Roman Greek Egypt Glass Papyri Industry FirstHand Account Village-City Life Work

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Seller: ancientgifts ✉️ (5,281) 100%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, US, Ships to: WORLDWIDE, Item: 124302444451 Roman Greek Egypt Glass Papyri Industry FirstHand Account Village-City Life Work. "Graeco-Roman Egypt" (Shire Egyptology) by Simon P. Ellis. NOTE: We have 75,000 books in our library, almost 10,000 different titles. Odds are we have other copies of this same title in varying conditions, some less expensive, some better condition. We might also have different editions as well (some paperback, some hardcover, oftentimes international editions). If you don’t see what you want, please contact us and ask. We’re happy to send you a summary of the differing conditions and prices we may have for the same title.DESCRIPTION: Softcover. Publisher: Shire Publications (2008). Pages: 56. Size: 8¼ x 6 inches; ½ pound. Summary: More is known about everyday life in Graeco-Roman Egypt than in any other Greek or Roman territory, largely owing to the thousands of papyri discovered in the rubbish tips of ancient towns at the beginning of the twentieth century. The papyri, which include accounts, personal letters, complaints and legal documents, enable the archaeologist to see the artifacts and monuments in their full social context, in a way that is impossible when examining any other ancient civilization. From the papyri we can tell how everyday objects, which were exceptionally well preserved in the dry sands of Egypt, were used. This book portrays Egyptian society in Greek and Roman times (332 B.C. to A.D. 395), with its concerns about finance, family and friends, to which the modern reader can easily relate. It covers settlements from the great cosmopolitan, if unruly, city of Alexandria, to small villages, while considering social problems such as burglary and technological advances like the development of glass-working. CONDITION: NEW. New oversized softcover. Shire Publications (2008) 56 pages. Unblemished, unmarked, pristine in every respect. Pages are pristine; clean, crisp, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, unambiguously unread. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE- FREE PACKAGING! Meticulous and accurate descriptions! Selling rare and out-of-print ancient history books on-line since 1997. We accept returns for any reason within 30 days! #6506a. PLEASE SEE DESCRIPTIONS AND IMAGES BELOW FOR DETAILED REVIEWS AND FOR PAGES OF PICTURES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW.PUBLISHER REVIEWS: REVIEW: More is known about everyday life in Graeco-Roman Egypt (332BC to AD395) than in any other Greek or Roman territory, largely owing to the thousands of papyri discovered in the rubbish tips of ancient towns at the beginning of this century. This book looks at the archaeology of this period within the context of this information, and covers settlements from Alexandria to small villages. REVIEW: Osprey Publishing (Shire) has been providing books for enthusiasts since 1968 and since then it has grown, evolved and taken on new challenges until it stands today as one of the most successful examples of niche publishing around. REVIEW: The Shire Egyptology Series is written by experts for the student or interested layman. Each book contains many illustrations and deals concisely with a particular subject of Egyptology. REVIEW: Simon Ellis obtained a doctorate from Lincoln College, Oxford, for research on late Roman and Byzantine houses. From 1976 to 1988 he worked on excavations at Carthage, first with the University of Michigan, and later as director of the British project. REVIEW: Simon P. Ellis was a Director of Excavations at Carthage 1976-88 and now works for UNESCO Institute for Statistics in Montreal. REVIEW: Simon Ellis was educated at Wrekin College, Telford, and studied at Weymouth College of Education. He obtained a doctorate from Lincoln College, Oxford, for research on late Roman and Byzantine houses. He has traveled extensively around the Mediterranean for his research. In 1981 he had a French government scholarship in Paris and in 1982-3 was a Junior Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies in Washington, D.C. From 19876 to 1988 he worked on excavations at Carthage, first with the University of Michigan, and later as director of the British project. He has also excavated in Britain, France, and Italy. This work has resulted in several excavation reports and articles in leading academic journals. He now works in the Planning Department of South Tyneside Council. TABLE OF CONTENTS: List of Illustrations. Chronology. Introduction. History and Administration. Settlements. Domestic Life. Economic Life. Religion. Egypt in the Classical World. Further Reading. Museums. Index. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: Exceptionally well-written, compact, and very competent description of Roman Egypt. Not a picture book, rather a concise and detailed examination.READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: An excellent and very readable little book on the history of Roman Egypt, its economy, daily life of citizenry of Roman Egypt, and their religious practices. Thoroughly recommend this book to anyone wishing to understand the importance of Roman Egypt. ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND: EGYPT’S HELLENIC PTOLEMAIC DYNASTY/: The Ptolemaic dynasty controlled Egypt for almost three centuries, from 305 to 30 BC. It eventually succumbed to the Romans. While they ruled Egypt the Hellenic (Greek) Ptolemies they never really became Egyptian. They isolated themselves in the capital city of Alexandria, a city envisioned by Alexander the Great. The city was Greek both in language and practice. There were no marriages with outsiders. Brother married sister or uncle married niece. The last Ptolemaic queen was Cleopatra VII. She lived from about 69-30 BC. She remained Macedonian in culture, but spoke Egyptian as well as other languages. Most of the preceding family dynasty were fairly inept except for the first two Ptolemaic pharaohs Ptolemy I and his son Ptolemy II. After the reigns of Ptolemy I and Ptolemy II the dynasty only maintained authority in Egypt with the assistance of Rome. One of the unique and often misunderstood aspects of the Ptolemaic dynasty is how and why it never became “Egyptian-ized”. The Ptolemies coexisted as both Egyptian pharaohs as well as Greek monarchs. In every respect they remained completely Greek, both in their language and traditions. This unique characteristic was maintained through intermarriage. Most often these marriages were either between brother and sister or even uncle and niece. This inbreeding was intended to stabilize the family. Wealth and power were thereby consolidated. The practice was considered by many an Egyptian tradition and not Greek. In Egyptian mythology the mother goddess Isis married her brother Osiris. These sibling marriages were justified or at least made more acceptable by referencing tales from Greek mythology in which the gods intermarried. Cronus had married his sister Rhea while Zeus had married Hera. Of the fifteen Ptolemaic marriages ten were between brother and sister. Of the remaining five, two were with a niece or cousin. Cleopatra VII was the last Ptolemy to rule Egypt and has been the subject of playwrights, poets, and movies. But she was thus not Egyptian, but of a long line of Macedonians. According to one historian she was a descendant of such great Greek queens as Olympias. Olympias was overly-possessive mother of Alexander the Great. Nonetheless Cleopatra was the only Ptolemy to learn to speak Egyptian. She was also the only Ptolemy who made any effort to know the Egyptian people. Of course this Ptolemaic inbreeding was less than ideal. Jealousy was rampant and conspiracies were commonplace. Ptolemy IV supposedly murdered his uncle, brother, and mother. Ptolemy VIII killed his fourteen-year-old son and chopped him into pieces. The sudden death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC brought chaos and confusion to his vast empire. He died without naming an heir or successor. Instead he simply commanded that that the empire was left 'to the best.' Those commanders who had faithfully followed him from Macedon across the desert sands of western Asia were left to decide for themselves the fate of the kingdom. Some wanted to wait until the birth of Roxanne and Alexander’s son, the future Alexander IV. Others chose a more immediate and self-serving remedy: to simply divide it among themselves. The final decision would bring decades of war and devastation. The vast territory was split among the most loyal of Alexander’s generals: Antigonus I the One-Eyed, Eumenes, Lysimachus, Antipater and lastly, Ptolemy. Ptolemy was described as the 'most enterprising' of Alexander’s commanders. Ptolemy I Soter was a Macedonian nobleman. “Soter” translates to “Savior”. He lived from 366 – 282 BC. According to most sources he was the son of Lagos and Arsinoe. He had been a childhood friend of Alexander, his official taster, bodyguard, and even possibly a relative. Rumors abounded that he was the illegitimate son of Philip II, Alexander’s father. After Alexander’s death Ptolemy he had led the campaign to divide the empire among the leading generals and in the Partition of Babylon. To his delight he received the land he had always craved, Egypt. In Ptolemy’s eyes Egypt, rich in resources, was the ideal land. After years of oppression under the Persians the people of Egypt had welcomed Alexander and his conquering army. The Persian conquerors had been intolerant of the Egyptian customs and religion. Alexander was far more tolerant. Alexander even embraced their gods and prayed at their temples. He had even built a temple to honor the Egyptian mother goddess Isis. Ptolemy however saw vast potential in Egypt, albeit selfishly. There was wealth beyond measure. This wealth was largely dependent on agricultural production. Egypt’s borders were easy to defend with Libya lying to the west and Arabia to the east. Egypt also maintained friendly relations with Ptolemy’s homeland of Macedon. Unfortunately while the partition may have granted Egypt to Ptolemy, there were some who did not trust the cagey commander. In particular this included Perdiccas the self-appointed successor to Alexander. Cleomenes of Naucratis was named the Egyptian finance minister by Alexander. He was appointed by Perdiccas as an adjunct or hyparchos to watch (or spy) on Ptolemy. Realizing Perdiccas' ploy, Ptolemy knew he had to free himself of Cleomenes. Ptolemy accused the unwary minister of 'fiscal malfeasance'. While perhaps this was not a completely trumped-up charge, the punishment was severe. Ptolemy had Cleomenes executed. With Cleomenes gone Ptolemy could now rule alone without anyone watching over his shoulder. In so doing Ptolemy would establish a dynasty that would last for almost three centuries - until the time of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra VII. During Ptolemy’s own personal four-decade rule of Egypt, he would put the country on sound economic and administrative footing. After the death of Cleomenes, Ptolemy I quickly and firmly began to establish himself in Egypt. His sole purpose was to make Egypt great again. He was only reluctantly involved in ongoing Wars of the Successors. These were destructive battles between Alexander the Great's generals. Ptolemy I did not intentionally seek territory outside Egypt. Nonetheless he would take advantage of an opportunity if it arose. This included the occupation of the island of Cyprus in around 318 BC. Another opportunity found Ptolemy fighting a Spartan named Thribon. Thribon had seized the city of Cyrene on the North Africa coast. After a quick, decisive victory Ptolemy turned the fallen conqueror over to the city who promptly executed him. Unfortunately in the end Ptolemy could not avoid some involvement with the others of Alexander’s commanders, his former colleagues. Ultimately Ptolemy he gave refuge to Seleucus. Later Ptolemy found himself supporting Rhodes against the invading forces of Demetrius the Besieger, son of Antigonus. There was Ptolemy’s ongoing rivalry with Perdiccas, named by Alexander as his successor in Macedon. The hostility did not subside when Ptolemy stole Alexander’s body as it was being transported to a newly built tomb in Macedon. As the king’s chiliarch, Perdiccas had established himself securely after Alexander’s death. His ultimate goal had always been to reunite the empire. He possessed the signet ring as well as the king’s body, preparing to return it to Macedon. However at Damascus the body inexplicably disappeared. Ptolemy I had stolen and taken the body to Memphis and then to Alexandria where Alexander’s golden sarcophagus was displayed in the center of the city. Perdiccas was to say the least, outraged. However to those in Egypt the legitimacy of the Ptolemaic dynasty lay in its connection to the fallen king. Even in death Alexander played a major role in both the Egyptian and Ptolemaic imagination. The theft of Alexander was too much for Perdiccas. The long disagreement finally ended in a war which lasted from 322 to 321 BC. Perdiccas intensified his military assault on the Ptolemy. However after three failed attempts to cross the Nile into Egypt Perdiccas had lost over two thousand soldiers. His army had decided “enough was enough”, and Perdiccas was executed at the hands of his own army. There were few if any tears among the others of Alexander’s former commanders. Perdiccas had not been very popular amongst any of them. Ptolemy I himself died in 282 BC. As his successor he named his son Ptolemy II Philadelphus. “Philadelphus” translates to “sister-loving’. Ptolemy II lived from 308 to 246 BC. The younger Ptolemy had served as co-regent with his father since 285 BC. Ptolemy II married the daughter of the Thracian regent/king Lysimachus, Arsinoe I. Lysimachus in turn had married Arsinoe II, the daughter of Ptolemy I and his mistress Berenice. The marriage occurred around 300 BC, after the death of Lysimachus’s first wife. The marriage was purely for political purposes, namely to cement the alliance between Lysimachus and Ptolemy I. It was a marriage Mysimachus would regret. For reasons not entirely certain, Arsinoe II convinced her husband, Lysimachus, to kill his oldest son. The oldest son was by Lysimachus’s first marriage, and was his heir. The trumped up charges were of treason, but the real motivation was probably to secure the throne of Thrace for Arsinoe’s own son. The murder of the popular young commander caused uproar among many of his fellow officers. After the death of Lysimachus Ptolemy II would marry his sister (and King Lysimachus’s widow) Arsinoe II. Unlike most of his successors Ptolemy II expanded Egypt. He reclaimed the city of Cyrene that had formerly declared independence from Egypt. Ptolemy II also acquired lands in Asia Minor and Syria. Ptolemy II fought two wars, the Syrian Wars. The wars were fought against Antiochus I and Antiochus II. He would subsequently marry his daughter Berenice to Antiochus II. Unfortunately Ptolemy II also fought and failed in the Chremonidean War against Macedon. The