Home Region:  Northeast Africa (Africa)

Ptolemaic Kingdom II

EQ 2020  eg_ptolemaic_k_2 / EgPtol2

The Ptolemaic Kingdom (or Empire) was one of the successor states to the Macedonian Empire created by the conquests of Alexander the Great in the late 4th century BCE. When Alexander died in Babylon in 323, Ptolemy, as one of his most favoured generals and bodyguards, was appointed satrap (governor) of Egypt, Libya and parts of Arabia. [1] [2] The next few decades after 323 were characterized by incessant warfare between those who wished to maintain the unity of the Macedonian Empire, nominally still intact, [3] and those who aspired to rule their own kingdoms independently. [2] Ptolemy was firmly on the separatist side, and in 305 BCE he successfully declared himself king of Egypt. In doing so, he became Ptolemy I Soter (’the saviour’) [4] , founder of a powerful dynasty (sometimes known as the Lagides, after his father Lagos) [5] that was to rule Egypt for almost three centuries.
Ptolemy I and his successors had expansionist ambitions, seeking to carve out more and more territory for their new kingdom, often at the expense of the other kingdoms that had splintered from Alexander’s empire, especially the Seleucid Kingdom of the Middle East. [6] At its greatest extent, the Ptolemaic Empire reached as far south as Lower Nubia (southern Egypt), west to Cyrenaica (modern-day Libya), east to Cyprus, Syria, Phoenicia and Asia Minor (Turkey), and north into the Aegean. [7] In the words of one researcher, Egypt became for the first time a true ’Mediterranean power’ under its new Macedonian rulers. [6]
The peak of the Ptolemaic period is generally considered to correspond to the reigns of the first three Ptolemies in the 3rd century BCE. [8] We divide the kingdom into two polities: the first begins with Ptolemy I’s accession in 305 and ends with the Battle of Raphia in 217. In this battle, Ptolemy IV defeated the Seleucid king Antiochus III, who had invaded Ptolemaic-controlled lands in Palestine. [9] The late 3rd and early 2nd centuries saw conflict within the ruling family and revolts by the Egyptian population, representing an ’age of crisis’ between two periods of relative stability. [10] Our second polity runs from 217 up to the famous suicide of Cleopatra VII, the last ruler in the Ptolemaic line, and the Roman annexation of Egypt in 30 BCE. [3] [11] Overall, the Ptolemies were a successful dynasty: in concert with their expansionist policies, they managed to transform Egypt ‒ and the new city of Alexandria in particular ‒ into the cultural and economic centre of the Hellenistic world. [12]
Population and Political Organization
The Ptolemies were the longest-lived foreign dynasty ever to rule Egypt. [13] They presided over a ’double society’, portraying themselves as Graeco-Macedonian kings to the many resident Greeks and divine pharaohs to the ’native’ Egyptian population. [14] [15] Greeks and Egyptians were subject to different judicial systems and Greeks tended to dominate the highest echelons of society. [16] [17] Alexandria, built as an ideal Greek-style Hellenistic city with its magnificent library, stadium, theatre, gymnasium and lighthouse, was always set apart from the rest of the country. [18] [19] Over time, however, and especially from 200 BCE onwards, the boundaries between ’Greek’ and ’Egyptian’ became blurred. [20]
The chief aim of government was to draw as much revenue ‒ in money and in wheat ‒ as possible from the population, and for this reason the burden of taxation was heavy. [21] The Ptolemies left many Pharaonic Egyptian institutions intact, such as the temple hierarchy with its priests and scribes. However, they used state functionaries and tax farmers to divert more and more wealth from temples, agricultural estates, especially those of granted to soldiers (known as cleruchs), and ordinary peasant farmers to the royal coffers. [22] Egypt under the Ptolemies also became more outward-looking, extending commercial and political power into the Levant, the Black Sea and the shores of the Mediterranean as far west as Sicily. [23]
The population of Egypt during the Ptolemaic period has been estimated at around 4 million people in the 3rd century BCE, of which between 5 and 10 percent were Greeks. [24] The total population of the entire Ptolemaic Empire may have reached 7 million. [25]

[1]: (Hӧlbl 2001, 12, 14) Günther Hӧlbl. 2001. A History of the Ptolemaic Empire. London: Routledge.

[2]: (Lloyd 2000, 389) Alan B. Lloyd. 2000. ’The Ptolemaic Period (332-30 BC)’, in The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, edited by Ian Shaw, 388-413. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[3]: (Lloyd 2010, xl) Alan B. Lloyd. 2010. ’Chronology’, in A Companion to Ancient Egypt, Volume 1, edited by Alan B. Lloyd, xxxii-xliii. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

[4]: (Thompson 2005, 113) Dorothy J. Thompson. 2005. ’The Ptolemies and Egypt’, in A Companion to the Hellenistic World, edited by Andrew Erskine, 105-20. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.

[5]: (Myśliwiec 2000, 179) Karol Myśliwiec. 2000. The Twilight of Ancient Egypt: First Millennium B.C.E., translated by David Lorton. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

[6]: (Vandorpe 2010, 169) Katelijn Vandorpe. 2010. ’The Ptolemaic Period’, in A Companion to Ancient Egypt, Volume 1, edited by Alan B. Lloyd, 159-79. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

[7]: (Vandorpe 2010, 169-71) Katelijn Vandorpe. 2010. ’The Ptolemaic Period’, in A Companion to Ancient Egypt, Volume 1, edited by Alan B. Lloyd, 159-79. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

[8]: (Chauveau 2000, 11) Michel Chauveau. 2000. Egypt in the Age of Cleopatra, translated by David Lorton. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

[9]: (Lloyd 2000, 394) Alan B. Lloyd. 2000. ’The Ptolemaic Period (332-30 BC)’, in The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, edited by Ian Shaw, 388-413. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[10]: (Vandorpe 2010, 165-66) Katelijn Vandorpe. 2010. ’The Ptolemaic Period’, in A Companion to Ancient Egypt, Volume 1, edited by Alan B. Lloyd, 159-79. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

[11]: (Newman 2015) Frances Stickney Newman. 2015. ’Cleopatra VII’, in Salem Press Biographical Encyclopedia. Ipswich, MA: Salem Press. Accessed 22 February 2017.

