Egypt

Egypt after the Pharaohs, 332 BC-AD 642: From Alexander to by Alan K. Bowman

By Alan K. Bowman

Egypt After the Pharoahs treats the interval which witnessed the coming of the Greeks and Hellenistic tradition in Egypt, the reign of the Ptolemies from Ptolemy I to Cleopatra, the conquest through Rome, the clinical and cultural achievements of Alexandria, and the increase of Christianity. the wealthy social, cultural, and highbrow ferment of this era comes alive in Alan Bowman's narrative.

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Extra info for Egypt after the Pharaohs, 332 BC-AD 642: From Alexander to the Arab Conquest

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For a time thereafter Ptolemy's financial affairs were managed by a Roman of equestrian rank, Rabirius Postumus, whom Cicero later defended against charges of bribery arising from this management. In short, Roman commanders, their associates and their troops were playing their traditional and profitable 'advisory' role in the military and civilian affairs of Rome's clients. It is fascinating to observe the way in which the Roman government could officially sanction such chicanery in the name of 'friendship and alliance'.

In the event her spectacular arrival may have temporarily overshadowed matters of state. ,w By 34 BC Ptolemy Cacsarion was officially co-ruler with Cleopatra, clearly an attempt to exploit the popularity of Caesar's memory. In the autumn Antonius and Cleopatra staged an extravagant ceremony in Alexandria at which they made dispo- 23 Coin of Cleopatra VII. The queen is represented as the goddess Aphrodite, holding her illegitimate son Ptolemy Cacsarion, represented as liros, in her arms; behind her Moulder is a sceptre.

By the spring of 610 the struggle with Bonosus, the general of Phocas, for control of Egypt was won and the fall of the tyrant duly followed. The episode well illustrates how difficult it could be to defend Egypt from a power base in Constantinople. The same was to prove the case against threats from outside powers in the next forty years, first, with the appearance of the old enemy, the Persians. The thread of undying hostility in Egypt to the Persians is amply expressed by the fact that there exists a Coptic account of the first Persian concjuest by Cambyscs/" The spread of Persian power through Syria culminated in the conquest of Jerusalem and Persian hostility to the Christians, which is heavily emphasised in our Christian sources, thrust many Christian refugees westwards to Alexandria.

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