war lasted from 267 – 261 BC. In Egypt Ptolemy II established trading posts along the Red Sea. He also completed construction on the Pharos (Alexandria’s famed lighthouse), and enlarged the library and museum. To honor his parents he established a new festival, the Ptolemaeia. According to history Ptolemy II was one the last truly great pharaohs of Egypt. Many of the Ptolemaic Dynasty who followed failed to strengthen Egypt both internally and externally. Jealousy and in-fighting were common. Upon the death of his father Ptolemy II in 246 BC, Ptolemy III Euergetes came to the throne. “Euergetes” translates to “benefactor”. Ptolemy II lived from (284 to 221 BC. He married Berenice II from the Greek city of Cyrene. Among their six children were Ptolemy IV and a princess also named Berenice. Princess Berenice’s sudden death brought about the Canopus Decree of 238 BC. This decree amongst other proclamations honored Princess Berenice as a goddess. One interesting suggestion made in the decree was for a new calendar. This was to have included 365 days in a calendar year, with one additional day every four years. However the proposed new calendar was never adopted. In 246 BC Ptolemy III invaded Syria to support his sister’s husband Antiochus II in the Third Syrian War against Seleucus II. However his only territorial gains made by Ptolemy III were a few towns in Syria and Asia Minor. Ptolemy III’s successor and son Ptolemy IV Philopator. “Philopator” translates to “father loving”. Ptolemy IV lived from 244 to 205 BC, and came to the Egyptian throne in 221 BC. Keeping with family tradition he married his sister Arsinoe III in 217 BC. Ptolemy IV gained a small degree of success in the Fourth Syrian War against Antiochus III. The war lasted from 219 to 217 BC. However Ptolemy IV was nonetheless largely ineffective. His only other accomplishment was the building of the Sema, a tomb to honor both Alexander and the Ptolemies. Ptolemy IV and his wife were both murdered in a palace coup in 205 BC. His successor was Ptolemy V Epiphanes. “Epiphanes” translates to “made manifest”. Ptolemy V lived from 210 to 180 BC. He was the son of Ptolemy IV and Arsinoe III. Due to due to the sudden death (murder) of his parents Ptolemy V inherited the throne as a small child. Ptolemy V married the Seleucid princess Cleopatra I in 193 BC. Unfortunately war and revolt by Seleucid and Macedonian kings hoping to seize Egyptian lands followed Ptolemy’s ascension to the throne of Egypt. Following the Battle of Panium in 200 BC Egypt lost valuable territory in the Aegean and Asia Minor. This included Palestine. In 206 BC dissidence arose in the Egyptian city of Thebes. Thebes would remain outside Ptolemaic control for the following twenty years. Ptolemy V’s successor was Ptolemy VI Philometor. “Philometor” translates to “mother lover”. Like his father Ptolemy VI began his reign as a small child. He shared the throne with his mother until her unexpected death in 176 BC. Ptolemy VI had a troublesome relationship with his brother, the future Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II. Ptolemy VI married his sister Cleopatra II and began a tumultuous reign. Egypt was invaded twice, once in 169 and again in 164 BC by Antiochus IV. His army even approached the city of Alexandria. With the assistance of Rome, Ptolemy VI regained nominal control of Egypt. However ruling with his brother and wife Ptolemy VI’s reign remained full of unrest. In 163 BC Ptolemy VI and his brother finally reached a compromise whereby Ptolemy VI acquired Egypt while Ptolemy VIII ruled Cyrene. In 145 BC Ptolemy VI died in battle in Syria. Little is known of the reign or person known as Ptolemy VII or if indeed he ever really reigned. It is known that Ptolemy VIII, Ptolemy VI’s younger brother, stepped into the throne in 145 BC after the death of Ptolemy VI in Syria. In true Ptolemaic fashion Ptolemy VIII he married his brother’s widow, Cleopatra II. Shortly thereafter he replaced Cleopatra II with her daughter, his niece, Cleopatra III. A civil war ravaged Egypt lasting from 132 to 124 BC. It especially devastated the capital city of Alexandria. The populace of Alexandria hated Ptolemy VIII. This antagonism was not uncommon for there was little love if ever between the city’s citizens and the royal family. This intense loathing brought about extreme persecution and expulsion for the inhabitants of the city. Finally a settlement of the unrest and accompanying amnesty was reached in 118 BC. Ptolemy VIII was succeeded by his eldest son in 116 BCE. Ptolemy IX Soter II. “Soter” translates to “savior”, and Ptolemy IX lived from 142 to 80 BC. Ptolemy IX was also known as “Lathyrus” (which translates to “chickpea”. Like many of his predecessors he would marry two of his sisters, Cleopatra IV, mother of Berenice IV, and Cleopatra V Serene. Ptolemy IX and Cleopatra V produced two sons. Ptolemy IX ruled jointly with his mother Cleopatra III until 107 BC. In that year Ptolemy IX fled to Cyprus after being overthrown by his brother. He regained the throne in 88 BC and ruled until his death in 80 BC. The next few Ptolemaic pharaohs made little impact if any on Egypt. On the other hand for the first time a rising power of Rome in the west made a major impact on Egypt. Ptolemy X Alexander I lived from 140 to 88 BC. He was the younger brother of Ptolemy IX. He had served as governor of Cyprus until his overthrow of his older brother Ptolemy IX. His mother brought him to Egypt in 107 BC to replace his brother. In 101 BC he supposedly murdered his mother Cleopatra IV. He then married the daughter of Cleopatra V Serene (his niece), Berenice III. Ptolemy X left Egypt after being expelled in 88 BC, only to be lost at sea. He was succeeded briefly by his youngest son Ptolemy XI Alexander II (who lived from 100 to 80 BC). After awarding Egypt and Cyprus to Rome, Ptolemy XI was placed on the throne by the Roman general Cornelius Sulla. Ptolemy XI ruled jointly with his step-mother Cleopatra Berenice until he murdered her. Unfortunately Ptolemy XI he was then himself murdered by the citizens of Alexandria. Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysos (also known as “Auletes”) was another son of Ptolemy IX. “Neos Dionysos” translates to “the New Dionysus”. Ptolemy XII succeeded Ptolemy XI in 80 BC. He married his sister Cleopatra Tryphaena. Unfortunately the close relationship between Ptolemy XII and Rome caused him to be despised by the Alexandrians. Ptolemy XII was expelled the result of a civil uprising in 58 BC. Ptolemy XII regained the throne with the assistance of the Syrian governor Gabinius. However Ptolemy XII was only able to remain on the throne through bribes and his ties to Rome. The Roman Senate actually gravely distrusted him. The next pharaoh Ptolemy XIII lived only from 63 to 47 BC. Ptolemy XIII was the brother and husband of the infamous Cleopatra VII. His time on the throne was short-lived. He had joined unsuccessfully with his sister Arsinoe in a civil war. Ptolemy XIII chose to oppose both Julius Caesar and Cleopatra in a fight for the throne. Initially Ptolemy XIII had expected to gain favor with Caesar when he killed the Roman general Pompey. Pompey had sought refuge in Egypt after the Civil Was with Caesar. Ptolemy XIII presented Pompey’s severed head to Caesar. However the Roman commander grew irate because he had wanted to kill Pompey himself. Ptolemy XIII’s army was defeated after an intense battle. Ptolemy XIII himself was drowned in the Nile River when his boat overturned. Arsinoe was taken to Rome in chains but was later released. Following Ptolemy XIII was another brother Ptolemy XIV, who lived from 59 to 44 BC. Ptolemy XIV served briefly as governor of Cyprus and on the wishes of Julius Caesar later married his sister. He ruled as Governor of Cyprus until his abrupt death possibly caused by poisoning on the orders of his big sister Cleopatra VII. Cleopatra VII was the final pharaoh of Egypt. She is known to history as simply Cleopatra. She ruled Egypt for 22 years, controlling much of the eastern Mediterranean. Like many of the women of her era, she was highly educated. She had been groomed for the throne by her father Ptolemy XII in the traditional Greek (Hellenistic) manner. ‘’ Cleopatra VII endeared herself to the Egyptian people. She participated in many Egyptian festivals and ceremonies. She was also the only Ptolemy to learn the Egyptian language. She was also fluent in Hebrew, Ethiopian, and other dialects. To secure the throne after defeating her brothers and sister, she realized she had to remain friendly with Rome. Her relationship with Julius Caesar has been the subject of the dramatists and poets for centuries. With the death of Caesar the balance of power in Rome was in question. Cleopatra VII unfortunately sided with the Roman general Mark Antony. Antony and Cleopatra lost it all at the Battle of Actium. Regrettably she failed to find compassion in Octavian the future Emperor Augustus. She committed suicide. Her son by Caesar, Caesarion (Ptolemy XV) was put to death by Octavian with the words that the world only had room for one son of Caesar. Her other children, Alexander Helos, Cleopatra Serene, and Ptolemy Philadelphus were younger and were brought to Rome to be raised by Octavian's wife. As with the rest of the Mediterranean, described once as a Roman lake (or by the Romans as “our sea”), Egypt submitted to Roman rule and the power of the Ptolemies ended. One of the most significant features of Ptolemaic rule was its policy of Hellenization. This brought about the integration of Greek language and culture into Egyptian daily life. There was no attempt on the part of the Ptolemies to become assimilated into Egyptian civilization. One of Ptolemy I’s first moves was to relocate the center of government from its traditional location at Memphis. Though Memphis would remain the religious center, the capital of Ptolemaic Egypt became the newly built city of Alexandria. Alexandria had a more strategic location, much closer to both the Mediterranean Sea and Greece. Because of this move Alexandria grew into more of a Greek rather than Egyptian city. In fact. Even when they did leave the city it was only to take a pleasure cruise down the Nile. As with much of the former Alexandrian empire, Greek would become the language of government and commerce. Ptolemy I also established Alexandria as the intellectual center of the Mediterranean when he built a massive library and museum there. While the museum provided seating for quiet reflection, the library amassed a collection of thousands of papyrus scrolls. For decades after its establishment the library attracted men of philosophy, history, literature, and science from all over the Mediterranean. Ptolemy I’s advisor on the project was Demetrius of Phaleron. Demetrius was a graduate of Aristotle’s Lyceum in Athens. The library truly became a center of Hellenistic culture. Unfortunately the library and its contents were destroyed in a series of fires during its years under Roman control. In the city’s harbor Ptolemy began the construction of the Pharos, a massive lighthouse. The lighthouse was eventually completed by his son Ptolemy II. This unique lighthouse was an immense structure of three stories. Its beacon was visible for miles and was lit both day and night. It eventually was recognized as one of seven wonders of the ancient world. Aside from Alexandria another city was built in Upper Egypt. Albeit less glamorous Ptolemais was founded as a center for the influx of newly arrived Greek residents. it may appear that Ptolemy I intended to transform Egypt into another Greece. However in many ways he still respected the Egyptian people and recognized the importance of religion and tradition to their society. Both he and his successors supported the many local cults. To keep peace with the temple priests, he restored numerous religious objects stolen by the Persians. The Ptolemies certainly did not want to anger the gods, so they paid due respect to the old Egyptian gods. However two new cults arose. The first was dedicated to Alexander the Great. For the Greek population this cult served as a path to express their continued loyalty to the Ptolemies. A second cult was devoted to the god of healing Serapis. The cult never gained much in the way of popularity. The local temple priests remained as a part of the ruling class, which was in form another test of their allegiance to the Ptolemies. While the capital may have been moved to Alexandria, the traditional basic administrative structure remained much the same. Many of the Egyptian scribes however had difficulty writing in Greek. Egypt had a closely controlled economy. Much of the land was royal land and permission was needed to fell a tree or even to breed pigs. Record keeping was important. All land was surveyed and livestock inventoried. Of course since Egypt had an economy based on agriculture, taxes based on the census and land surveys were essential. Under Cleopatra VII there was a salt tax, a dike tax, and even a pasture tax. Fishermen even had to relinquish twenty-five percent of their catch [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. PTOLEMY I SOTER, FOUNDER OF EGYPT’S HELLENIC/GREEK DYNASTY: Ptolemy I Soter lived from 366 to 282 BC. He was one of Alexander the Great’s generals. After Alexander’s untimely death, Ptolemy became one of the successor kings to Alexander’s Empire. Ptolemy was not only king of Egypt, but also the founder of the Ptolemaic Dynasty. The dynasty would survive almost three centuries, ending with the reign of the infamous Cleopatra VII.Ptolemy was a Macedonian nobleman, son of Lagos. Rumors circulated in ancient Macedon that he was actually the illegitimate son of Alexander’s father Phillip II. This would have meant that he was Alexander’s half-brother. Ptolemy was older than Alexander and many of the other generals who followed Alexander into Persia. However Ptolemy was one of Alexander’s closest friends, military advisor, and later one of Alexander’s seven personal bodyguards.Following Phillips II’s death at the hands of Pausanias, Alexander embarked on his quest to meet, defeat and conquer Darius III and the Persian Empire. Although historians are in disagreement concerning Ptolemy’s role in the Persian campaign, they do agree that he did participate in a number of battles. This disagreement stems from the fact that Ptolemy was also a historian of sorts and his biography of Alexander may have exaggerated his own contributions to Alexander’s successes.Ptolemy’s name first appears during Alexander’s defeat of Memnon at Halicarnassus. Memnon was a Greek mercenary general in the employ of Persia. According to Ptolemy’s biography of Alexander, Alexander left Ptolemy with a force of 3000 men to finish subjugating the city. Alexander meanwhile moved on to Gordium. Ptolemy next appears at the battles of Issus and Gaugamela. At Issus he served in the left flank under the command of Parmenio.Later in time the Persian King Darius III was found dying after his defeat at Gaugamela. When his assassin Bessus was identified, it was Ptolemy who was sent to collect the assassin. He brought him to Alexander naked, in chains, and wearing a dog collar. In Persepolis, Ptolemy was linked to the sack of the city. At one of