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Imagination of a Monarchy

Imagination of a Monarchy: Studies in Ptolemaic Propaganda

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  • Book Info
    Imagination of a Monarchy
    Book Description:

    Scholars have long known that the Egyptian Ptolemaic monarchy underwent a transformation between 323 and 30 BC, but the details of this change have proven problematic. This book presents a clear argument based on the author's theories.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7600-8
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-2)
  5. 1 When Did Ptolemy ii Style His Father as Ptolemaios Soter?
    (pp. 3-24)

    When Ptolemy ii ascended the throne in 282, he supported his claims with three important items of propaganda: firstly, he held funeral games and sacrifices in honour of his father in an effort to show some piety towards him and to win the respect of his friends and associates; then, the young king redated his reign from 285 in an effort to stress his nomination that year by Ptolemy i; and finally, the young king brought his parents together as the Theoi Soteres in an effort to stress Berenikeʹs marriage to his father and to discredit the Eurydikean side of...

  6. 2 The Soter Era
    (pp. 25-46)

    If anyone were to read the scholarship written in the late twentieth century about Ptolemaic Egypt, he would find scant reference to the Soter era.¹ Édouard Will ignored the era in hisHistoire politique du monde hellénistique1 and 2; A.K. Bowman ignored it in hisEgypt after the Pharaohs; and G. Hölbl ignored it in hisGeschichte des Ptolemäerreiches. The reason for their silence is very simple. Scholars of Ptolemaic Egypt, be they papyrologists, archaeologists, or epigraphers, do not believe that such an era existed.² This chapter will argue against their doubts. In the next few pages, it will...

  7. 3 The Nikouria Decree: A Hypothesis Explored
    (pp. 47-58)

    Th. Homolle announced in 1893 the discovery of an undatedsteleon the small island of Nikouria near Amorgos.¹ Thestelebore a reply to an earlier appeal by Ptolemy ii that the Island League send delegates to Samos to discuss with Philokles, king of the Sidonians, and Bakchon, thenesiarch, the leagueʹs participation in games and sacrifices in honour of the first Ptolemy. Because the first Ptolemy had freed the leagueʹs cities, restored its constitutions and remitted its taxes, the Islanders agreed to send a sacred mission to the rites in Alexandria and to regard the competitions as equal...

  8. 4 The Grand Procession
    (pp. 59-80)

    Once the delegates had sailed into the port of Alexandria, they made their way towards the royal precinct where they presented themselves as sacred envoys. Possibly the registrar arranged an audience for each group oftheoroiwithin a few days of its arrival.¹ The audience for both king and sacred envoys constituted a critical part of the exercise of sailing to the city and partaking in the rites in memory of the kingʹs father. Ptolemy wished to learn from the leading men of each area, men like Kallias of Sphettos and Diophantes of Kalynda, the concerns of each region and...

  9. 5 Arsinoe ii and the Importance of Perception
    (pp. 81-100)

    Arsinoe ii had played such a controversial role at the Ptolemaic court that the king omitted her cult during the great celebration of 262. Her role has scarcely become less controversial. Early in the twentieth century, A. Bouché-Leclercq, W.W. Tarn, E.R. Bevan, M. Cary, and other scholars presumed that she had dominated her brother and had played a major role in shaping his policies at home and abroad.¹ Feminists liked this assessment. To Grace Macurdy, Arsinoe was a ʹmanaging womanʹ who charmed Lysimachos and Ptolemy ii, murdered the Eurydikean side of the family, directed the First Syrian War (274–271...

  10. 6 Monarchy as Imagination: Propaganda and the Role of the Ptolemaic Queen
    (pp. 101-160)

    Although Grace Macurdy painted a fanciful picture of Arsinoeʹs position at the court, she did chronicle the gradual rise of the queens over a period of almost three centuries. At the beginning of the Ptolemaic period, the queen remained subordinate to her husband; by the reign of Kleopatra ii and Euergetes (145–116 bc), the queen ruled equally with the king;¹ and under the last Kleopatra, the queen emerged greater than her male associates.² To Macurdy, the Ptolemaic queens had gained their influence by virtue of their strong character and political acumen ($\sigma {\upsilon }'\nu \varepsilon \sigma \iota \varsigma \ \pi \rho \alpha \gamma \mu \alpha \tau \iota \kappa {}^\backprime{\eta }\ \kappa \alpha {}^\backprime{\iota }\ \tau {o}'\lambda \mu \alpha$);³ she evidently sought no further explanation,...

  11. APPENDIX 1 The Date and Purpose of the Marmor Parium
    (pp. 161-167)
  12. APPENDIX 2 Ptolemaic Officials and SIG 1.390
    (pp. 168-175)
  13. APPENDIX 3 A Dedication to Ptolemy iv Philopator
    (pp. 176-179)
  14. APPENDIX 4 A Ptolemaic Chronology to 105 bc
    (pp. 180-188)
    (pp. 189-200)
    (pp. 201-205)
    (pp. 206-207)
    (pp. 208-209)
    (pp. 210-210)
    (pp. 211-244)
  21. Back Matter
    (pp. 245-247)