[12]: (Vandorpe 2010, 173-75) Katelijn Vandorpe. 2010. ’The Ptolemaic Period’, in A Companion to Ancient Egypt, Volume 1, edited by Alan B. Lloyd, 159-79. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

[13]: (Vandorpe 2010, 159) Katelijn Vandorpe. 2010. ’The Ptolemaic Period’, in A Companion to Ancient Egypt, Volume 1, edited by Alan B. Lloyd, 159-79. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

[14]: (Chauveau 2000, 33, 37) Michel Chauveau. 2000. Egypt in the Age of Cleopatra, translated by David Lorton. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

[15]: (Vandorpe 2010, 171) Katelijn Vandorpe. 2010. ’The Ptolemaic Period’, in A Companion to Ancient Egypt, Volume 1, edited by Alan B. Lloyd, 159-79. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

[16]: (Manning 2003, 53, 131) J. G. Manning. 2003. Land and Power in Ptolemaic Egypt: The Structure of Land Tenure. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[17]: (Lloyd 2000, 409) Alan B. Lloyd. 2000. ’The Ptolemaic Period (332-30 BC)’, in The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, edited by Ian Shaw, 388-413. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[18]: (Vandorpe 2010, 174) Katelijn Vandorpe. 2010. ’The Ptolemaic Period’, in A Companion to Ancient Egypt, Volume 1, edited by Alan B. Lloyd, 159-79. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

[19]: (Lloyd 2000, 400-01) Alan B. Lloyd. 2000. ’The Ptolemaic Period (332-30 BC)’, in The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, edited by Ian Shaw, 388-413. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[20]: (Vandorpe 2010, 171-73) Katelijn Vandorpe. 2010. ’The Ptolemaic Period’, in A Companion to Ancient Egypt, Volume 1, edited by Alan B. Lloyd, 159-79. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

[21]: (Chauveau 2000, 78) Michel Chauveau. 2000. Egypt in the Age of Cleopatra, translated by David Lorton. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

[22]: (Lloyd 2000, 404-05) Alan B. Lloyd. 2000. ’The Ptolemaic Period (332-30 BC)’, in The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, edited by Ian Shaw, 388-413. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[23]: (Thompson and Buraselis 2013, 2-4) Dorothy J. Thompson and Kostas Buraselis. ’Introduction’, in The Ptolemies, the Sea and the Nile: Studies in Waterborne Power, edited by Kostas Buraselis, Mary Stefanou and Dorothy J. Thompson, 1-18. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[24]: (Fischer-Bovet 2011, 135-37) Christelle Fischer-Bovet. 2011. ’Counting the Greeks in Egypt: Immigration in the First Century of Ptolemaic Rule’, in Demography in the Graeco-Roman World, edited by C. Holleran and A. Pudsey, 135-54. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[25]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 149) Christelle Fischer-Bovet. 2014. Army and Society in Ptolemaic Egypt. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
36 R  
Original Name:
Ptolemaic Kingdom II  
Capital:
Alexandria  
Alternative Name:
Ptolemaic Empire  
Temporal Bounds
Duration:
[217 BCE ➜ 30 BCE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
none  
Supracultural Entity:
Greek World  
Succeeding Entity:
Roman Empire - Principate  
Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
[3,500,000 to 4,000,000] km2  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuation  
Preceding Entity:
Ptolemaic Kingdom I  
Degree of Centralization:
unitary state  
Language
Linguistic Family:
Indo-European  
Language:
Greek  
Religion
Religion Genus:
Hellenistic Religions  
Religion Family:
Ptolemaic Religion  
Alternate Religion Genus:
Egyptian Religions  
Alternate Religion:
NO_VALUE_ON_WIKI  
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
300,000 people 217 BCE 150 BCE
500,000 people 149 BCE 32 BCE
Polity Territory:
833,000 km2 200 BCE
640,000 km2 150 BCE
373,000 km2 100 BCE
107,000 km2 50 BCE
Polity Population:
4,000,000 people 217 BCE 151 BCE
4,000,000 people 150 BCE 32 BCE
2,500,000 people 150 BCE 32 BCE
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
6  
Religious Level:
1  
Military Level:
[7 to 8]  
Administrative Level:
6  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
present  
Professional Priesthood:
present  
Professional Military Officer:
present  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present  
Merit Promotion:
present  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
present  
Examination System:
unknown  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
present  
Judge:
present  
Formal Legal Code:
present  
Court:
absent  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present  
Irrigation System:
present  
Food Storage Site:
present  
Drinking Water Supply System:
present  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
present  
Port:
present  
Canal:
present  
Bridge:
inferred present  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present  
Script:
present  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present  
Nonwritten Record:
present  
Non Phonetic Writing:
present  
Mnemonic Device:
present  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present  
Sacred Text:
inferred present  
Religious Literature:
present  
Practical Literature:
inferred present  
Philosophy:
present  
Lists Tables and Classification:
present  
History:
inferred present  
Fiction:
present  
Calendar:
present  
Information / Money
Token:
present  
Precious Metal:
inferred present  
Paper Currency:
absent  
Indigenous Coin:
present  
Foreign Coin:
present  
Article:
present  
Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
present  
General Postal Service:
inferred absent  
Courier:
present  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
inferred present  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
inferred present  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present  
  Modern Fortification:
absent  
  Moat:
unknown  
  Fortified Camp:
present  
  Earth Rampart:
unknown  
  Ditch:
unknown  
  Complex Fortification:
absent  
  Long Wall:
absent  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
absent  
  Iron:
present  
  Bronze:
present  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
present  
  Sling Siege Engine:
present  
  Sling:
present  
  Self Bow:
present  
  Javelin:
present  
  Handheld Firearm:
absent  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
absent  
  Crossbow:
absent  
  Composite Bow:
present  
  Atlatl:
absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
inferred absent  
  Sword:
present  
  Spear:
present  
  Polearm:
present  
  Dagger:
inferred present  
  Battle Axe:
inferred absent  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
present  
  Elephant:
present  
  Donkey:
present  
  Dog:
absent  
  Camel:
present  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
present  
  Shield:
present  
  Scaled Armor:
unknown  
  Plate Armor:
present  
  Limb Protection:
present  
  Leather Cloth:
present  
  Laminar Armor:
unknown  
  Helmet:
present  
  Chainmail:
unknown  
  Breastplate:
present  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
present  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
present  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
present  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Ptolemaic Kingdom II (eg_ptolemaic_k_2) was in:
 (217 BCE 32 BCE)   Upper Egypt
Home NGA: Upper Egypt

