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

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


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801485763
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 03/16/2000
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.55(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

David Lorton, an Egyptologist, is the translator of many books, including Erik Hornung's books The Secret Lore of Egypt and Akhenaten and the Religion of Light, both from Cornell.

What People are Saying About This

Patricia Spencer

"The book provides an easily digestible introduction to Cleopatra's world... A fascinating introduction to an era when the political and military face of the Mediterranean world was changing rapidly."

Denise Doxey

"Chauveau makes extensive use of the Egyptian sources, including papyri, ostraca, hieroglyphic inscriptions, stelae, and coins to present a concise overview of both urban and rural Egypt under the last of the Ptolemaic rulers....Well researched and documented, the book provides a valuable and needed overview for both students and more advanced scholars."

From the Publisher

"Chauveau offers a detailed and vivid portrayal of these three centuries from the perspective of an Egyptian.... This excellent work richly reveals two cultures, Egyptian and Greek, involved in colonialism, imperialism, and acculturation. Upper-division undergraduates and above."

Winter 2001-02 KMT

"Michel Chauveau has given the reader a useful, readable and easy-to-navigate summary of Lagide Egypt... Lorton's translation, as always, is smooth and precise... It should be part of every Egyptophile's library."

Helen Strudwick

"Egypt in the Age of a valuable addition as there are few, if any, general publications of this period, and it provides a very readable and entertaining overview."

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