Army and Society in Ptolemaic Egypt

Army and Society in Ptolemaic Egypt

by Christelle Fischer-Bovet


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This is the only substantial and up-to-date reference work on the Ptolemaic army. Employing Greek and Egyptian papyri and inscriptions, and building on approaches developed in state-formation theory, it offers a coherent account of how the changing structures of the army in Egypt after Alexander's conquest led to the development of an ethnically more integrated society. A new tripartite division of Ptolemaic history challenges the idea of gradual decline, and emphasizes the reshaping of military structures that took place between c.220 and c.160 BC in response to changes in the nature of warfare, mobilization and demobilization, and financial constraints. An investigation of the socio-economic role played by soldiers permits a reassessment of the cleruchic system and shows how soldiers' associations generated interethnic group solidarity. By integrating Egyptian evidence, Christelle Fischer-Bovet also demonstrates that the connection between the army and local temples offered new ways for Greeks and Egyptians to interact.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107007758
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 04/10/2014
Series: Armies of the Ancient World
Pages: 474
Product dimensions: 6.89(w) x 9.80(h) x 1.18(d)

About the Author

Christelle Fischer-Bovet is Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of Southern California.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. The army in Late Period Egypt (664-332 BC); Part I. Structure and Role of the Army: 3. Military challenges faced by the Ptolemies: power, money, crisis and reform; 4. Military organization and hierarchy; 5. Military recruitment and ethnic composition; Part II. Economic Status and Social Networks of Soldiers and Officers: 6. Settling soldiers; 7. Soldiers and officers in the Egyptian countryside; Part III: The Army and Egyptian Temples: 8. Priests in the army: a politico-ideological explanation; 9. The army and Egyptian temple-building; 10. Conclusion; Appendix.

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