General Variables
Identity and Location

Original Name:
Ptolemaic Kingdom II

Capital:
Alexandria

Alexandria. There was also a southern capital for the administration of Upper Egypt, including Red Sea trade, at Ptolemais.



Temporal Bounds
Duration:
[217 BCE ➜ 30 BCE]

Battle of Raphia 217 BC; Egypt is annexed to the Roman empire after the naval battle at Actium and the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra VII. 30bc Octavian annexes Egypt as a Roman province


Political and Cultural Relations


Succeeding Entity:
Roman Empire - Principate

Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
[3,500,000 to 4,000,000] km2

km squared.



Preceding Entity:
Ptolemaic Kingdom I


Language

Language:
Greek

The demotic Egyptian language, spoken and written, was very important during the early part of the first Ptolemaic period (305-217 CE), a continuation of scribal practice from the Persian period. Very little Greek administrative texts survive until the reign of Ptolemy II. The general assumption is that this does not reflect accidence of survival but a time lag to establish Greek within the bureaucratic system. It took, thus, roughly 75 to 50 years (counting from either Alexander’s conquest or from 320bc) before the Greek language becomes dominant.


Religion
Religion Genus:
Hellenistic Religions


Alternate Religion Genus:
Egyptian Religions



Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
300,000 people
217 BCE 150 BCE

Alexandria was established at 310 BCE.Alexandria around 100 BCE was around 500,000.
Alexandria: 100,000: 300 BCE, [200,000-300,000]: 220 BCE; [300,000-500,000] 150-30 BCE
Alexandria. At height c280 BCE. 1,000,000 according to Preaux based on Diodorus claim of 300,000 free population. Stille says about 600,000. [1] 300,000 and 250,000 in 200 BCE and 100 CE according to the Chase-Dunn spreadsheet. [2]
Alexandria: "Diodorus - who flourished in the mid- and latter part of the first century B.C./early first century A.D. and who claimed to be relying on official information - estimated the free population of Alexandria was 300,000 (17.52.6). It is not clear if this number included women and children. Strabo, who lived at the end of the first century B.C./early first century A.D., would appear to suggest a figure of approximately 500,000-600,000." [3]
Ptolemaic Egypt had three big cities. The largest one is Alexandria on which the data above applies. The numbers for both Memphis and Ptolemais is between 50-100K.
In 60 BCE Polybius said Alexandria was the most populous city in the world. His estimate was 300K "free population". Recent estimates put the population near 1 million people [4] and 300K in 200 BCE [5] . The figure of 300K does not include slaves.

[1]: (Modelski 2003, 169-170)

[2]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

[3]: (Cohen 2006, 358)

[4]: (Fraser 1972, 91)

[5]: (Chase-Dunn 2011, Chase-Dunn Spreadsheet)

Population of the Largest Settlement:
500,000 people
149 BCE 32 BCE

Alexandria was established at 310 BCE.Alexandria around 100 BCE was around 500,000.
Alexandria: 100,000: 300 BCE, [200,000-300,000]: 220 BCE; [300,000-500,000] 150-30 BCE
Alexandria. At height c280 BCE. 1,000,000 according to Preaux based on Diodorus claim of 300,000 free population. Stille says about 600,000. [1] 300,000 and 250,000 in 200 BCE and 100 CE according to the Chase-Dunn spreadsheet. [2]
Alexandria: "Diodorus - who flourished in the mid- and latter part of the first century B.C./early first century A.D. and who claimed to be relying on official information - estimated the free population of Alexandria was 300,000 (17.52.6). It is not clear if this number included women and children. Strabo, who lived at the end of the first century B.C./early first century A.D., would appear to suggest a figure of approximately 500,000-600,000." [3]
Ptolemaic Egypt had three big cities. The largest one is Alexandria on which the data above applies. The numbers for both Memphis and Ptolemais is between 50-100K.
In 60 BCE Polybius said Alexandria was the most populous city in the world. His estimate was 300K "free population". Recent estimates put the population near 1 million people [4] and 300K in 200 BCE [5] . The figure of 300K does not include slaves.