Alexander’s celebrations, Ptolemy’s mistress Thais suggested the palace should be burned. In his “World History” the 1st century BC Greek Historian Diodorus Siculus made mention of this incident:“…When the Companions were feasting, and intoxication was growing...a violent madness took hold of these drunken men. One of the women (Thasis) declared that it would be Alexander’s greatest achievement in Asia to join in their procession and set fire to the royal palace…Others joined in the cry and said that only Alexander was worthy of this deed…(and) a quantity of torches was quickly collected…The king led them to the revel, with Thais the courtesan conducting the ceremony. She was the first after the king to throw her blazing torch into the palace…”Although his role is unclear, most historical accounts are in agreement that Ptolemy was with Alexander in both Egypt and India. He was in Egypt in 332 BC at Siwa and Memphis. However Ptolemy’s “The History of Alexander” has him playing a vital role in a number of conflicts in India, while other accounts have him as only a minor if not insignificant participant. One story which may or may not be true has Ptolemy’s life being saved during the campaign into India. Ptolemy was struck by a poisoned arrow. Alexander saved his life by using various native herbs to extract the poison.It was during this time a failed conspiracy to kill Alexander was discovered. Consequently Ptolemy was one of those names as the king’s personal bodyguards. When Alexander died in 323 BC the fate of the empire was left in the hands of Perdiccas. Perdiccas was the cavalry leader, who had been handed Alexander’s signet ring on the king’s deathbed. This could be taken as a transfer of power, a bequeath of power. Wanting to keep the empire intact, Perdiccas suggested everyone wait with naming a successor until after the birth of Alexander and Roxanne’s child (the future Alexander IV).Ptolemy was one of many who were completely against this idea and led a campaign to divide the empire among the leading generals. He got his wish and received in the division of spoils his first choice, Egypt. The alliances that would be formed among these new satraps were tenuous and both war and peace would reign for 30 years. These battles became known as the Diadochi or Successor Wars. The one common thread among these “kings” was that no one liked Perdiccas, and Perdiccas disliked Ptolemy above all.It was obvious that these two men would never agree. The friction grew even hotter when Ptolemy stole Alexander’s remains. Perdiccas sent Alexander’s body to a newly constructed tomb in Macedon. But Ptolemy hijacked the body when it arrived in Damascus. Diodorus’s history recorded this theft:“…Ptolemy, moreover, doing honor to Alexander, went to meet it with an army as far as Syria and, receiving the body, deemed it worthy of the greatest consideration. He decided for the present not to send it to Ammon, but to entomb it in the city that had been founded by Alexander himself…There he prepared a precinct worthy of the glory of Alexander in size and construction…”Perdiccas was infuriated by the theft of Alexander’s remains. He immediately took action, attacking Egypt. However the attack would be Perdiccas’ downfall. He led his troops on three separate missions into Egypt, failing each time to cross the Nile. With this failure and a loss of 2000 soldiers, his men revolted and executed him. Unlike the other generals, Ptolemy’s major concern and ambition did not go far beyond the borders of Egypt. While he became involved in the infighting among the others and eventually acquired lands in the eastern Mediterranean, his major concern was always Egypt.When Antigonus I invaded Babylon, Seleucus I Nicator sought asylum in Egypt with Ptolemy. After Ptolemy’s defeat of Antigonus’ son Demetrius I of Macedon at Gaza, Seleucus was able to return to Babylon. Following a brief peace, Ptolemy was involved in a series of conflicts with both Antigonus and Demetrius. Ptolemy played a role in their defeat and Antigonus’ death at Ipsus in 301 BC. By then Ptolemy had assumed the title of king as well as being named Soter, meaning “savior”, for his defense of Rhodes against Demetrius.During Ptolemy’s rule of Egypt he put the country on a sound economic and administrative footing. Since he did not want to fall under the influence of the priests and officials at Memphis, Ptolemy’s first decision was to move the country’s capital to Alexandria. Alexandria was situated on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. It was thus strategically advantageous, providing easier access to both the sea and Ptolemy’s homeland of Macedon. In time Alexandria became more of a Greek rather than Egyptian city. Greek became the language of both government and commerce. Amazingly, the only member of the Ptolemaic Dynasty to ever learn Egyptian was Cleopatra VII.Ptolemy paid respect to the Egyptian priests and even rebuilt temples destroyed by the Persians. However he believed he needed another way to connect with the Egyptian people. One of his first actions was to establish a cult of Alexander. By so doing of course he legitimized himself as Alexander’s heir. Alexander became a “state god” and his “priest” the highest clerical position in Egypt. Next Ptolemy created a new religion with a new god Serapis, the god of healing. This new religion was a combination of both Greek and Egyptian influences, although the Egyptians saw it as more Greek than Egyptian. It never achieved much success, and government funding for the new religion was eventually withdrawn.Ptolemy made Alexandria the intellectual center of the Mediterranean when he built a massive library and museum there. The museum contained a covered arcade, seating for quiet contemplation, as well as a dining hall. The library contained thousands of papyrus scrolls. It attracted men of literature and science from all over the Mediterranean area for years to come. Euclid and Archimedes were two of the more notable men of science attending the library. It became the center of Hellenistic culture.Ptolemy began the construction of the Pharos, a lighthouse, which was ultimately completed by his son Ptolemy II. The Lighthouse of Alexandria was a massive structure of three stories with a statue of Zeus atop. A beacon was visible for miles and was lit day and night. It became one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. After Ptolemy died in 282 BC his descendants would rule Egypt for almost three centuries until it was conquered by Julius Caesar and the Romans. After his death Ptolemy was deified and a festival was held in his honor for years to come [Ancient History Encyclopedia].ROMAN EGYPT: The rich lands of Egypt became the property of Rome after the death of Cleopatra VII in 30 B.C., which spelled the end of the Ptolemaic dynasty that had ruled Egypt since the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C.. After the murder of Gaius Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., the Roman Republic was left in turmoil. Fearing for her life and throne, the young queen joined forces with the Roman commander Mark Antony, but their resounding defeat at the Battle of Actium in 31 B.C. brought the adopted son and heir apparent of Caesar, Gaius Julius Octavius (Octavian), to the Egyptian shores. Desperate, Cleopatra chose suicide rather than face the humiliation of capture. According to one historian, she was simply on the wrong side of a power struggle. Rome’s presence in Egypt actually predated both Julius Caesar and Octavian. The Romans had been involved periodically in Egyptian politics since the days of Ptolemy VI in the 2nd century B.C.. The history of Egypt, dating from the ousting of the Persians under Alexander through the reign of the Ptolemies and the arrival of Julius Caesar, saw a nation suffer through conquest, turmoil, and inner strife. The country had survived for decades under the umbrella of a Greek-speaking ruling family. Although a center of culture and intellect, Alexandria was still a Greek city surrounded by non-Greeks. The Ptolemies, with the exception of Cleopatra VII, never traveled outside the city, let alone learn the native tongue. For generations, they married within the family, brother married sister or uncle married niece. Ptolemy VI served with his mother, Cleopatra I, until her unexpected death in 176 B.C.. Despite having serious troubles with a brother who challenged his right to the throne, he began a chaotic rule of his own. During his reign, Egypt was invaded twice between 169 and 164 B.C. by the Seleucid king Antiochus IV; the invading army even approached the outskirts of the capital city of Alexandria; however, with the assistance of Rome, Ptolemy VI regained token control. While the next few pharaohs made little if any impact on Egypt, in 88 B.C. the young Ptolemy XI succeeded his exiled father, Ptolemy X. After awarding both Egypt and Cyprus to Rome, Ptolemy XI was placed on the throne by the Roman general Cornelius Sulla and ruled with his step-mother Cleopatra Berenice until he murdered her. Ptolemy XI’s ill-advised relationship with Rome caused him to be despised by many Alexandrians, and he was therefore expelled in 58 B.C.. However, he eventually regained the throne but was only able to remain there through kickbacks and his ties to Rome. When the Roman commander Pompey was soundly defeated by Caesar in 48 B.C. at the Battle of Pharsalus, he sought refuge in Egypt; however, to win the favor of Caesar, Ptolemy VIII killed and beheaded Pompey. When Caesar arrived, the young pharaoh presented him with Pompey’s severed head. Caesar reportedly wept, not because he mourned Pompey’s death but supposedly had missed the chance of killing the fallen commander himself. Also, according to some sources, in his eyes, it was a disgraceful way to die. Caesar remained in Egypt to procure the throne for Cleopatra as Ptolemy’s actions had forced him to side with the queen against her brother. With the defeat of the young Ptolemy, the Ptolemaic kingdom became a Roman client state, but immune to any political interference from the Roman Senate. Visiting Romans were treated well, even 'pampered and entertained' with sightseeing tours down the Nile. Unfortunately, there was no saving one Roman who accidentally killed a cat - sacred by tradition to the Egyptians - he was executed by a mob of Alexandrians. History and Shakespeare have recounted ad nauseum the sordid love affair between Caesar and Cleopatra; however, his unexpected assassination forced her to seek help in safeguarding her throne. She chose incorrectly; Anthony was not the one. His arrogance had brought the ire of Rome. Anthony believed Alexandria to be another Rome, even choosing to be buried there next to Cleopatra. Octavian rallied the citizens and Senate against Antony, and when he landed in Egypt, the young commander became the master of the entire Roman army. His victory over Antony and Cleopatra awarded Rome with the richest kingdom along the Mediterranean Sea. His future was guaranteed. The country’s overflowing granaries were now the property of Rome; it became the 'breadbasket' of the empire, the 'jewel of the empire’s crown.' However, according to one historian, Octavian believed that Egypt was now his own private kingdom, he was the heir of the Ptolemaic dynasty, a pharaoh. Senators were even prohibited from visiting Egypt without permission. With the end of a long civil war, Octavian had the loyalty of the army and in 29 B.C. returned to Rome and the admiration of its people. The Republic had died with Caesar. With Octavian - soon to be acclaimed as Augustus - an empire was born. It was an empire that would overcome poor leadership and countless obstacles to rule for almost five centuries. He would restore order to the city, becoming its 'first citizen,' and with the blessing of the Senate, govern without question. Upon his triumphant march into the city, the emperor displayed the spoils of war. The conquering hero adorned in a gold-embroidered toga and flowered tunic rode through the city streets in a chariot drawn by four horses. Although Cleopatra was dead (he had hoped to display and humiliate her in public), an effigy of the late queen, reclining on a couch, was placed on exhibit for all to see. The queen’s surviving children, Alexander Helios, Cleopatra Selene, and Ptolemy Philadelphus (Caesarion had been executed), walked in the procession. Soon afterwards, Augustus ordered the immediate construction of both a temple deifying Caesar (built on the spot where he had been cremated) and a new Senate house, the Curia Julia; the old one had been torched following Caesar’s funeral. Emperor Augustus took absolute control of Egypt. Although Roman law superseded all legal Egyptian traditions and forms, many of the institutions of the old Ptolemaic dynasty remained with a few fundamental changes in its administrative and social structure. The emperor quickly filled the ranks of the administration with members of the equestrian class. With a flotilla on the Nile and a garrison of three legions or 27,000 troops (plus auxiliaries), the province existed under the leadership of a governor or prefect, an appointee (as were all major officials) of the emperor. Later, since the region saw few outside threats, the number of legions was reduced. Strangely, the first governor, Cornelius Gallus, unwisely made 'grandiose claims' about his victorious campaign into the neighboring Sudan. Augustus was not happy, and the governor mysteriously committed suicide - the area’s frontier would thereafter remain fixed. Egyptian temples and priesthoods kept most of their privileges, although the imperial cult did make an appearance. While the mother-city of each region was permitted partial self-government, the status of many of the province’s major towns changed under Roman occupancy with Alexandria (the city’s population would reach 1,000,000) enjoying the greatest concessions. Augustus maintained a registry of the 'Hellenized' residents of each city. Non-Alexandrians were simply referred to as Egyptians. Rome also introduced a new social hierarchy, one with serious cultural overtones. Hellenic residents - those with Greek ancestry - formed the socio-political elite. The citizens of Alexandria, Ptolemais, and Naucratis were exempt from a newly introduced poll-tax while the 'original settlers' of the mother-cities were granted a reduced poll-tax. The main cultural separation was, as always, between the Hellenic life of the cities and the Egyptian-speaking villages; thus, the bulk of the population remained, as it had been, the peasants who worked as tenant farmers. Much of the food produced on these farms was exported to Rome to feed its ever-growing population. As it had for decades, the city needed to import food from its provinces – namely Egypt, Syria, and Carthage - to survive. The food, together with luxury items and spice from the east, ran down the Nile to Alexandria and then to Rome. By the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D., large private estates emerged operated by the Greek landowning aristocracy. Over time this strict social structure would be questioned as Egypt, Alexandria especially, saw a significant change in its population. As more Jews and Greeks moved into the city, problems