent work. Historian and classicist Roger Bagnall has selected and introduced Bingen’s most important essays on this topic.

Copub: Edinburgh University Press
 

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Contents

Ptolemy I and the quest for legitimacy
15
snapshot of a reign a temple
31
Cleopatra VII Philopatris
57
The dynastic politics of Cleopatra VII
63
The Thracians in Ptolemaic Egypt
83
Ptolemaic papyri and the Achaean diaspora
94
Greek presence and the Ptolemaic rural setting
104
the Ptolemaic period
114
Greek tradition
157
The structural tensions of Ptolemaic society
189
The thirdcentury landleases from Tholthis
206
Greek economy and Egyptian society in the third century
215
Greeks and Egyptians according to PSI V 502
229
GraecoRoman Egypt and the question
240
Normality and distinctiveness in the epigraphy
256
Conclusion
279

Kerkeosiris and its Greeks in the second century
122
The cavalry settlers of the Herakleopolite in
132
Two royal ordinances of the first century and
141

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About the author (2007)

Jean Bingen is Emeritus Professor of Greek at the Free University of Brussels. As the most distinguished living historian of Hellenistic Egypt, he has published numerous articles and reviews over sixty years of research.
Roger Bagnall is Professor of Classics and History at Columbia University. His books include The Administration of the Ptolemaic Possessions outside Egypt, Egypt in Late Antiquity, and The Demography of Roman Egypt.

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