[1]: (Modelski 2003, 169-170)

[2]: (Chase-Dunn spreadsheet)

[3]: (Cohen 2006, 358)

[4]: (Fraser 1972, 91)

[5]: (Chase-Dunn 2011, Chase-Dunn Spreadsheet)


Polity Territory:
833,000 km2
200 BCE

[1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn)

Polity Territory:
640,000 km2
150 BCE

[1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn)

Polity Territory:
373,000 km2
100 BCE

[1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn)

Polity Territory:
107,000 km2
50 BCE

[1]

[1]: (Chase-Dunn)


Polity Population:
4,000,000 people
217 BCE 151 BCE

{[3,000,000-5,000,000]; 2,500,000}: 100 BCE
TC: figures below refer to Egypt specfically:
3,000,000-5,000,000 Egypt 100 BCE.
Fischer-Bovet book is out in 2014
Clarysse and Thompson [1] offer an estimate (for Egypt) of around 2.8 mln which is based upon census figures.
F. Hassan provides an estimate for Egypt which is also less than 3 mln. W. Scheidel prefers a number closer to 5 mln. Encyclopaedia Britannica 2011 gives 3.5 mln. ca. BCE 100. [2]
C. Fischer-Bovet, "Counting the Greeks in Egypt. Immigration in the first century of Ptolemaic rule," in Demography in the Graeco-Roman World, ed. C. Holleran and A. Pudsey. Cambridge, 2011, pp. 135-54 reviews earlier estimations, and suggests a population in the Third century BC of 4 mln, with Greeks representing ca. 5% of the total.
Korotaev and Khaltourina’s estimated population dynamics of Egypt 300-1900 CE. [3] Korotaev and Khaltourina’s data (Egypt only)300 BCE: 3,000,000200 BCE: 4,000,000100 BCE: 2,500,0001 CE: 3,500,000

[1]: W. Clarysse and D. Thompson, Counting the People in Hellenistic Egypt. Cambridge, 2006

[2]: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/180468/ancient-Egypt/22341/The-Ptolemaic-dynasty?anchor=ref936466

[3]: (Korotaev and Khaltourina 2006, 38)

Polity Population:
4,000,000 people
150 BCE 32 BCE

{[3,000,000-5,000,000]; 2,500,000}: 100 BCE
TC: figures below refer to Egypt specfically:
3,000,000-5,000,000 Egypt 100 BCE.
Fischer-Bovet book is out in 2014
Clarysse and Thompson [1] offer an estimate (for Egypt) of around 2.8 mln which is based upon census figures.
F. Hassan provides an estimate for Egypt which is also less than 3 mln. W. Scheidel prefers a number closer to 5 mln. Encyclopaedia Britannica 2011 gives 3.5 mln. ca. BCE 100. [2]
C. Fischer-Bovet, "Counting the Greeks in Egypt. Immigration in the first century of Ptolemaic rule," in Demography in the Graeco-Roman World, ed. C. Holleran and A. Pudsey. Cambridge, 2011, pp. 135-54 reviews earlier estimations, and suggests a population in the Third century BC of 4 mln, with Greeks representing ca. 5% of the total.
Korotaev and Khaltourina’s estimated population dynamics of Egypt 300-1900 CE. [3] Korotaev and Khaltourina’s data (Egypt only)300 BCE: 3,000,000200 BCE: 4,000,000100 BCE: 2,500,0001 CE: 3,500,000

[1]: W. Clarysse and D. Thompson, Counting the People in Hellenistic Egypt. Cambridge, 2006

[2]: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/180468/ancient-Egypt/22341/The-Ptolemaic-dynasty?anchor=ref936466

[3]: (Korotaev and Khaltourina 2006, 38)

Polity Population:
2,500,000 people
150 BCE 32 BCE

{[3,000,000-5,000,000]; 2,500,000}: 100 BCE
TC: figures below refer to Egypt specfically:
3,000,000-5,000,000 Egypt 100 BCE.
Fischer-Bovet book is out in 2014
Clarysse and Thompson [1] offer an estimate (for Egypt) of around 2.8 mln which is based upon census figures.
F. Hassan provides an estimate for Egypt which is also less than 3 mln. W. Scheidel prefers a number closer to 5 mln. Encyclopaedia Britannica 2011 gives 3.5 mln. ca. BCE 100. [2]
C. Fischer-Bovet, "Counting the Greeks in Egypt. Immigration in the first century of Ptolemaic rule," in Demography in the Graeco-Roman World, ed. C. Holleran and A. Pudsey. Cambridge, 2011, pp. 135-54 reviews earlier estimations, and suggests a population in the Third century BC of 4 mln, with Greeks representing ca. 5% of the total.
Korotaev and Khaltourina’s estimated population dynamics of Egypt 300-1900 CE. [3] Korotaev and Khaltourina’s data (Egypt only)300 BCE: 3,000,000200 BCE: 4,000,000100 BCE: 2,500,0001 CE: 3,500,000

[1]: W. Clarysse and D. Thompson, Counting the People in Hellenistic Egypt. Cambridge, 2006

[2]: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/180468/ancient-Egypt/22341/The-Ptolemaic-dynasty?anchor=ref936466

[3]: (Korotaev and Khaltourina 2006, 38)


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
6

Reference: Hassan.
The rough hierarchy is as follows:
1. Alexandria 300-400K
2. Memphis and Ptolemais 100K
3. nome captials (e.g. Thebes, Mendes, Krokodilopolis) 30-40K ref for Thebes: Vleeming. Hundred-gated Thebes. 1995.
4. towns 5-10K
5. villages 1-2K
6. hamlets/scattered settlements 0.1 to 0.2K.
EWA: ref. W. Clarysse. an article 1994
Memphis
D J Thompson has hectare dat
Alexandria
New Archaeology may have hectare data