arose that challenged the patience of the emperors in Rome. The reign of Emperor Claudius (41-54 A.D.) saw riots emerge between the Jews and the Greek-speaking residents of Alexandria. His predecessor, Caligula, stated that the Jews were to be pitied, not hated. Later, under Emperor Nero (54-68 A.D.) 50,000 were killed when Jews tried to burn down Alexandria’s amphitheater – two legions were necessary to quell the riot. Initially, Egypt was accepting of Roman control. Its capital of Alexandria would even play a major role in the ascendancy of one of the empire’s most famous emperors. After the suicide of Nero in 68 A.D., four men would vie for the throne – Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian – in what became known as the Year of the Four Emperors. In the end, the battle fell to Vitellius and Vespasian. With hopes of delaying valuable shipments of grain to Rome, Vespasian traveled to Alexandria. At the same time, Mucianus, a Roman commander and ally of Vespasian, marched into Rome. The defeated Vitellius was captured, and while pleading for his life, dragged through the streets, tortured, and killed. His body was thrown into the Tiber. Still in Alexandria, the armies of Vespasian unanimously declared him emperor. In 115 A.D., however, there were a number of Jewish riots in Cyrenaica, Cyprus, and Egypt, voicing discontent with Roman rule and rampaging against pagan sanctuaries. The riots were eventually suppressed by Roman troops; however, thousands of Romans and Greeks were killed in what became known as the Babylonian Revolt or Kitos War. Dissatisfaction with Roman control become part of the Egyptian psyche. Until the fall of Rome in the west, revolt and chaos would haunt the Egyptian prefects. In the early 150s A.D., the Emperor Antonius Pius quelled rebellions in Mauretania, Dacia, and Egypt. Over a century later, in 273 B.C., Emperor Aurelian suppressed another Egyptian uprising. After the division of the empire under Diocletian, revolts broke out in 295 and 296 A.D. Two major disasters hit Egypt, disrupting Roman control. The first was the Antonine plague of the 2nd century A.D., but the more serious of the two came in 270 A.D. with an invasion from the unlikely of all invaders, Queen Zenobia of Palmyra, an independent city on the border of Syria. When its king Septimus Odanathus died under suspicious circumstance, his wife took charge as regent, leading an army in the conquest of Egypt (she ousted and beheaded its prefect), Palestine, Syria, and Mesopotamia and proclaiming her young son Septimus Vaballathus emperor. One action that brought the ire of Rome came when she cut off the city’s corn supply. The new emperor of Rome, Aurelian, would finally defeat her in 271 A.D.. Her death, however, is shrouded in mystery. One story had the emperor bringing her to Rome as a prisoner (she was given a private villa) while another has her dying on route to the city. When emperor Diocletian came to power in the late 3rd century A.D., he realized that the empire was far too big to be ruled efficiently, so he divided the empire into a tetrarchy with one capital, Rome, in the west and another, Nicomedia, in the east. While it would continue supplying grain to Rome (most resources were diverted to Syria), Egypt was placed in the eastern half of the empire. Unfortunately, a new capital in the east, Constantinople, became the cultural and economic center of the Mediterranean. Over time the city of Rome fell into disarray and susceptible to invasion, eventually falling in 476 A.D.. The province of Egypt remained part of the Roman/Byzantine Empire until the 7th century when it came under Arab control. [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. ROMAN EGYPT: The Roman province of Egypt was established in 30 B.C. after Octavian (the future emperor Augustus) defeated his rival Mark Antony, deposed Queen Cleopatra VII, and annexed the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt to the Roman Empire. The province encompassed most of modern-day Egypt except for the Sinai Peninsula (which would later be conquered by Trajan). Aegyptus was bordered by the provinces of Creta et Cyrenaica to the West and Iudaea (later Arabia Petraea) to the East. The province came to serve as a major producer of grain for the empire and had a highly developed urban economy. Aegyptus was by far the wealthiest Eastern Roman province, and by far the wealthiest Roman province outside of Italia. In Alexandria, its capital, it possessed the largest port, and the second largest city of the Roman Empire. Two legions were deployed in the imperial province of Ægyptus (Egypt) in the year 125 A.D. As a key province, but also the 'crown domain' where the emperors succeeded the divine Pharaohs, Egypt was ruled by a uniquely styled Praefectus augustalis ('Augustal prefect'), instead of the traditional senatorial governor of other Roman provinces. The prefect was a man of equestrian rank and was appointed by the Emperor. The first prefect of Aegyptus, Gaius Cornelius Gallus, brought Upper Egypt under Roman control by force of arms, and established a protectorate over the southern frontier district, which had been abandoned by the later Ptolemies. The second prefect, Aelius Gallus, made an unsuccessful expedition to conquer Arabia Petraea and even Arabia Felix. The Red Sea coast of Aegyptus was not brought under Roman control until the reign of Claudius. The third prefect, Gaius Petronius, cleared the neglected canals for irrigation, stimulating a revival of agriculture. Petronius even led a campaign into present-day central Sudan against the Kingdom of Kush at Meroe, whose queen Imanarenat had previously attacked Roman Egypt. Failing to acquire permanent gains, in 22 B.C. he razed the city of Napata to the ground and retreated to the north. From the reign of Nero onward, Aegyptus enjoyed an era of prosperity which lasted a century. Much trouble was caused by religious conflicts between the Greeks and the Jews, particularly in Alexandria, which after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 became the world centre of Jewish religion and culture. Under Trajan a Jewish revolt occurred, resulting in the suppression of the Jews of Alexandria and the loss of all their privileges, although they soon returned. Hadrian, who twice visited Aegyptus, founded Antinoöpolis in memory of his drowned lover Antinous. From his reign onward buildings in the Greco-Roman style were erected throughout the country. Under Antoninus Pius oppressive taxation led to a revolt in 139, of the native Egyptians, which was suppressed only after several years of fighting. This Bucolic War, led by one Isidorus, caused great damage to the economy and marked the beginning of Egypt's economic decline. Avidius Cassius, who led the Roman forces in the war, declared himself emperor in 175, and was acknowledged by the armies of Syria and Aegyptus. On the approach of Marcus Aurelius, Cassius was deposed and killed and the clemency of the emperor restored peace. A similar revolt broke out in 193, when Pescennius Niger was proclaimed emperor on the death of Pertinax. The Emperor Septimius Severus gave a constitution to Alexandria and the provincial capitals in 202. Caracalla (211–217) granted Roman citizenship to all Egyptians, in common with the other provincials, but this was mainly to extort more taxes, which grew increasingly onerous as the needs of the emperors for more revenue grew more desperate. There was a series of revolts, both military and civilian, through the 3rd century. Under Decius, in 250, the Christians again suffered from persecution, but their religion continued to spread. The prefect of Aegyptus in 260, Mussius Aemilianus, first supported the Macriani, usurpers during the rule of Gallienus, and later, in 261, became a usurper himself, but was defeated by Gallienus. Zenobia, queen of Palmyra, took the country away from the Romans when she conquered Aegyptus in 269, declaring herself the Queen of Egypt also. This warrior queen claimed that Egypt was an ancestral home of hers through a familial tie to Cleopatra VII. She was well educated and familiar with the culture of Egypt, its religion, and its language. She lost it later when the Roman emperor, Aurelian, severed amicable relations between the two countries and retook Egypt in 274—following an unsuccessful four-month siege of the defenses of Zenobia—and only by waiting until her food supplies became exhausted. Two generals based in Aegyptus, Probus and Domitius Domitianus, led successful revolts and made themselves emperors. Diocletian captured Alexandria from Domitius in 298 and reorganized the whole province. His edict of 303 against the Christians began a new era of persecution. This was the last serious attempt to stem the steady growth of Christianity in Egypt, however. As Rome overtook the Ptolemaic system in place for areas of Egypt, they made many changes. The effect of the Roman conquest was at first to strengthen the position of the Greeks and of Hellenism against Egyptian influences. Some of the previous offices and names of offices under the Hellenistic Ptolemaic rule were kept, some were changed, and some names would have remained but the function and administration would have changed. The Romans introduced important changes in the administrative system, aimed at achieving a high level of efficiency and maximizing revenue. The duties of the prefect of Aegyptus combined responsibility for military security through command of the legions and cohorts, for the organization of finance and taxation, and for the administration of justice. The reforms of the early 4th century had established the basis for another 250 years of comparative prosperity in Aegyptus, at a cost of perhaps greater rigidity and more oppressive state control. Aegyptus was subdivided for administrative purposes into a number of smaller provinces, and separate civil and military officials were established; the praeses and the dux. The province was under the supervision of the count of the Orient (i.e. the vicar) of the diocese headquartered in Antioch in Syria. Emperor Justinian abolished the diocese of Egypt in 538 and re-combined civil and military power in the hands of the dux with a civil deputy (the praeses) as a counterweight to the power of the church authorities. All pretense of local autonomy had by then vanished. The presence of the soldiery was more noticeable, its power and influence more pervasive in the routine of town and village life. Roman trade with India started from Aegyptus according to the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (1st century). The economic resources that this imperial government existed to exploit had not changed since the Ptolemaic period, but the development of a much more complex and sophisticated taxation system was a hallmark of Roman rule. Taxes in both cash and kind were assessed on land, and a bewildering variety of small taxes in cash, as well as customs dues and the like, was collected by appointed officials. A massive amount of Aegyptus's grain was shipped downriver (north) both to feed the population of Alexandria and for export to the Roman capital. There were frequent complaints of oppression and extortion from the taxpayers. The Roman government had actively encouraged the privatization of land and the increase of private enterprise in manufacture, commerce, and trade, and low tax rates favored private owners and entrepreneurs. The poorer people gained their livelihood as tenants of state-owned land or of property belonging to the emperor or to wealthy private landlords, and they were relatively much more heavily burdened by rentals, which tended to remain at a fairly high level. Overall, the degree of monetization and complexity in the economy, even at the village level, was intense. Goods were moved around and exchanged through the medium of coin on a large scale and, in the towns and the larger villages, a high level of industrial and commercial activity developed in close conjunction with the exploitation of the predominant agricultural base. The volume of trade, both internal and external, reached its peak in the 1st and 2nd centuries. By the end of the 3rd century, major problems were evident. A series of debasements of the imperial currency had undermined confidence in the coinage, and even the government itself was contributing to this by demanding more and more irregular tax payments in kind, which it channeled directly to the main consumers, the army personnel. Local administration by the councils was careless, recalcitrant, and inefficient; the evident need for firm and purposeful reform had to be squarely faced in the reigns of Diocletian and Constantine I. This wealthiest of provinces could be held militarily by a very small force; and the threat implicit in an embargo on the export of grain supplies, vital to the provisioning of the city of Rome and its populace, was obvious. Internal security was guaranteed by the presence of three Roman legions (later reduced to two, then one Legio II Traiana) stationed at the grand capital Alexandria. Each of these numbered around 5000 strong, and several units of auxiliaries. In the first decade of Roman rule the spirit of Augustan imperialism looked farther afield, attempting expansion to the east and to the south. Most of the early Roman troops stationed there were Greco-Macedonians and native Egyptians once part of the dissolved Ptolemaic army finding service for Rome. Eventually Romans or Romanized people were a majority. The social structure in Aegyptus under the Romans was both unique and complicated. On the one hand, the Romans continued to use many of the same organizational tactics that were in place under the leaders of the Ptolemaic period. At the same time, the Romans saw the Greeks in Aegyptus as “Egyptians”, an idea that both the native Egyptians and Greeks would have rejected. To further compound the whole situation, Jews, who themselves were very Hellenized overall, had their own communities, separate from both Greeks and native Egyptians. The Romans began a system of social hierarchy that revolved around ethnicity and place of residence. Other than Roman citizens, a Greek citizen of one of the Greek cities had the highest status, and a rural Egyptian would be in the lowest class. In between those classes was the metropolite, who was almost certainly of Hellenic origin. Gaining citizenship and moving up in ranks was very difficult and there were not many available options for ascendancy. One of the routes that many followed to ascend to another caste was through enlistment in the army. Although only Roman citizens could serve in the legions, many Greeks found their way in. The native Egyptians could join the auxiliary forces and attain citizenship upon discharge. The different groups had different rates of taxation based on their social class. The Greeks were exempt from the poll tax, while Hellenized inhabitants of the nome capitals were taxed at a lower rate than the native Egyptians, who could not enter the army, and paid the full poll tax. The social structure in Aegyptus is very closely linked to the governing administration. Elements of centralized rule that were derived from the Ptolemaic period lasted into the 4th century. One element in particular was the appointment of