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Friday, March 16, 2007

Bingen, Hellenistic Egypt : monarchy, society, economy, culture

Selected Essays on Ptolemaic Egypt by the venerable Jean Bingen, with introductions by R.S. Bagnall
Hellenistic Egypt

Jean Bingen, Roger Bagnall (Ed.)


Scheduled for US Release by Univ. California Press in May
Hellenistic Egypt was a society created by Macedonian rule of the ancient civilisation of Egypt. It is framed by Alexander the Great at one end and Cleopatra VII at the other.

This book sums up a lifetime of Jean Bingen’s work on understanding how this state and its monarchy were created and sustained, how Greeks and Egyptians formed separate and yet connected parts of the society, and how the peculiar circumstances of the Ptolemaic kingdom created both opportunities and insoluble tensions. Like all of Bingen’s work, it is marked by the influence of cultural sociology but is rooted in a deep knowledge of the Greek world.

It is essential reading for students and accessible and fascinating reading for the general public interested in ancient history. It is introduced by Roger S. Bagnall and ends with a conclusion by Jean Bingen in which he reflects on the course of the history of Ptolemaic Egypt during the twentieth century.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Original Sources of Chapters

List of illustrations





Part I: The Monarchy

1. Ptolemy I and the quest for legitimacy

2. Ptolemy III and Philae: snapshot of a reign, a temple, and a cult

3. The dynastic politics of Cleopatra VII

4. Cleopatra VII Philopatris

5. Cleopatra, the diadem and the image

Part II: The Greeks

6. The Thracians in Ptolemaic Egypt

7. The Ptolemaic papyri and the Achaean diaspora

8. The Greek presence and the Ptolemaic rural setting

9. The urban milieu in the Egyptian countryside during the Ptolemaic period

10. Kerkeosiris and its Greeks in the second century

11. The cavalry settlers of the Herakleopolite in the first century

12. Two royal ordinances of the first century and the Alexandrians

Part III: The Royal Economy

13. The Revenue Laws Papyrus: Greek tradition and Hellenistic adaptation

14. The structural tensions of Ptolemaic society

15. The third-century land leases from Tholthis

Part IV: Greeks and Egyptians

16. Greek economy and Egyptian society in the third century

17. Greeks and Egyptians in PSI V 502

18. Graeco-Roman Egypt and the question of cultural interaction

19. Normality and distinctiveness in the epigraphy of Greek and Roman Egypt



General index and index of passages discussed


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