Religious Level:
1

There were many different sizes/classes of temples and a multi-level prestige hierarchy. However, a prestige hierarchy does not represent hierarchical levels of authority within a religious organization. The code therefore might look like this "5 King, 4 High Priest of Ptah of Memphis, 3 regional chief priest, 2 Lector Priest, 1 Wab priest" but in fact these were only titles; the lower ranked priests were independent and did not take orders from those higher in rank. Since this code does not code prestige hierarchy only hierarchical levels of authority we code 1.
Certain priesthoods, e.g. the High Priest of Ptah at Memphis, exerted considerable political influence. Functioned as a virtual centralized priesthood in Egypt; several of the synodal meetings of priests from throughout Egypt met at Memphis, from which emanated the trilingual decrees, e.g. the Rosetta Stone. These priests were closely associated with the priests at Letopolis. See D. Thompson, Memphis under the Ptolemies. 2d. ed. Princeton, 2012.
The dynastic cult was founded by Ptolemy II. The annually selected priesthoods of the cult were based in Alexandria, and later also in the southern capital at Ptolemais. Within the dynastic cult there is not much of a hierarchy as there is not a command structure. The Egyptian cults are completely separated. Here each temple functions autonomously. There is a clear hierarchy within each temple.
Alexandria: "In the religious sphere, there is evidence - as Arrian observed (3.1.5) - for the worship of the Olympian and other Greek gods, as well as the "Egyptian" gods, especially Sarapis. Of the Olympian gods, the worship of Dionysos, Demeter, and Aphrodite in particular received royal support. There is also evidence for a founder cult of Alexander and a (dynastic) cult of Alexander and the Ptolemies. The priests of the latter were eponymous priests. In addition, we know of, among other things, cults of individual dynastic members, such as that of Ptolemy Soter (the Ptolemaieia), Berenike (a temple - the Berenikeion), Ptolemy Soter and Berenike (the "Theoi Soteres"), Arsinoe Philadelphos (the Arsinoeia), Ptolemy Philadelphos and Arsinoe (the "Theoi Adelphoi"), and the commemoration of Philadelphos’s birthday (the Basileia). Although evidence is sparse, it is clear that - as was usual in Greek festivals - competitions and processions were an important part of the various cults. The best attested is, of course, the great procession of Ptolemy Philadelphos." [1]
At Ptolemais in the Thebaid "evidence for the worship of Zeus (OGIS 103), Dionysos (OGIS 51), and Isis (OGIS 52)." [2]

[1]: (Cohen 2006, 358)

[2]: (Cohen 2006, 350)


Military Level:
[7 to 8]

Follow-up reference
EWA: The ref is Christelle Fischer-Bovet has the standard book (Army and society in Ptolemaic Egypt) which is just published. 2014. Cambridge University Press.
Infantry II/I BCE [1] reformed by mid 2nd BCE [2] (Pentakosiarchos and Taxeis drop out).
1. King
"The highest-ranking individuals [of the royal guard elite unit] were somatophylakes or ’bodyguards,’ who were also in charge of the upper-level military administration, perhaps like the seven or eight chiefs of the army of Alexander the Great." [3]
2. Military strategoi?"Traditionally, the highest command in a Greek army belonged to one or more strategoi, ’generals,’ or to the king. The common view is that in Hellenistic armies, the strategos commanded four chiliarchies ... It is more difficult to define the position of the military strategoi in the Ptolemaic army, as they too appear at more than one level and no source specifies how many men they have under their command." [4]
3. 1,000 men lead by a chilarchos
4. syntagma or semeion - 250 men lead by a hegemon (also: 5. herald of the army and 6. a standard bearer)
5. hekatontarchia of 100 men led by a hekatontarches, 50-man rear unit lead by an ouragos (same level)
6. 50-man unit lead by a pentekontarches
7. Another level below 50-man unit leader that is not mentioned?
7-8. Individual soldier
It is very difficult to provide one set of data for this variable. First of all there is a crucial difference between the standing army and the cleruchs. The core of the standing army was formed by the cavalry, although there was also an important navy component. The cleruchs counted both cavalry and infantry. Do we need to code for all these components separately? Secondly, we need to take into account the Egyptians within the army. The Egyptians were at the same time separated from the Greeks as integrated within the same army. Thirdly, the Ptolemaic army was subjected to important changes over the course of the period. We therefore need time sensitive data. Joe will get back to us about these questions after having consulted with his former postgraduate student.
Cavalry- Hipparchies c.400-500 men commanded by hipparchoi [5] - Hipparchia divided into two ilai. Ile c.200-250 men headed by an ilarchoi [5] - Ile divided into two lochoi. Lochos c.100-125 men headed by epilochagos or lochagos [5] - Dekanikos c10-15 men? [5] - Individual soldier
Elite troops- Cavalry of the guard. Wore "composite cuirass, and probably a Boeotian helmet", and later a muscle cuirass perhaps made of bronze and a so-called Thracian helmet. Their offensive and defensive weapons were a long spear, a sword slung on a baldric and a round shield." [3] - Royal guard.- agema.

[1]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 134, 144-145)

[2]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 146)

[3]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 150)

[4]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 156)

[5]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 125)


Administrative Level:
6


1. King

_ Central government line _
2. Highest ranking financial official
3. dioikekes (financial official) [1] (but not highest ranking) [2] Central elite split over Ptolemais and Alexandria or Memphis
dioikekes had "an army of subordinates" (not listed) who presumably top 5 administrative levels? [1] 4. eklogistes (accountant) or later idios logos (privy purse) [1]
5. ... ? ...6. ... ? ...
_ Provincial line _ [3]
2. Governor of the Northbased at central government
2. Governor of the Southbased at central government. Ptolemais.
3. Strategoi district governorsin total 40 administration districts called oikononos [2] [1]
4. Royal land / Remitted land / land held by cleruchs / land held in gift / private land / city land [4] Lloyd (2000) lists these all at the same level.
4. Mayor of towns and mayors of villages. Komogrammtan epistates. [2]
5. Sometimes (depending on region) the mayors of towns and of villages are part of the same administrative level; sometimes the mayors of villages report to mayors of towns and thus constitute two separate administrative levels.
5. Village elders and local priesthoods - epistoles in temples [2]

