A Companion to Greco-Roman and Late Antique Egypt
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More About This Title A Companion to Greco-Roman and Late Antique Egypt


An authoritative and multidisciplinary Companion to Egypt during the Greco‑Roman and Late Antique period

With contributions from noted authorities in the field, A Companion to Greco-Roman and Late Antique Egypt offers a comprehensive resource that covers almost 1000 years of Egyptian history, starting with the liberation of Egypt from Persian rule by Alexander the Great in 332 BC and ending in AD 642, when Arab rule started in the Nile country.

The Companion takes a largely sociological perspective and includes a section on life portraits at the end of each part. The theme of identity in a multicultural environment and a chapter on the quality of life of Egypt's inhabitants clearly illustrate this objective. The authors put the emphasis on the changes that occurred in the Greco-Roman and Late Antique periods, as illustrated by such topics as: Traditional religious life challenged; Governing a country with a past: between tradition and innovation; and Creative minds in theory and praxis. This important resource:

  • Discusses how Egypt became part of a globalizing world in Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine times
  • Explores notable innovations by the Ptolemies and Romans
  • Puts the focus on the longue durée development
  • Offers a thematic and multidisciplinary approach to the subject, bringing together scholars of different disciplines
  • Contains life portraits in which various aspects and themes of people’s daily life in Egypt are discussed

Written for academics and students of the Greco-Roman and Late Antique Egypt period, this Companion offers a guide that is useful for students in the areas of Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and New Testament studies.


Katelijn Vandorpe is a professor in the Department of Ancient History at the KU Leuven.


List of illustrations and tables

Notes on Contributors



List of Abbreviations

Chronological outline


Part I Greco-Roman Egypt explored

1. Unique sources in an unusual setting
Arthur Verhoogt

2. Modern scholars at work in a digital and multidisciplinary setting
Mark Depauw and Dorota Dzierzbicka

Part II Egypt as part of a globalizing world

3. The Last Pharaohs. The Ptolemaic dynasty and the Hellenistic world
Anne-Emanuelle Veïsse

4. A Roman province in the Eastern Mediterranean
Tomasz Derda

5. Egypt in the Byzantine world
Cornelia Römer

6. Life portraits: royals and people in a globalizing world
Alexander Meeus

Part III Governing a country with a past. Between tradition and innovation

7. The Ptolemaic governmental branches and the role of temples and elite groups
Joseph G. Manning

8. The branches of Roman and Byzantine government and the role of cities, church and elite groups
Thomas Kruse

9. Policymakers in a changing world
Bernard Legras

10. Taxation and fiscal reforms
Andrew Monson

11. Security and border policy. Army and police
Christelle Fischer-Bovet and Patrick Sänger

12. Immigration, globalization and the impact on private law. The case of legal documents
Uri Yiftach and Katelijn Vandorpe

13. Life portraits: people and their everyday papers in a bureaucratic society
Sofie Waebens

Part IV Developing the economic strength of the Nile country

14. Monetization of the countryside
Sitta Von Reden

15. Stimuli for irrigation, agriculture and quarrying
Colin Adams

16. Economic growth and the exploitation of land
Peter van Minnen

17. Life portraits: people at work
Katelijn Vandorpe

Part V Identity in a multicultural environment

18. Social identity and upward mobility. Elite groups, lower classes and slaves
Sandra Scheuble-Reiter and Silvia Bussi

19. Ethnic identity: Egyptians, Greeks and Romans
Willy Clarysse

20. Ethnic minority groups
Sylvie Honigman

21. Family and life cycle transitions
Jane Rowlandson and Sandra Lippert

22. Gender issues. Women to the fore
Maren Schentuleit

23. Cultural identity. Housing and burial practices
Anna Lucille Boozer

24. A sound body and mind
Amin Benaissa and Sofie Remijsen

25. Life portraits: people of a multicultural generation
Yanne Broux

Part VI Traditional religious life challenged

26. Cults, Creeds and Clergy in a Multicultural Context
Katelijn Vandorpe and Willy Clarysse

27. A successful ruler and imperial cult
Stefan Pfeiffer

28. New deities and new habits
Franziska Naether

29. Egypt’s role in the rise of Christianity, monasticism and regional schisms
Macolm Choat

30. Life portraits: people in worship
Gwen Jennes

Part VII Creative minds in theory and praxis

31. Languages, scripts, literature and bridges between cultures
Sofia Torallas and Marja Vierros

32. Encounters between Greek and Egyptian science
Sydney H. Aufrère and Marie-Hélène Marganne Translated by Dorothy J. Thompson

33. New architectural practices and urbanism
Bérangère Redon
Translated by Yanne Broux

34. Creativity in visual arts
Martina Minas-Nerpel

Part VIII Epilogue

35. The people of Greco-Roman Egypt. Their quality of life
Valérie Wyns and Katelijn Vandorpe

36. Egypt’s specificity and impact on Hellenistic history
Brian McGing

37. Egypt’s specificity and impact on Roman history
Michael A. Speidel

38. Greco-Roman Egypt and related fields: New Testament Studies
John S. Kloppenborg

39. New voices and new challenges
Rodney Ast

Digital resources and bibliography