Egypt in the Age of Cleopatra: History and Society under the Ptolemies

Egypt in the Age of Cleopatra: History and Society under the Ptolemies

by Michel Chauveau
     
 

ISBN-10: 0801485762

ISBN-13: 9780801485763

Pub. Date: 03/28/2000

Publisher: Cornell University Press

Few other civilizations rival Ancient Egypt in its power to capture the modern imagination, and Cleopatra VII, monarch at the end of the Ptolemaic period, has always been preeminent among its cast of characters. Coming to power just before the unstable state was about to be absorbed into an autocratic empire, Cleopatra oversaw not only Egypt's progress as an…  See more details below

Overview

Few other civilizations rival Ancient Egypt in its power to capture the modern imagination, and Cleopatra VII, monarch at the end of the Ptolemaic period, has always been preeminent among its cast of characters. Coming to power just before the unstable state was about to be absorbed into an autocratic empire, Cleopatra oversaw not only Egypt's progress as an influential regional power but also the fragile peace of its ethnically mixed population.Michel Chauveau looks at many facets of life under this queen and her dynasty, drawing on such sources as firsthand accounts, numismatics, and Greek, Demotic, and hieroglyphic inscriptions. His use of such sources helps to free the narrative of dependence on later (and usually hostile) Greek and Roman historians. By taking up such subjects as funeral customs, language and writing, social class structure, religion, and administration, he affords the reader an unprecedented and comprehensive picture of Greek and Egyptian life in both the cities and the countryside.Originally published in French in 1997, Egypt in the Age of Cleopatra fulfills a long-standing need for an accessible introduction to the social, economic, religious, military, and cultural history of Ptolemaic Egypt.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801485763
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
03/28/2000
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
1,104,485
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Translator's Note
Genealogical Table of the Ptolemaic Dynasty
Map of Egypt
Introduction1
1Historical Perspective6
The Heritage of Alexander the Great6
Crisis in the Kingdom under Philopator and Epiphanes11
Ptolemy VI Philometor and the Recovery of Egypt13
The Fat King and His Wives15
Physkon's Children16
Ptolemy the Flutist18
The Flight and Return of Auletes20
Auletes's Children22
Cleopatra, Ally of Rome24
Cleopatra and Antony26
2Greek Pharaohs and their Subjects29
Kings, Queens, and Royal Children29
A King for the Greeks33
The Deified King34
A Pharaoh for the Egyptians37
A Pharaoh for the Gods39
Protection of the Temples40
Royal "Philanthropy"41
Visits to the Provinces43
A Regal Life44
The Program of the Royal Titularies45
The Allegiance of the Clergy46
The Ideology of Resistance49
3Cities and Countryside52
A Unique Land52
A Multitudinous Population55
The Lagide Capital56
The Center of the Hellenistic World58
The Delta63
Memphis and the Faiyum65
Map of the Faiyum area67
Upper Egypt67
Architecture and Urbanism69
4Economy and Society72
The Weight of Bureaucracy72
The Strategos73
The Official Scribes76
The Burden of Taxation78
Resistance and Contraband80
A Cash Economy82
The Ravages of Inflation84
The Misery of the Peasants87
Autopsy of a Village: Kerkeosiris90
Artisans and Shopkeepers93
Greeks and Egyptians before the Law95
Slavery98
5Priests and Temples100
The Most Religious of Peoples100
New Sanctuaries102
Sacred Animals106
The Prestige of the Priests108
Piety outside the Temples109
Greek Priests113
Temple Economy115
Oracles and Oaths117
Strange Slaves117
The Deities of Memphis118
The Life and Dreams of Ptolemaios the Recluse123
Coveted Virgins127
The Woes of an Egyptian Mendicant Friar129
To Be Greek in an Egyptian Temple131
An Informer in the Temple133
6Living on the Death of others135
The Land of the Dead135
The Greeks and the Egyptian Afterlife136
Specialists in the Service of the Dead137
The Choachytai at Work139
A Professional Association141
"Saints" Sometimes Disturbed143
Division of Labor in the Other Corporations143
A Disputed House145
Cadavers in the City147
An Embalmer Complains to the King149
7Soldiers and Peasants151
A Military State151
Soldiers in the Countryside152
The Hazards of Cohabitation154
Independent Income from Real Estate155
A Soldier-Speculator: Dionysios, Son of Kephalas156
A Curious "Persian"158
A Military Colony in the South of Egypt: Pathyris160
A Cretan in Egypt: The Cavalryman Dryton160
The Solidarity of an Egyptian Family164
The Sudden Disappearance of a Garrison166
The End of the Lagide Army167
8Two Languages, Two Cultures, Three Writing Systems170
A Multicultural Society170
The New Athens171
Decline and Rebirth of Alexandrianism173
Medicine in the Reign of Cleopatra176
Greek Culture in the Countryside177
Poems in the Midst of Accounts178
Hellenizing Distractions at the Serapeum180
Apollonios and the Last Pharaoh182
The Native Temples as Guardians of Religious Culture183
Demotic: Living Language and New Literature185
Egyptian Stories and Romances186
Wisdom and Satire187
Hellenism at Edfu189
Conclusion191
Abbreviations197
Notes199
Glossary214
Index217

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