strategoi to govern the ‘nomes’, the traditional administrative divisions of Egypt. Boulai, or town councils, in Egypt were only formally constituted by Septimius Severus. It was only under Diocletian later in the 3rd century that these boulai and their officers acquired important administrative responsibilities for their nomes. The Augustan takeover introduced a system of compulsory public service, which was based on poros (property or income qualification), which was wholly based on social status and power. The Romans also introduced the poll tax which was similar to tax rates that the Ptolemies levied, but the Romans gave special low rates to citizens of metropolises. The city of Oxyrhynchus had many papyri remains that contain much information on the subject of social structure in these cities. This city, along with Alexandria, shows the diverse set-up of various institutions that the Romans continued to use after their takeover of Egypt. Just as under the Ptolemies, Alexandria and its citizens had their own special designations. The capital city enjoyed a higher status and more privileges than the rest of Egypt. Just as it was under the Ptolemies, the primary way of becoming a citizen of Roman Alexandria was through showing when registering for a deme that both parents were Alexandrian citizens. Alexandrians were the only Egyptians that could obtain Roman citizenship. If a common Egyptian wanted to become a Roman citizen he would first have to become an Alexandrian citizen. The Augustan period in Egypt saw the creation of urban communities with “Hellenic” landowning elites. These landowning elites were put in a position of privilege and power and had more self-administration than the Egyptian population. Within the citizenry, there were gymnasiums that Greek citizens could enter if they showed that both parents were members of the gymnasium based on a list that was compiled by the government in 4–5 A.D. The candidate for the gymnasium would then be let into the ephebus. There was also the council of elders known as the gerousia. This council of elders did not have a boulai to answer to. All of this Greek organization was a vital part of the metropolis and the Greek institutions provided an elite group of citizens. The Romans looked to these elites to provide municipal officers and well-educated administrators. These elites also paid lower poll-taxes than the local native Egyptians, fellahin. It is well documented that Alexandrians in particular were able to enjoy lower tax-rates on land. These privileges even extended to corporal punishments. Romans were protected from this type of punishment while native Egyptians were whipped. Alexandrians, on the other hand, had the privilege of merely being beaten with a rod. Although Alexandria enjoyed the greatest status of the Greek cities in Egypt, it is clear that the other Greek cities, such as Antinoopolis, enjoyed privileges very similar to the ones seen in Alexandria. All of these changes amounted to the Greeks being treated as an ally in Egypt and the native Egyptians were treated as a conquered race. The Gnomon of the Idios Logos shows the connection between law and status. It lays out the revenues it deals with, mainly fines and confiscation of property, to which only a few groups were apt. The Gnomon also confirms that a freed slave takes his former master’s social status. The Gnomon demonstrates the social controls that the Romans had in place through monetary means based on status and property. The Patriarchate of Alexandria is held to be founded by Mark the Evangelist around 42. The ancient religion of Egypt put up surprisingly little resistance to the spread of Christianity. Possibly its long history of collaboration with the Greek and Roman rulers of Egypt had robbed its religious leaders of authority. Alternatively, the life-affirming native religion may have begun to lose its appeal among the lower classes as a burden of taxation and liturgical services instituted by the Roman emperors reduced the quality of life. In a religious system which views earthly life as eternal, when earthly life becomes strained and miserable, the desire for such an everlasting life loses its appeal. Thus, the focus on poverty and meekness found a vacuum among the Egyptian population. In addition, many Christian tenets such as the concept of the trinity, a resurrection of deity and union with the deity after death had close similarities with the native religion of ancient Egypt. Or it may simply have been because branches of the native religion and Christianity had converged to a point where their similarities made the change a minor one. By 200 it is clear that Alexandria was one of the great Christian centers. The Christian apologists Clement of Alexandria and Origen both lived part or all of their lives in that city, where they wrote, taught, and debated. With the Edict of Milan in 313, Constantine I ended the persecution of Christians. Over the course of the 5th century, paganism was suppressed and lost its following, as the poet Palladius bitterly noted. It lingered underground for many decades: the final edict against paganism was issued in 435, but graffiti at Philae in Upper Egypt proves worship of Isis persisted at its temples into the 6th century. Many Egyptian Jews also became Christians, but many others refused to do so, leaving them as the only sizable religious minority in a Christian country. No sooner had the Egyptian Church achieved freedom and supremacy than it became subject to a schism and prolonged conflict which at times descended into civil war. Alexandria became the centre of the first great split in the Christian world, between the Arians, named for the Alexandrian priest Arius, and their opponents, represented by Athanasius, who became Archbishop of Alexandria in 326 after the First Council of Nicaea rejected Arius's views. The Arian controversy caused years of riots and rebellions throughout most of the 4th century. In the course of one of these, the great temple of Serapis, the stronghold of paganism, was destroyed. Athanasius was alternately expelled from Alexandria and reinstated as its Archbishop between five and seven times. Egypt had an ancient tradition of religious speculation, enabling a variety of controversial religious views to thrive there. Not only did Arianism flourish, but other doctrines, such as Gnosticism and Manichaeism, either native or imported, found many followers. Another religious development in Egypt was the monasticism of the Desert Fathers, who renounced the material world in order to live a life of poverty in devotion to the Church. Egyptian Christians took up monasticism with such enthusiasm that the Emperor Valens had to restrict the number of men who could become monks. Egypt exported monasticism to the rest of the Christian world. Another development of this period was the development of Coptic, a form of the Ancient Egyptian language written with the Greek alphabet supplemented by several signs to represent sounds present in Egyptian which were not present in Greek. It was invented to ensure the correct pronunciation of magical words and names in pagan texts, the so-called Greek Magical Papyri. Coptic was soon adopted by early Christians to spread the word of the gospel to native Egyptians and it became the liturgical language of Egyptian Christianity and remains so to this day. The reign of Constantine also saw the founding of Constantinople as a new capital for the Roman Empire, and in the course of the 4th century the Empire was divided in two, with Egypt finding itself in the Eastern Empire with its capital at Constantinople. Latin, never well established in Egypt, would play a declining role with Greek continuing to be the dominant language of government and scholarship. During the 5th and 6th centuries the Eastern Roman Empire, today known as the Byzantine Empire, gradually transformed itself into a thoroughly Christian state whose culture differed significantly from its pagan past. The fall of the Western Empire in the 5th century further isolated the Egyptian Romans from Rome's culture and hastened the growth of Christianity. The triumph of Christianity led to a virtual abandonment of pharaonic traditions: with the disappearance of the Egyptian priests and priestesses who officiated at the temples, no-one could read the hieroglyphs of Pharaonic Egypt, and its temples were converted to churches or abandoned to the desert. The Eastern Empire became increasingly "oriental" in style as its links with the old Græco-Roman world faded. The Greek system of local government by citizens had now entirely disappeared. Offices, with new Byzantine names, were almost hereditary in the wealthy land-owning families. Alexandria, the second city of the empire, continued to be a centre of religious controversy and violence. Cyril, the patriarch of Alexandria, convinced the city's governor to expel the Jews from the city in 415 with the aid of the mob, in response to the Jews' alleged nighttime massacre of many Christians. The murder of the philosopher Hypatia in March 415 marked the final end of classical Hellenic culture in Egypt. Another schism in the Church produced a prolonged civil war and alienated Egypt from the Empire. The new religious controversy was over the nature of Jesus of Nazareth. The issue was whether he had two natures, human and divine, or a combined one (hypostatic union from His humanity and divinity). This may seem an arcane distinction, but in an intensely religious age it was enough to divide an empire. The Miaphysite controversy arose after the First Council of Constantinople in 381 and continued until the Council of Chalcedon in 451, which ruled in favor of the position that Jesus was "In two natures" due to confusing Miaphytism (combined) with Monophystism (single). The Monophysite belief was not held by the miaphysites as they stated that Jesus was out of two natures in one nature called, the "Incarnate Logos of God". Many of the miaphysites claimed that they were misunderstood, that there was really no difference between their position and the Chalcedonian position, and that the Council of Chalcedon ruled against them because of political motivations alone. The Church of Alexandria split from the Churches of Rome and Constantinople over this issue, creating what would become the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, which remains a major force in Egyptian religious life today. Egypt and Syria remained hotbeds of Miaphysite sentiment, and organized resistance to the Chalcedonian view was not suppressed until the 570s. Egypt nevertheless continued to be an important economic center for the Empire supplying much of its agriculture and manufacturing needs as well as continuing to be an important center of scholarship. It would supply the needs of the Byzantine Empire and the Mediterranean as a whole. The reign of Justinian (527–565) saw the Empire recapture Rome and much of Italy from the barbarians, but these successes left the empire's eastern flank exposed. The Empire's "bread basket" now lacked for protection. [Wikipedia]. THE ROMAN PROVINCE OF AEGYPTUS: The rich lands of Egypt became the property of Rome after the death of Cleopatra VII in 30 B.C., which spelled the end of the Ptolemaic dynasty that had ruled Egypt since the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C.. After the murder of Gaius Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., the Roman Republic was left in turmoil. Fearing for her life and throne, the young queen joined forces with the Roman commander Mark Antony, but their resounding defeat at the Battle of Actium in 31 B.C. brought the adopted son and heir apparent of Caesar, Gaius Julius Octavius (Octavian), to the Egyptian shores. Desperate, Cleopatra chose suicide rather than face the humiliation of capture. According to one historian, she was simply on the wrong side of a power struggle. Rome’s presence in Egypt actually predated both Julius Caesar and Octavian. The Romans had been involved periodically in Egyptian politics since the days of Ptolemy VI in the 2nd century B.C.. The history of Egypt, dating from the ousting of the Persians under Alexander through the reign of the Ptolemies and the arrival of Julius Caesar, saw a nation suffer through conquest, turmoil, and inner strife. The country had survived for decades under the umbrella of a Greek-speaking ruling family. Although a center of culture and intellect, Alexandria was still a Greek city surrounded by non-Greeks. The Ptolemies, with the exception of Cleopatra VII, never traveled outside the city, let alone learn the native tongue. For generations, they married within the family, brother married sister or uncle married niece. Ptolemy VI served with his mother, Cleopatra I, until her unexpected death in 176 B.C.. Despite having serious troubles with a brother who challenged his right to the throne, he began a chaotic rule of his own. During his reign, Egypt was invaded twice between 169 and 164 B.C. by the Seleucid king Antiochus IV; the invading army even approached the outskirts of the capital city of Alexandria; however, with the assistance of Rome, Ptolemy VI regained token control. While the next few pharaohs made little if any impact on Egypt, in 88 B.C. the young Ptolemy XI succeeded his exiled father, Ptolemy X. After awarding both Egypt and Cyprus to Rome, Ptolemy XI was placed on the throne by the Roman general Cornelius Sulla and ruled with his step-mother Cleopatra Berenice until he murdered her. Ptolemy XI’s ill-advised relationship with Rome caused him to be despised by many Alexandrians, and he was therefore expelled in 58 B.C.. However, he eventually regained the throne but was only able to remain there through kickbacks and his ties to Rome. When the Roman commander Pompey was soundly defeated by Caesar in 48 B.C. at the Battle of Pharsalus, he sought refuge in Egypt; however, to win the favor of Caesar, Ptolemy VIII killed and beheaded Pompey. When Caesar arrived, the young pharaoh presented him with Pompey’s severed head. Caesar reportedly wept, not because he mourned Pompey’s death but supposedly had missed the chance of killing the fallen commander himself. Also, according to some sources, in his eyes, it was a disgraceful way to die. Caesar remained in Egypt to procure the throne for Cleopatra as Ptolemy’s actions had forced him to side with the queen against her brother. With the defeat of the young Ptolemy, the Ptolemaic kingdom became a Roman client state, but immune to any political interference from the Roman Senate. Visiting Romans were treated well, even 'pampered and entertained' with sightseeing tours down the Nile. Unfortunately, there was no saving one Roman who accidentally killed a cat - sacred by tradition to the Egyptians - he was executed by a mob of Alexandrians. History and Shakespeare have recounted ad nauseum the sordid love affair between Caesar and Cleopatra; however, his unexpected assassination forced her to seek help in safeguarding her throne. She chose incorrectly; Anthony was not the one. His arrogance had brought the ire of Rome. Anthony believed Alexandria to be another Rome, even choosing to be buried there next to Cleopatra. Octavian rallied the citizens and Senate against Antony, and when he landed in Egypt, the young