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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

REVIEW: Tomasz Derda, Arsinoites Nomos. Administration of the Fayum under Roman Rule

Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2008.11.10
Tomasz Derda, Arsinoites Nomos. Administration of the Fayum under Roman Rule. The Journal of Juristic Papyrology Supplement, 7. Warsaw: Institute of Archaeology, Warsaw University and Fundaja im. Rafala Taubenschlaga, 2006. Pp. xviii, 345; maps 4, tables 2. ISBN 978-83-918250-6-8. $79.00.

Reviewed by Peter Fibiger Bang, University of Copenhagen (PBang@hum.ku.dk)
Word count: 1251 words

In this useful and interesting study of provincial Egypt, Tomasz Derda has set himself the far from moderate task of disentangling the complex and fragmented papyrological evidence relating to the formal aspects of Roman administration in the Egyptian Fayum. The book grew out of his engagement with the project of Willy Clarysse on "Fayum villages in the Graeco-Roman Period" (p. XII) and as such reflects the classic concerns of papyrology. First and foremost, this is a study of the formalities of state administration; the emphasis is heavily on clarifying the use of administrative terms which scholars encounter in the numerous surviving documentary papyri in order to chart the nature of administrative units and offices. A more penetrating analysis of the relations of power underwriting Roman rule in Fayum society, on the other hand, is not really attempted, though Derda does occasionally offer some interesting observations on this topic too.

etc at BMCR