      • This overview is not necessarily reflecting reality for the whole of Egypt and for the whole of the period. Also, the data is tied to specific locations and too patchy for a general rule. However, as a rule the data represents the period after 280/270 better than the period 305bc-270bc. ***

_Alexandria_
Population Greeks and non-Greeks (native Egyptians, foreign immigrants)
 ?. City governor"A royal official "in charge of the city" ... is attested in the third century B.C. and later. This was a civilian rather than a military appointment." [5]
 ?. Secretary of the Council"A fragmentary inscription dated to the mid-third century B.C. records a decree that provides evidence for the existence of a boule, secretary of the council, ekklesia" [5]
 ?. Tribes"The Alexandrian citizens were organized into tribes, demes, and phratries. It would appear - based on a papyrus of c. 265 B.C., which probably refers to Alexandria - that there were 5 tribes, 60 demes, and 720 phratries. It has been suggested that the five tribes corresponded to the five quarters in the city. Three tribal names are known: the dynastic names Berenike and Ptolemais. as well as Dionysia." [6]
 ?. Demes
 ?. Phratries
_Ptolemais in the Thebaid_
Described by Strabo as "the largest city of the Thebaid; he added that it was no smaller than Memphis and that its constitution was in the Greek manner... The papyrological and epigraphic evidence bears out Strabo’s observation about the government." [7]
Boule (Council of Citizens)Evidence for "decrees passed by the boule and demos" as well as ekklesia (assembly), prytaneis (executives of the boule), prytaneion, archiprytanis [7]
grammateus (scribe?)
agones, agonothetes [7] (president of the sacred games)
gymnasiarch [7] (supervised games and contests)
tribes and demes. [7]

[1]: (Lloyd 2000, 404)

[2]: (Manning 2015, Personal Communication)

[3]: (Falivene, M R. 2009. Geography and Administration in Egypt (332 BCE-642 CE) in The Oxford Handbook of Papyrology. 521-540. Oxford University Press. Oxford.)

[4]: (Lloyd 2000, 404-405)

[5]: (Cohen 2006, 357)

[6]: (Cohen 2006, 356)

[7]: (Cohen 2006, 350)


Professions
Professional Soldier:
present

"The standing army ... was made up of professional soldiers stationed in garrisons and cleruchic troops serving, in turn, presumably for only part of the year, in garrisons. All cleruchic troops were mobilized simultaneously only in case of war. In addition, the existence of a mixed group, the misthophoroi klerouchoi, shows that the system was flexible." [1]
"professional or mercenary soldiers received cash (opsonion or misthos) and food, whereas cleruchs were granted plots of land (kleroi)." [2]

[1]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 118-119)

[2]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 118)


Professional Priesthood:
present

Full-time priests who held not other functions were common in Ptolemaic Egypt. They were the ones who conducted the rituals. However, there were only a few of those priests for every temple.


Professional Military Officer:
present

Salaried officers, who were members of both the Greek and Egyptian elites, and mercenaries were prevalent in Ptolemaic Egypt. Their salaries reflected the rank they held. The higher officers (who were friends of the king) were professionals in the sense that they held no other functions. These higher officers were dispersed over the settlement towns and garrison towns. [1]

[1]: A possible reference: (Fischer-Bovet 2007, [1])


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
present

e.g. mint. "It would appear that a mint at Alexandreia actively produced tetradrachms as early as 326/5 or 325/4 B.C. Subsequently, Ptolemy I Soter minted coins at Alexandreia." [1]

[1]: (Cohen 2006, 356)


Merit Promotion:
present

At least in theory a system of promotion existed as literary texts refer to it. See D. Crawford, "The Good Official of Ptolemaic Egypt," in H. Maehler and V. Strocka, Das ptolemäische Ägypten. Mainz, 1978:195-202.



Examination System:
unknown

Scribal training and literacy was very important. [1]

[1]: (Manning 2015, Personal Communication)


Law
Professional Lawyer:
present

present: 168-30 BCE
Professional advocates are certainly documented in the second century bc. Among the more noteworthy aspects of the technical details revealed in a famous Demotic archive are the proceedings of a trial held at Asyut in the middle of the second century bc is the complexity of the Ptolemaic legal system. That complexity was caused by two main factors. First, the bureaucratic system operated in two languages, Greek and Demotic. Greek, or at least officials with Greek names, dominated state administrative offices (e.g. the epistates, the stratêgoi) while Egyptians, and the Egyptian language, dominated local temple administration. It is all of this complexity that I think provides us with one of the most interesting historical facts coming from this archive. The judges asked Chratianch the plaintiff: "Is there a man who speaks for you?" A man appears, with a non-Egyptian name, to answer a few technical points on behalf of the plaintiff. He was not a guardian (or a kurios in the Greek sense) because he would have been identified as such. Rather he is simply called a man, but it is difficult not to conclude that he was in fact functioning as an advocate on behalf of the woman. On an unrelated petition on the verso of the text that records the trial and its outcome, Tuot son of Petihor was specifically mentioned as an advocate for the priests of Isis at Aswan. This same man may have been involved in the recorded trial, and indeed this archive may have been his. Much is uncertain. But if it is a Ptolemaic institution, a second question emerges. Was it merely the result of the complexities of the Ptolemaic system, or did it develop under Greek influence? Finally, it seems clear that such reports of trials and the use of advocates, better documented from the Roman period, have their origin in the Ptolemaic bureaucratic administration of trials (Joe will write a paragraph with more details).


[1]
Egyptian and Greek courts used different systems. In the Egyptian courts the judges were usually temple priests and were therefore not full time judges. In the Greek courts the local and regional(the strategos) officials performed this function.
dikastai, dikasteria [2] (itinerant judges?)