commander became the master of the entire Roman army. His victory over Antony and Cleopatra awarded Rome with the richest kingdom along the Mediterranean Sea. His future was guaranteed. The country’s overflowing granaries were now the property of Rome; it became the 'breadbasket' of the empire, the 'jewel of the empire’s crown.' However, according to one historian, Octavian believed that Egypt was now his own private kingdom, he was the heir of the Ptolemaic dynasty, a pharaoh. Senators were even prohibited from visiting Egypt without permission. With the end of a long civil war, Octavian had the loyalty of the army and in 29 B.C. returned to Rome and the admiration of its people. The Republic had died with Caesar. With Octavian - soon to be acclaimed as Augustus - an empire was born. It was an empire that would overcome poor leadership and countless obstacles to rule for almost five centuries. He would restore order to the city, becoming its 'first citizen,' and with the blessing of the Senate, govern without question. Upon his triumphant march into the city, the emperor displayed the spoils of war. The conquering hero adorned in a gold-embroidered toga and flowered tunic rode through the city streets in a chariot drawn by four horses. Although Cleopatra was dead (he had hoped to display and humiliate her in public), an effigy of the late queen, reclining on a couch, was placed on exhibit for all to see. The queen’s surviving children, Alexander Helios, Cleopatra Selene, and Ptolemy Philadelphus (Caesarion had been executed), walked in the procession. Soon afterwards, Augustus ordered the immediate construction of both a temple deifying Caesar (built on the spot where he had been cremated) and a new Senate house, the Curia Julia; the old one had been torched following Caesar’s funeral. Emperor Augustus took absolute control of Egypt. Although Roman law superseded all legal Egyptian traditions and forms, many of the institutions of the old Ptolemaic dynasty remained with a few fundamental changes in its administrative and social structure. The emperor quickly filled the ranks of the administration with members of the equestrian class. With a flotilla on the Nile and a garrison of three legions or 27,000 troops (plus auxiliaries), the province existed under the leadership of a governor or prefect, an appointee (as were all major officials) of the emperor. Later, since the region saw few outside threats, the number of legions was reduced. Strangely, the first governor, Cornelius Gallus, unwisely made 'grandiose claims' about his victorious campaign into the neighboring Sudan. Augustus was not happy, and the governor mysteriously committed suicide - the area’s frontier would thereafter remain fixed. Egyptian temples and priesthoods kept most of their privileges, although the imperial cult did make an appearance. While the mother-city of each region was permitted partial self-government, the status of many of the province’s major towns changed under Roman occupancy with Alexandria (the city’s population would reach 1,000,000) enjoying the greatest concessions. Augustus maintained a registry of the 'Hellenized' residents of each city. Non-Alexandrians were simply referred to as Egyptians. Rome also introduced a new social hierarchy, one with serious cultural overtones. Hellenic residents - those with Greek ancestry - formed the socio-political elite. The citizens of Alexandria, Ptolemais, and Naucratis were exempt from a newly introduced poll-tax while the 'original settlers' of the mother-cities were granted a reduced poll-tax. The main cultural separation was, as always, between the Hellenic life of the cities and the Egyptian-speaking villages; thus, the bulk of the population remained, as it had been, the peasants who worked as tenant farmers. Much of the food produced on these farms was exported to Rome to feed its ever-growing population. As it had for decades, the city needed to import food from its provinces – namely Egypt, Syria, and Carthage - to survive. The food, together with luxury items and spice from the east, ran down the Nile to Alexandria and then to Rome. By the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D., large private estates emerged operated by the Greek landowning aristocracy. Over time this strict social structure would be questioned as Egypt, Alexandria especially, saw a significant change in its population. As more Jews and Greeks moved into the city, problems arose that challenged the patience of the emperors in Rome. The reign of Emperor Claudius (41-54 A.D.) saw riots emerge between the Jews and the Greek-speaking residents of Alexandria. His predecessor, Caligula, stated that the Jews were to be pitied, not hated. Later, under Emperor Nero (54-68 A.D.) 50,000 were killed when Jews tried to burn down Alexandria’s amphitheater – two legions were necessary to quell the riot. Initially, Egypt was accepting of Roman control. Its capital of Alexandria would even play a major role in the ascendancy of one of the empire’s most famous emperors. After the suicide of Nero in 68 A.D., four men would vie for the throne – Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian – in what became known as the Year of the Four Emperors. In the end, the battle fell to Vitellius and Vespasian. With hopes of delaying valuable shipments of grain to Rome, Vespasian traveled to Alexandria. At the same time, Mucianus, a Roman commander and ally of Vespasian, marched into Rome. The defeated Vitellius was captured, and while pleading for his life, dragged through the streets, tortured, and killed. His body was thrown into the Tiber. Still in Alexandria, the armies of Vespasian unanimously declared him emperor. In 115 A.D., however, there were a number of Jewish riots in Cyrenaica, Cyprus, and Egypt, voicing discontent with Roman rule and rampaging against pagan sanctuaries. The riots were eventually suppressed by Roman troops; however, thousands of Romans and Greeks were killed in what became known as the Babylonian Revolt or Kitos War. Dissatisfaction with Roman control become part of the Egyptian psyche. Until the fall of Rome in the west, revolt and chaos would haunt the Egyptian prefects. In the early 150s A.D., the Emperor Antonius Pius quelled rebellions in Mauretania, Dacia, and Egypt. Over a century later, in 273 B.C., Emperor Aurelian suppressed another Egyptian uprising. After the division of the empire under Diocletian, revolts broke out in 295 and 296 A.D.. Two major disasters hit Egypt, disrupting Roman control. The first was the Antonine plague of the 2nd century A.D., but the more serious of the two came in 270 A.D. with an invasion from the unlikely of all invaders, Queen Zenobia of Palmyra, an independent city on the border of Syria. When its king Septimus Odanathus died under suspicious circumstance, his wife took charge as regent, leading an army in the conquest of Egypt (she ousted and beheaded its prefect), Palestine, Syria, and Mesopotamia and proclaiming her young son Septimus Vaballathus emperor. One action that brought the ire of Rome came when she cut off the city’s corn supply. The new emperor of Rome, Aurelian, would finally defeat her in 271 A.D.. Her death, however, is shrouded in mystery. One story had the emperor bringing her to Rome as a prisoner (she was given a private villa) while another has her dying on route to the city. When emperor Diocletian came to power in the late 3rd century A.D., he realized that the empire was far too big to be ruled efficiently, so he divided the empire into a tetrarchy with one capital, Rome, in the west and another, Nicomedia, in the east. While it would continue supplying grain to Rome (most resources were diverted to Syria), Egypt was placed in the eastern half of the empire. Unfortunately, a new capital in the east, Constantinople, became the cultural and economic center of the Mediterranean. Over time the city of Rome fell into disarray and susceptible to invasion, eventually falling in 476 A.D.. The province of Egypt remained part of the Roman/Byzantine Empire until the 7th century when it came under Arab control. [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. ROMAN FORTS IN EGYPT’S DESERTS: Deep in the Libyan Desert, 125 miles west of Luxor, lies Kharga, Egypt's largest oasis. The North Kharga Oasis Survey (NKOS), of which I am co-director, has established that this remote area--more than 100 miles long and from 12 to 60 miles wide--was continuously occupied throughout Egyptian history. We now know that it is home to an extraordinary variety of sites, including prehistoric rock art, Neolithic encampments, pharaonic monuments and burials, Roman settlements and water-supply systems, and the stars of the oasis--five unique Roman forts that guarded this part of the empire's southernmost frontier. Newly discovered ancient graffiti has even provided the name of a previously unknown ruler, King Aa, in power around 3000 B.C., who sent an expedition to this remote area. The NKOS's results are also changing our understanding of ancient Egypt's connections with its neighbors. We can now show that Kharga played an important role in trade between Egypt and other parts of Africa, from the Old Kingdom up through the modern period. Until recently, archaeologists have paid little attention to the Kharga Oasis, a depression in the desert that in the distant past was a large body of water that shrank over time, leaving smaller lakes and an easily tapped underground water supply. While a French team has been investigating the oasis's southern part for the past 20 years, the north remained an enigma. Then, in the winter of 1998 Corinna Rossi, of the College of Milan, went to Kharga on vacation and saw several astonishing Roman forts, which were, for the most part, undocumented. The following year, she and I met in Cairo and, over coffee, discussed the use of aerial photography and balloons to explore the vast area. We soon became friends and in 2000 established the NKOS. The project's goal is to survey the entire northern part of the oasis--close to 2,000 square miles--and locate new archaeological sites. Because of the area's enormous size, we use a variety of methods such as kite aerial photography, satellite imagery, and field-walking. Once we discover a site, we plot its location using GPS, map and photograph it, draw the buildings, gather and study the pottery and small finds, and collect archaeobotanical and archaeozoological samples for later study. Frequent sandstorms, high winds, extreme temperatures, and poisonous snakes make working in Kharga challenging. But I never know what is behind the next sand dune. The third- to fourth-century A.D. Roman fort at Umm el-Dabadib, for example, is likely built over an earlier pharaonic one. The oasis's Roman forts are found at the north, south, east, and west limits of the oasis, often near water supplies. Unlike others in the Roman world, they are made of mud brick, not stone. A walkway on top allowed soldiers to survey the surrounding area. The primary function of the forts was probably not defense as their walls are, for the most part, only one brick thick. However, especially from a distance, their massive appearance conjures up the might of the Roman Empire, so the facades must have deterred nomadic attackers while the forts performed their real function--administration of the empire's southern limits. I have a passion for animal mummies, so I was excited to discover that the nearby temple of Ain Dabashiya was associated with animal cults, particularly that of the canine-headed god Anubis. In a cemetery about 80 feet from the first- to second-century A temple, we found a tomb containing a group of dog mummies, and a similar deposit less than half-a-mile away. Here Corinna and I examine some of the dog mummy skeletons that have sustained wind and sand erosion, causing the loss of their mummy wrappings. The deposit contains the remains of several hundred dogs, ranging from few-week-old puppies to adults, possibly bred in the area. [Archaeological Institute of America]. THE ROMAN EGYPT PORT CITY OF PELUSIUM: Construction of a massive waterway across Egypt's northern Sinai Desert threatens numerous archaeological sites. Known as the Peace Canal, the project aims to bring fresh water from the Nile to the city of El Arish, 40 miles west of the Israeli border, making the region fertile. In 1991 archaeologists launched the North Sinai Salvage Project to survey the canal's path for sites, recover data from sites that would be destroyed, and suggest where the canal might be rerouted to avoid particularly important remains. Among many sites on the canal's route, the largest and most important is Tell el-Farama, ancient Pelusium. Almost four miles long, the site is enveloped by soft, salt-covered mud and wetlands, the remains of two branches of the Nile that once surrounded the city. The ancient name of the city, from the Greek pelos, mud or silt, reflects its location. On Egypt's eastern boundary, the city was of immense strategic importance. It was both a departure point for Egyptian expeditions to Asia and an entry point for foreign invaders attempting to conquer Egypt. During peacetime it was an important trading post, and in the Graeco-Roman period it became one of Egypt's busiest ports, second only to Alexandria. Ships from the eastern Mediterranean and caravans from Syria-Palestine came here to exchange goods, such as wine, oil, and honey, which were transported to Egypt and the Red Sea by Nile barge and overland roads. In 1910 French Egyptologist Jean Cledat excavated at Pelusium and produced a sketch map of the site. After Israel returned the Sinai to Egypt in 1982, chief inspector for the North Sinai Mohammed Abd El-Maksoud began excavating here. Perhaps his most spectacular find was a Roman bath with polychrome mosaic floors in geometric designs dating to the third century A.D. At the same time French philologist and historian Jean-Yves Carrez-Maratray was studying Greek and Roman textual and iconographical references to the city. When the salvage project began in 1991, Tell el-Farama and neighboring sites such as Tell el-Makhzan and Kanais, which probably formed parts of "Greater Pelusium," were divided into concessions allocated to teams from Egypt, Canada, Switzerland, and Britain. Egyptian archaeologists excavated in many parts of Pelusium; Ahmed el-Tabai discovered an amphitheater, and Mohammed Abd el-Samie excavated a Byzantine church at Tell el-Makhzan. The Swiss mission, including archaeologists Horst Jaritz, Sebastien Favre, and Giorgio Nogara, surveyed around Kanais, and a British team directed by Steven Snape explored the southern part of the site. Along with Abd el-Samia, el-Tabai, Osama Hamza, Julie Anderson, and John Hayes, I directed a joint Canadian-Egyptian effort to explore and preserve the western part of Pelusium. Despite Pelusium's size and importance in antiquity and the many references to it in written accounts--including those of Herodotus, Strabo, and Greek papyri from Egypt--we know very little about the city. Ancient historians describe a bustling port with quays, magazines, and customs offices; industrial areas with salt vats, textile workshops, pottery kilns, and fish tanks; military installations; temples and later churches and mosques; and public facilities