Modern Historians about Macedonia – E. Bevan

 

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Ptolemy I, the general whom *Alexander the Great left in charge of Egypt, was also Macedonian in origin, and he and his successors imposed Hellenistic culture on Egypt: large numbers of *Greeks came to settle in Egypt and the Greek language and customs of the conquerors became predominant, although the native population continued with their own language and traditions. Alexandria, the city founded by *Alexander the Great, became the capital and a great centre of culture and intellectualism, and other Greek cities were established throughout Egypt.

Nevertheless, it was essential that the Ptolemies should uphold the tradition that they were pharaohs, and thus they built or reconstructed great temples to the Egyptian gods in which the wall-scenes show them as kings of Egypt, making offerings and doing obeisance to the native deities. This gave them the religious legitimacy to rule the country, but they used this power to impose heavy taxes and drain the natural resources; not surprisingly native opposition to the Ptolemies flared up on two occasions (208-186 BC and 88-86 BC) in the district around Thebes.

Fraser, P.M. Ptolemaic Alexandria. Oxford: 1972; Bevan, E. A History of Egypt under the Ptolemaic Dynasty. London: 1927

Quote:

Ptolemy I regarded himself as the regenerator of the country and took the name ‘Soter’ which meant ‘Saviour’. He re-organised Egypt and began a programme of building and restoring the native Egyptian temples, a concept which later *Ptolemies developed to enforce their religious right to rule Egypt. Ptolemy I also intoduced a new god—Serapis—who was a hybrid deity combining features of the Egyptian *Osiris with those of various Hellenistic gods. He also founded a cult of Alexander the Great at Alexandria and, eventually, a temple for his own personal cult was built at Koptos. He founded the Museum and Great Library in the palace quarter at Alexandria, and the Greek city of Ptolemais in Upper Egypt

Bevan, E. A History of Egypt under the Ptolemaic Dynasty. London: 1927; Skeat, T. C. The reigns of the Ptolemies. Munich: 1969

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Ptolemy II also inaugurated a detailed system of financial administration in Egypt, and introduced Greek farming communities in the Fayoum district;

Bevan, E. A History of Egypt under the Ptolemaic Dynasty. London: 1927; Skeat, T. C. The reigns of the Ptolemies. Munich: 1969

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