[1]: (Manning 2015, Personal Communication)

[2]: (Cohen 2006, 350)


Formal Legal Code:
present

’Diagramma of Ptolemy II (270bc)’
Source: discussed most recently in JG Manning, The Last Pharaohs. Princeton, 2010.
Follow-up reference
Keenan, J G. Manning, J G. Yiftach-Firanko, U. 2014. Law and Legal Practice in Egypt from Alexander to the Arab Conquest. A Selection of Papyrological Sources in Translation, with Introductions and Commentary. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge.


[1]
We have to distinguish between three different court systems: a royal court, a Greek court and an Egyptian court. However, there are some changes to this set up over time in this period. None of these different court systems had specialized court buildings.

[1]: (Manning 2015, Personal Communication)


Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present

agora at Euergetis (city possibly in the Thebaid), mentioned on papyri dated to 132 BCE. [1]

[1]: (Cohen 2006, 347)


Irrigation System:
present

Irrigation system created and maintained by the Egyptian peasantry. [1]

[1]: (Lloyd 2000, 410)



Drinking Water Supply System:
present

Reference? Is pipe network that connects the drinking water to individual settlements known to exist?


Transport Infrastructure

"improvement of the Koptos road joining the Nile Valley to the Red Sea" [1] Streets in Alexandria laid out in a grid plan. [2]

[1]: (Lloyd 2000, 405)

[2]: (Cohen 2006, 356)


Alexandria [1]

[1]: (Lloyd 2000, 400)


"reopening of the old Persian canal joining the Pelusiac branch of the Nile to the Gulf of Suez" [1]

[1]: (Lloyd 2000, 405)



Special-purpose Sites

Information / Writing System

Script:
present

There were several scripts in use.






Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present

Eratosthenes of Cyrene (c285-194 BCE) [1]

[1]: (Lloyd 2000, 400)





Philosophy:
present

Aristarchus of Samothrace (c.217-145 BCE) in "literary scholarship." [1]

[1]: (Lloyd 2000, 400)



History:
present

Egypt was within the Greek cultural sphere which had historians at least since Herodotus and Thucydides in 5th century BCE.


Fiction:
present

Apollonius of Rhodes and Callimachus of Cyrene (both 3rd century BCE) in "creative writing." [1] There was a rich fictional writing, including many novels, many written in Greek (give examples). There was also a corpus of Egyptian literature. A famous example of these Egyptian stories is the cycle of stories about Setne (son of Rameses II).

[1]: (Lloyd 2000, 400)


Calendar:
present

4 types of calendar are present. [1]

[1]: (Manning 2015, Personal Communication)


Information / Money



Indigenous Coin:
present

Closed currency system. Follow-up reference: Sitta von Reden, Money in Ptolemaic Egypt: From the Macedonian Conquest to the End of the Third Century BC. [1]

[1]: (Manning 2015, Personal Communication)



Article:
present

"professional or mercenary soldiers received cash (opsonion or misthos) and food, whereas cleruchs were granted plots of land (kleroi)." [1]

[1]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 118)


Information / Postal System
Postal Station:
present

[1] The postal system was state organised. The routes and stops are known and camels were used as mode of transport.

[1]: (Habelt 1993, [2])


General Postal Service:
absent

The postal system was only used for official business and possibly also by elite individuals for private affairs. (Joe will check).


Courier:
present

[1]

[1]: (Manning 2015, Personal Communication)


Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications

Stone Walls Non Mortared:
present

Many cities were not fortified and lacked walls. Major temples were fortified structures. Do we have any examples of non-mortared walls?


Stone Walls Mortared:
present

Many cities were not fortified and lacked walls. Major temples were fortified structures. Do we have any examples of mortared walls?


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present

There were garrison towns which were strategically located on high lying ground. Many cities were not fortified and lacked walls. Major temples were fortified structures.



Ditches and moats existed and were used at this time, e.g. in the Levant region. Were they used by the Ptolemies?




Ditches and moats existed and were used at this time, e.g. in the Levant region. Were they used by the Ptolemies?


Complex Fortification:
absent

Despite textual descriptions and iconographic depictions of sieged warfare in the first millennium BCE, there is little evidence for walls surrounding entire settlements; indeed, the norm seems to have been for walls to surround temple complexes, and for the rest of the settlement to remain exposed, though it is possible that the settlement’s inhabitants could expect to find reguge within the temple enclosure in the event of an attack. [1]

[1]: (Kemp 2004: 271-276) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/HD39CU6I.



Military use of Metals

Iron e.g. thorax [1]

[1]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 135-138)


Bronze:
present

Bronze e.g. thorax [1]

[1]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 135-138)


Projectiles
Tension Siege Engine:
present

Catapults. Developed torsion catapults. [1]

[1]: (Rihll 2010, 421 in Lloyd, A B ed. 2010. A Companion to Ancient Egypt. John Wiley & Sons. Chichester.)


Sling Siege Engine:
present

Used on ships. "The militarization of naval warfare is also illustrated by the mounting of artillery aboard ship" [1] Catapaults Lycopolis (-196bc). Rosetta Stone. Catapults were used. Also studied in Alexandria: Philo; Belopoecca. [2]

[1]: (Lloyd 2000, 398)

[2]: (Manning 2015, Personal Communication)



Self Bow:
present

"In western Asia, [the self bow] was replaced by the composite bow. In Egypt, the self-bow continued to be widely used, especially by Nubian troops." [1] Used to attack elephants and their drivers (bow type not specified). [2] Cretan archers [3]

[1]: (Morkot 2010: 50) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/AHFJE5Z2.