such as baths, theaters, and racetracks. For the better part of the last millennium all these structures, except a temple to Zeus Kassios (a conflation of the Greek god Zeus and the oriental mountain- or weather-god Kassios) and the walls of a fortress, were hidden by sand from the eyes of the site's rare visitors. According to Herodotus, the pharaoh Psammetichus I (664-610 B.C.) granted his Ionian and Carian mercenaries land lying near the sea below the city of Bubastis on the Pelusiac branch of the Nile. Whether this settlement was Pelusium, however, remains to be seen, as no seventh-century remains have so far been discovered there. During the sixth century B.C. the Persians expanded throughout the Near East, eventually threatening Egypt. Herodotus reports that in 525 B.C. an army led by the Persian king Cambyses trounced the forces of Psammetichus III at Pelusium, but so far no sixth-century remains have been uncovered. In 373 B.C. the Persian satraps Pharnabazos and Tithrantes attacked Pelusium only to be driven off by the pharaoh Nectanebo I, but 30 years later another Persian king, Artaxerxes III, destroyed an Egyptian army led by Nectanebo II, the last native pharaoh. In 331 B.C., after several years of war, the Persian empire was conquered by Alexander the Great, who was seen by Pelusians as a liberator of Egypt. After Alexander's death in 323 B.C. his general Ptolemy seized Egypt. Kidnapped by Ptolemy, Alexander's body was brought to Pelusium in 321 B.C., inaugurating almost three centuries of Ptolemaic rule. For Pelusium this was a period of prosperity and expansion, but also of war with the Seleucid dynasty, Alexander's successors in Syria. At Pelusium in 48 B.C. Cleopatra VII, the last Ptolemaic queen of Egypt, led an army of Syrian and Arab mercenaries against her brother and husband, Ptolemy XIII. At the same time the civil war between Caesar and Pompey was consuming Rome. Losing at Pharsalos, Pompey fled to Pelusium to seek refuge with the pharaoh. But on September 28 Ptolemy had Pompey murdered and decapitated, then sent the embalmed head to Julius Caesar, who landed at Alexandria in October. In 30 B.C. Augustus defeated Cleopatra's armies in Egypt, ending the Ptolemaic dynasty and effectively incorporating Egypt into the Roman Empire. That summer he entered Pelusium. The Pax Romana and occasional visits by such emperors as Titus (A.D. 70), Hadrian (130-131), and Septimius Severus (199-200) brought more prosperity to Pelusium. After a great plague in A.D. 524 the city was better known under its Coptic name, Peremoun. In its Arabic version the name is preserved today in the name of the archaeological site, Tell el-Farama, while the nearby village of Balouza retains the ancient name Pelusium. In 619 Pelusium was attacked and conquered by a Persian army under Khuzran, and in 640 it fell into the hands of Amr Ibn al-As, an Arab soldier who had fought with Muhammed in the conquest of Palestine and, in 642, would become the first Muslim governor of Egypt. In the twelfth century the city was attacked by Crusaders, first by King Baldwin of Flanders who died at or near Pelusium in 1118, and later by King Amalric of Jerusalem who led an invasion against Saladin in 1169. After that the city sank into obscurity. Our team has been working in the western part of the site, a flat area of almost 75 acres less than seven feet above the nearby plain. Groundwater from the surrounding marshes prevents us from digging deep trenches, and winter rains mean that we can only work between late March and October. We have made a surface survey to identify different activity areas and excavated some areas to test our hypotheses about how they were used. The most common surface find was slag of different colors, most of which seems to be waste from pottery and brick making (black and brownish slag) and glass production (green). In 1992 Ahmed el-Tabai excavated pottery kilns at Pelusium. Bricks were probably made in surface-built structures that only survive today as burnt patches, brick wasters, and slag lying on the ground. We found two clusters of green slag from glass manufacturing and a significant number of glass fragments, almost all of molded bowls. Based on their typology John Hayes has dated them to the late second and first centuries B.C. We excavated near one of the slag clusters, finding not the workshop that we expected, but only a rubbish heap containing mainly potsherds of late Ptolemaic date (ca. 150-50 B.C.), some animal bones, and little else. Elsewhere we excavated near two brick pillars unearthed in 1993 by el-Tabai and tentatively identified as remains of a hippodrome. Since only one hippodrome--that at Antinoe in Middle Egypt--survives in all of Egypt, the discovery of another would be very important. Although we have not been able to verify that the two pillars belong to a hippodrome, potsherds found along with the structure suggest that it dates to the first or second century A.D. We also found a cemetery of densely packed skeletons dating to the third and second centuries B.C. During the Roman period this area was taken over for industrial installations, as indicated by surface deposits of slag and shells. Other burial grounds were found by Abd el Maksoud near and beneath a Late Roman bath and by the British expedition immediately south of Pelusium. The Swiss-Egyptian team has found what looks like the largest cluster of cemeteries east of Pelusium, near Kanais and Tell el-Makhzan. We know from papyri that during the Graeco-Roman period Pelusium was a major center for the production and export of salted fish and fish sauce, or garum. Egyptian and British expeditions unearthed several tanks, some round and others square, that might have served this purpose. Pelusium was also famed in antiquity for its textiles, particularly its dyed linens. Recently we found several clusters of murex shells, the shells of a kind of snail that was commonly used for purple dye. One of the most famous documents of Graeco-Roman Egypt, Papyrus Zenon I 59012, dated May-June 259 B.C., contains a list of imported goods presented to customs authorities in Pelusium. We learn from this account that wine, oil, honey, and other items were imported from various eastern Mediterranean islands. Indeed 20 percent of the nearly 600 pounds of fragmentary vessels found in the Late Ptolemaic layers of our first test-pit were amphorae from Rhodes, Kos, and Knidos. Sixty percent were of local, Nile Valley manufacture, and some were of Sinai and Palestinian types. In Roman layers Aegean types were replaced by Sinai types, perhaps indicating that Sinai and Palestine replaced the eastern Mediterranean islands as Pelusium's main trade partners. The most impressive monument at Pelusium is a 20-acre fortress with 36 towers, three gates, and seven-foot-thick walls. It has recently been studied by Egyptian and German experts, who have dated it to the late sixth century A.D. based on its architectural style. Traces of destruction by fire are still visible and may have been caused during the Persian invasion of A.D. 619. Where were earlier fortresses, such as the one defended by a cavalry unit stationed at Pelusium during the reign of Diocletian (A.D. 284-305)? Perhaps earlier remains visible below one of the gates date to that period. More research is also needed on Pelusiac religion, its curious onion taboo, and sacred architecture. The cult of Zeus Kassios, Pelusium's main deity, seems to have originated in Syria as a Graeco-Roman adaptation of the Semitic god Baal Zephon. St. Jerome and the second-century B.C. Greek philosopher and physician made disparaging remarks about Pelusiac priests of Kassios, who refused to eat onions and garlic, which were known to cause flatulence and thus were associated with demons. A fragment of a dedicatory inscription naming Emperor Hadrian, discovered by Jean Cledat, suggests that the temple of Zeus Kassios at Pelusium was erected in the second century A.D. Today Pelusium is no longer a forgotten city in a far corner of Egypt. There is a good chance that much of it will be saved and studied, perhaps even becoming a tourist attraction. [Archaeological Institute of America]. ROMAN AND HELLENIC EGYPT FAYUM SARCOPHAGUS PORTRAITS: The Sarcophagus paintings of Fayum are known as some of the oldest paintings from the Mediterranean area. They represent the people of the 1st century and the diverse mix of people and culture in Egypt. These portraits were thought to represent the deceased of the upper class society. The strong impact they have even today, is due to the intense color and naturalistic feel that these paintings illustrate.Fayum portraits are important pieces of cultural documentation as well as art. They embody many of the great Greek painting traditions. Fayum and its surrounding area is the only area that paintings from this time have survived. The extremely hot dry climate has helped to preserve these paintings, leaving the rich colors and textures intact. There are around 700 Fayum portraits that have been recovered, 130 of them exist in North America.Amazingly, less than 25 of these portraits had been discovered before 1887 (Thompson, page 3). Fayum is an area in Egypt, south of Cairo, along the Nile River. The Fayum portraits however have been found throughout Egypt, so the term Fayum relates more to the style of the paintings and less about the specific geographic location of Fayum. A large portion of these portraits were found in Hawara and Antinoopolis, as well as a smaller portion being found in er-Rubayat and Deir el-Bahri. Antinoopolis for example, is approximately 150 km south of the Fayum region.A typical starting point for a Fayum portrait, would be selecting a square or rectangular piece of wood. The type of wood was as important as the paints. Painters preferred the harder woods such as, Cyprus, cedar, lime, fig, or linden (Thompson, pg. 7). These types of wood prevented the primers and pigments from being absorbed into the wood. With a support material that has a larger absorption property, more paint would have to be used and the color would not be as vibrant.The surface of the portrait was first primed with gesso. The gesso was a combination of gypsum, a common abundant mineral found in the area and glue. The application of the primer had two uses. The first was to prevent the pigments from absorbing into the wood. The second, was more of an aesthetic purpose, it helped give the pigments there luminosity and glow (Walker, pg. 23). The paint was then applied once the primer had dried.The paint was made up of pigments and a “binder”. Different types of binders were mixed with the pigments. The earliest technique for Fayum portraits was called “encaustic”, this was a combination of the pigments and wax. Beeswax was the most common type of wax used, and was kept slightly heated. The wood panel, on occasion was also kept warm, to help the application of the paint. The tools used for the application of the medium consisted of a brush and a palette knife, also known as a “cestrum”.The best types of brushes were made from human hair but most contained camel, cat, or squirrel hair. The brush was used for painting the larger areas of color on the face and the background. The cestrum was used to create the fine details in the face and nice thin lines in the hair. Since the encaustic method used wax, the panel could be reheated and the paint would become workable again. This technique, created portraits that appear to have an oil-paint quality, even though oil paints weren’t developed until sometime later. Many of the encaustic portraits would be worked on for multiple days (Walker, pg. 40).During the 3rd century A.D., a paint medium called “tempera” was introduced. Tempera was cheaper to create than encaustics and it could be applied much quicker. This type of paint used the same pigments but instead of using wax, an egg base was added to the pigments. With tempera, only the brush was used for application of the paint. This process was extremely quick drying and unworkable after initial application. Because it was unworkable after application, multiple layers may have had to been applied, creating a more unrealistic, cartoon-like portrait. Inevitably the move to tempera showed a decline in quality in Fayum portraits.The area of Fayum was unique to the rest of Egypt during the time of the Fayum portraits, because of its diverse population. After Alexander the Great conquered Egypt, it became a melting pot of Greeks, Egyptians, Libyans, Syrians, and later Romans. Fayum portraits are extremely important historical documents because they show an obvious change in the burial habits of the Egyptians. Before the Fayum portraits, Egyptians followed ancient traditions, which consisted of mummifying deceased members of the upper class. They were placed into a decorative coffin and their heads were covered with a carved wooden mask.As time progressed, the Egyptians began integrating many of the Greek and Roman ideas that had been popular in the surrounding areas, such as the Mediterranean. Soon after the arrival of the Romans almost all of the Egyptian elements in society were lost except for one, religion. Egyptian and Greco-Roman beliefs now started being combined. By the 2nd century, traditional coffin burials had been completely phased out of the burial practices of Greeks and mummification was practiced by most of the population. During this time the Egyptian burial masks had slowly taken on a Greco-Roman look and eventually took on the style of the Roman portrait paintings of the time. One theory is that the Fayum portraits took after the Roman belief in ancestor worship. Either way the Roman beliefs combined with the Egyptian burial traditions is what most likely created the practice of the Fayum portrait paintings.The brightness and almost fresh look of these ancient paintings is primarily due to the dry, sandy climate of the basin. Practically no other art from any of the surrounding areas including panel painting from ancient Greece survived (Peck, pg. 36). One problem that has encountered many of the surviving portraits is the application of heavy varnishes or extra wax, by excavators or collectors. These types of substances can sometimes turn from transparent to a cloudy grey, de-saturating the original colors. Dating the portraits It has been difficult for scientists and historians to figure out the age of the Fayum portraits.The artist very rarely signed his or her work and a date was very rare. On some of the portraits the artist would say a little something about the person, such as there name and occupation (Peck, pg. 38). Historians have been able to estimate the time periods in which the portraits have been painted however. For example, if a portrait was found in Antinoopolis, they would know that it would have been painted sometime after A.D.130, which is the year it was founded. From there they can determine the time period in which the fashion was prevalent.Lastly they can use what is already known about the Fayum portrait history, for example a portrait that is painted in wax and has a realistic look to it, would presumably have been painted earlier. If a portrait had a cartoon-like appearance and was painted with tempera, it would have most likely been painted closer to the end of the Fayum