New PDF release: Egypt after the Pharaohs, 332 BC-AD 642: From Alexander to

By Alan K. Bowman

ISBN-10: 0520205316

ISBN-13: 9780520205314

Egypt After the Pharoahs treats the interval which witnessed the arriving of the Greeks and Hellenistic tradition in Egypt, the reign of the Ptolemies from Ptolemy I to Cleopatra, the conquest via Rome, the medical 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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Athanasius may have been accused of undermining the unity of the Church but it looks very much as if such divisions and disputes were endemic and that Church unity was a convenient fiction which could be invoked when useful. The political importance of such divisions depended on the personalities involved and the ways in which they created causes effebres. Patriarchs had various ways of enforcing their will whether inside Egypt or 49 EGYPT after the PHARAOHS abroad: control of a corps of five or six hundred Parabolani, a kind of ecclesiastical private army of layman orderlies whose nominal task was to tend the sick; strong influence over the attitudes and actions of sailors and ships' captains, which might cause blockage of the route of the river boats bringing grain to Alexandria, as happened in the reign of the emperor Maurice (582-602), or emerge in popular demonstration in the Alexandrian docks; or at Constantinople when Egyptian bishops might come en masse to impose their will on the imperial authority.

This is a little misleading from two points of 3> Stela of the Byzantine period. The stela carries a Greek inscription and juxtaposes the Coptic cross and the traditional Egyptian ankb (symbol of life). jo THE RULING POWER view. I:or one thing, it underestimates the strength of Monophysitism outside Egypt - among its powerful adherents were Justinian's Empress Theodora and the Patriarch Severus of Antioch. For another, it fails to give enough emphasis to the divisions within Egypt, where the Patriarchy of Alexandria became the bone of contention between rival Coptic (that is, Monophysite) contenders and Chalcedonians favoured by the imperial authority at Constantinople.

Economic development accelerated from the reign of Augustus and was intimately linked to Rome's general policy regarding the extension of control in the cast. Security, both internal and external, was of primary importance. Egypt could be effectively defended by a very small force against attack from the Mediterranean. Three Roman legions provided the basis of a security network normally sufficient to ensure peace after the first prefect, Cornelius Callus, had dealt with disaffection in the area around Thebes.

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


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