portraits era, approximately 300 A.D. Recently, the use of carbon dating has also helped with narrowing down the time period in which they may have been painted. With a brief knowledge of the Fayum portrait history, one is able to narrow down the date of almost any given painting, within half or quarter of a century.If Fayum portrait tradition was practiced by such a large portion of ancient society then why did they stop being produced around the last half of the 3rd century? This is a question that has no solid answer, but there are many different theories. During the 3rd century Rome went through a severe economic downfall, this limited the amount of spending money many people had and public appearance became more important than documented appearances. People still spent money but it was on lavish festivals and parties and less on art commissions.Around the same time there was also religious movements and as Christianity spread throughout Egypt, religious and burial practices changed. Another change that occurred around the beginning of the 4th century was the Roman citizenship that was given to all free individuals living in Egypt. This caused a change in the social status of many people living in the Fayum and surrounding areas. Many people, now Roman citizens, moved out of the area or adopted more of the Roman culture, and less focus was given to ancient practices (Doxiadis, pg. 82-87).As a whole, the Fayum portraits are extremely important documents for understanding the people and cultures of ancient places, such as Egypt and its surrounding areas. However they also become something much more than a picture in a history book, they give us an idea of where true masterworks of art come from. These portraits set the foundation for many artists that followed. As time progresses, hopefully more will be learned about the secrets that these Fayum portraits hold. [Washington State University].ROMAN AND HELLENIC EGYPT FAYUM PORTRAITS: The Fayum portraits are a collection of 1st to 3rd century portraits made up mostly of Greek colonists of ancient Egypt. These colonists settled in cities like Alexandria after the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great and its subsequent rule by Greek Kings. They are among the best surviving portraits of antiquity. Scattered in museums such as the British Museum, The Louvre, and the Museum of Art in New York, they represent some of the finest examples of Greek art, providing us with snapshots depicting some of our Greek ancestors.Looking at them one has the eerie feeling that he is meeting some long lost relatives for the first time. They were made with hot, pigmented wax on wooden panels, which were completed during the life of the individual and displayed in their home, this custom belonged to the traditions of Greek Art. After the person was deceased, the portrait panel was placed over the mummified individuals face. The surviving paintings are predominantly from the Fayum region in Egypt and were completed during Hellenistic and Roman periods in this province, which had been settled primarily by Greek colonists, many of whom were soldier-veterans.The practice was common and the painters of the Fayum were either Greek residents dating from the Ptolemaic period of the late 4th century B.C., or those who had inherited the Greek artistic tradition. According to Eurosyne Doxiadis in her book entitled "The Mysterious Fayum Portraits: Faces from Ancient Egypt" the dry climate of the region preserved many of the paintings until today. Fayum Paintings of this type, were often painted in the elaborate technique, using pigments mixed with hot or cold beeswax and other ingredients such as egg, resin, and linseed oil. This versatile medium allowed artists to create images that in many ways are akin to oil paintings in Western art. The boy's head, for instance, stands out with an impression of real depth from the light olive-colored background. His face is modeled with flowing strokes of the brush and a subtle blend of light and dark colors. Shadows on the left side of the face, neck, and garment and bright shiny spots on the forehead and below the right eye indicate a strong source of light on the boy's right. Most arresting are the eyes, dark brown with black pupils that reflect the light with bright spots. This manner of painting, which is very different from the traditional Egyptian style but was well known in Greco-Roman Egypt, originated in Classical Greece in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. [AncientGifts].ROMAN EGYPT SHIPWRECK: The cargo of a mid-first-century B.C. vessel lying under 30 feet of water about one-half mile off the coast of Alexandria has allowed researchers to reconstruct the ship's trade route. A team of six divers led by Jean-Yves Empereur, director of the Centre d'Études Alexandrines, found a mass of amphorae but no sign of the ship's hull, which was probably destroyed on the rocky seabed. Examination of the amphorae revealed three different varieties. The majority, some 495 examples, bore stamps on their rims and handles, and a number still had their stoppers, made of fired clay sealed with pozzolana, a kind of mortar. These were manufactured on the southeastern coast of Italy, possibly in Apulia or the neighboring regions along the Tyrrhenian Sea. The contents of the vessels have not been studied and none has been raised to the surface, but traces of resin on the interior of some broken amphorae indicate they were used to transport wine. The two other types of amphorae, roughly a dozen of each, were of Cretan and Rhodian manufacture. The Cretan and Rhodian vessels were found on the surface of the deposit, an indication of loading order and, consequently, the probable itinerary of the ship carrying them. In all likelihood, the vessel set off from southeastern Italy after loading the largest part of its cargo. It then made a stop on Crete; study of the amphorae should determine where, since a fair number of the island's ancient amphora-production workshops are known. The ship then sailed for Rhodes, where it added a small complement to its cargo and headed for Alexandria. The team suspects the ship took a direct route rather than following the Levantine coast; fourth-century B.C. literary sources attest that ships were then making direct crossings. Whatever its adventures at sea, the unfortunate vessel was in sight of Alexandria when it must have struck a rocky outcrop, almost certainly the one at the foot of which lie the amphorae. Without enough sand to envelop and protect the ship, its wood eroded from exposure to salt water and the sea's turbulence. [Archaeological Institute of America]. IMPORTED ROMAN EGYPT GOODS IN SECOND CENTURY BRITAIN: A burial dating to A.D. 200 has been found in a field in southern England by a metal detectorist, who alerted the authorities after recovering three Roman jugs and a bronze dish. Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews, North Hertfordshire District Council’s Archaeology and Outreach Officer, announced that glass bottles, an iron lamp, a wall mounting bracket, two layers of hobnails from a pair of shoes, and a box with bronze corner bindings were also found.The largest of the bottles was hexagonal in shape, and contained cremated bone and a worn bronze coin dating from A.D. 174 or 175. Next to it, the team uncovered a rare octagonal-shaped bottle. Two mosaic glass dishes, probably made in Alexandria, Egypt, were found on top of a decayed wooden box that had held two clear glass cups and a pair of blue glass handles.“After 1,800 years, finds like these still impress us with their workmanship. Working together with the metal detectorist, NHDC’s archaeologist and the Finds Liaison Officer were able to uncover the past and find out and understand so much more about the lives of people in Roman North Herts,” Fitzpatrick-Matthews said in a press release. [Archaeological Institute of America].ROMAN ERA SHIPWRECKS IN ALEXANDRIA’S HARBOR: Ahram Online reports that three Roman shipwrecks and an ancient Egyptian barque dedicated to Osiris were discovered in ancient Alexandria’s eastern harbor in the Mediterranean Sea. Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the joint team of researchers, made up of scientists from the ministry’s department of underwater archaeology and the European Institute of Underwater Archaeology, recovered a crystal head thought to represent Marc Antony, and gold coins dating to the reign of Emperor Augustus. Wooden beams and pottery may represent the site of a fourth shipwreck. [Archaeological Institute of America]. ROMAN ERA TOMBS IN EGYPT: Ahram Online reports that five Roman-era tombs were discovered at the Beir Al-Shaghala necropolis in Egypt’s Western Desert. All of the tombs were constructed of mud-brick, but in different architectural styles, according to Ayma Ashmawi of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities department. The first tomb has two burial chambers accessed by a rectangular hall. The second has a vaulted ceiling. The upper part of a third, pyramid-shaped tomb has been uncovered. The fourth and fifth tombs also have vaulted ceilings and share an entrance. A funerary mask, pottery, an incense burner, and a small sandstone sphinx have been recovered from the tombs, in addition to two ostracons, or inscribed pieces of pottery. One of the texts was written in hieroglyphs, the other in hieratic, a cursive form of hieroglyphs often used by priests. [Archaeological Institute of America]. HELLENIC, ROMAN, AND BYZANTINE ARTIFACTS IN ALEXANDRIA: According to a report in Ahram Online, Mahmoud Afifi of Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities announced that a collection of artifacts dating to the Hellenistic and Byzantine eras has been unearthed in the Babour El-Maya area of Alexandria. The artifacts include pots, coins, ovens, bones, and lamps. Excavators also found ruined buildings with black granite floors and plaster-covered limestone walls. The area had been slated for the construction of a residential building. [Archaeological Institute of America]. SHIPPING & RETURNS/REFUNDS: We always ship books domestically (within the USA) via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). Most international orders cost an additional $17.99 to $48.99 for an insured shipment in a heavily padded mailer. There is also a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Our postage charges are as reasonable as USPS rates allow. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are fully insured against loss, and our shipping rates include the cost of this coverage (through stamps.com, Shipsaver.com, the USPS, UPS, or Fed-Ex). International tracking is provided free by the USPS for certain countries, other countries are at additional cost. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. Please note for international purchasers we will do everything we can to minimize your liability for VAT and/or duties. But we cannot assume any responsibility or liability for whatever taxes or duties may be levied on your purchase by the country of your residence. If you don’t like the tax and duty schemes your government imposes, please complain to them. We have no ability to influence or moderate your country’s tax/duty schemes. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked 30-day return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price; 1) less our original shipping/insurance costs, 2) less non-refundable eBay payment processing fees. Please note that eBay does NOT refund payment processing fees. Even if you “accidentally” purchase something and then cancel the purchase before it is shipped, eBay will not refund their processing fees. So all refunds for any reason, without exception, do not include eBay payment processing fees (typically between 5% and 15%) and shipping/insurance costs (if any). If you’re unhappy with eBay’s “no fee refund” policy, and we are EXTREMELY unhappy, please voice your displeasure by contacting eBay. We have no ability to influence, modify or waive eBay policies. ABOUT US: Prior to our retirement we used to travel to Europe and Central Asia several times a year. Most of the items we offer came from acquisitions we made in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) during these years from various institutions and dealers. Much of what we generate on Etsy, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe and Asia connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. Though we have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, our primary interests are ancient jewelry and gemstones. Prior to our retirement we traveled to Russia every year seeking antique gemstones and jewelry from one of the globe’s most prolific gemstone producing and cutting centers, the area between Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg, Russia. From all corners of Siberia, as well as from India, Ceylon, Burma and Siam, gemstones have for centuries gone to Yekaterinburg where they have been cut and incorporated into the fabulous jewelry for which the Czars and the royal families of Europe were famous for. My wife grew up and received a university education in the Southern Urals of Russia, just a few hours away from the mountains of Siberia, where alexandrite, diamond, emerald, sapphire, chrysoberyl, topaz, demantoid garnet, and many other rare and precious gemstones are produced. Though perhaps difficult to find in the USA, antique gemstones are commonly unmounted from old, broken settings – the gold reused – the gemstones recut and reset. Before these gorgeous antique gemstones are recut, we try to acquire the best of them in their original, antique, hand-finished state – most of them centuries old. We believe that the work created by these long-gone master artisans is worth protecting and preserving rather than destroying this heritage of antique gemstones by recutting the original work out of existence. That by preserving their work, in a sense, we are preserving their lives and the legacy they left for modern times. Far better to appreciate their craft than to destroy it with modern cutting. Not everyone agrees – fully 95% or more of the antique gemstones which come into these marketplaces are recut, and the heritage of the past lost. But if you agree with us that the past is worth protecting, and that past lives and the produce of those lives still matters today, consider buying an antique, hand cut, natural gemstone rather than one of the mass-produced machine cut (often synthetic or “lab produced”) gemstones which dominate the market today. We can set most any antique gemstone you purchase from us in your choice of styles and metals ranging from rings to pendants to earrings and bracelets; in sterling silver, 14kt solid gold, and 14kt gold fill. When you purchase from us, you can count on quick shipping and careful, secure packaging. We would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from us. There is a $3 fee for mailing under separate cover. I will always respond to every inquiry whether via email or eBay message, so please feel free to write. Condition: BRAND NEW., Format: Oversized softcover, Length: 56 pages, Dimensions: 8¼ x 6 inches; ½ pound, Publisher: Shire Publications (2002)

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