[2]: (Lloyd 2000, 395)

[3]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 135-138)


Javelin:
present

Used to attack elephants and their drivers [1] Galatians with spears [2] type of spear used by Galatians - i.e. thrown or held - not specified

[1]: (Lloyd 2000, 395)

[2]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 135-138)





Composite Bow:
present

"In western Asia, [the self bow] was replaced by the composite bow. In Egypt, the self-bow continued to be widely used, especially by Nubian troops." [1] Used to attack elephants and their drivers (bow type not specified). [2] Cretan archers [3]

[1]: (Morkot 2010: 50) Seshat URL: https://www.zotero.org/groups/1051264/seshat_databank/items/itemKey/AHFJE5Z2.

[2]: (Lloyd 2000, 395)

[3]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 135-138)



Handheld weapons
War Club:
absent

Academic histories of warfare and weaponry in Egypt stop mentioning axes and maces once they reach the New Kingdom, suggesting they gradually fell out of fashion.


"At Gaza in 312 BC the Ptolemaic assault was delibered by a force of 3,000 cavalry armed with swords and the traditional Macedonian cavalry pike or xyston." [1] 3rd century cavalrymen equipped with small-curved saber (machaira sperantike) [2] hoplites of the phalanx carried a curved sword (machaira) [3]

[1]: (Lloyd 2000, 394)

[2]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 128-131)

[3]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 135-138)


[1] 3rd century cavalrymen equipped with wooden spears (shorter Persian variety) [2] peltasts had a sword [3] Cretans, Galatians, Thracians: all carried the Galatian sword. [3]

[1]: (Lloyd 2000, 402)

[2]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 128-131)

[3]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 135-138)


Polearm:
present

Pikes 5.5 meters long. [1] "At Gaza in 312 BC the Ptolemaic assault was delibered by a force of 3,000 cavalry armed with swords and the traditional Macedonian cavalry pike or xyston." [2] hoplites of the phalanx carried a sarissa pike [3]

[1]: (Lloyd 2000, 393)

[2]: (Lloyd 2000, 394)

[3]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 135-138)


Dagger:
present

Daggers existed at this time.


Battle Axe:
absent

Academic histories of warfare and weaponry in Egypt stop mentioning axes and maces once they reach the New Kingdom, suggesting they gradually fell out of fashion.


Animals used in warfare

Elephant:
present

African elephants (forest type) at Raphia (Ptolemy IV). [1] African forest Elephants. A few Indian elephants might have been used and bred in captivity. "Ptolemy II’s elephants came from southern Sudan, where he founded Ptolemais of the Huns in 270/69 BCE, and later from the Rd Sea area, where he founded other settlements (Philotera, Arsinoe and Berenice Troglodytica) Ptolemy III had to go further south along the Somalian coast, and the last hunts were organized toward the end of Ptolemy IV’s rule." [2] Follow-up reference: J G. Manning on Elephant hunting (i.e. supply of army). [3]

[1]: (Lloyd 2000, 395)

[2]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 153)

[3]: (Manning 2015, Personal Communication)





Armor

Shield:
present

peltasts of the phalanx carried a small round shield (pelte) whilst the hoplites of the phalanx carried a slightly larger shield [1]

[1]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 135-138)


Scaled Armor:
unknown

"the Egyptians had been using bronze armor since the Eighteenth dynasty, "but it consisted of nothing more elaborate than metal scales sewn onto a leather base." [1]

[1]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 135-138) Fischer-Bovet (2014) Army and Society in Ptolemaic Egypt. Cambridge University Press


Plate Armor:
present

According to one military historian by 600 BCE early Greeks and Romans had introduced the bronze cast bell muscle cuirass. [1] "the bronze plate-armor, the two handed shield and the Corinthian one-piece helmet were Greek innovations, and the Greeks were also experienced in melting and working iron." [2] Tempered steel was probably not in use. Bronze breastplates, helmets, greaves, and shields were commonly in use.

[1]: (Gabriel 2002, 21) Richard A Gabriel. 2002. The Great Armies of Antiquity. Praeger. Westport.

[2]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 135-138) Fischer-Bovet (2014) Army and Society in Ptolemaic Egypt. Cambridge University Press


Limb Protection:
present

hoplites of the phalanx could wear greaves (knemides) and boots (embades) [1]

[1]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 135-138)


Leather Cloth:
present

"Agatharcides reports that Ptolemy II equipped 100 cavalrymen hired in the Aegean with Kushite-style quilted armor." [1] linen or leather e.g. thorax [2]

[1]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 131)

[2]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 135-138)


Laminar Armor:
unknown

Possible. Already introduced by the Assyrians.


Helmet:
present

3rd century cavalrymen equipped with helmets [1] hoplite the phalanx wore a conical helmet (Phrygian style). the peltasts also wore a helmet. [2]

[1]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 128-131)

[2]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 135-138)



Breastplate:
present

3rd century BCE cavalrymen equipped with breastplate (thorax) and cuirass-belt (zone thorakitis) [1] hoplites of the phalanx could wear a cuirass; bronze, iron or linen or leather thorax [2]

[1]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 128-131)

[2]: (Fischer-Bovet 2014, 135-138)


Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
present

"Ptolemy had approximately 140 warships" at th eBattle of Salamis (306 BCE). "Heavy ships" that carried marines who would directly embark an enemy ship. "These vessels were propelled mainly, if not completely, by multiple-rower sweeps and would never have had more than three banks of oars, and the ’rating’ must refer to the number of oarsmen in a unit of rowers. The largest ships are now known to have had a catamaran structure that would obviously increase the deck space available for marines, making such ships a particularly formidable proposition in a land-battle-at-sea. The militarization of naval warfare is also illustrated by the mounting of artillery aboard ship, a practice that obviously reflects the greatly enhanced importance of artillery for both siege warfare and field use in the army of Phillip II and Alexander" [1] The most commonly used ships were galleys and quiqueremes. (Joe will check this with John Hale ’The Age of Giants’). We need time sensitive data as there were improvements in naval technology. For example, the period also saw the use of improved sails (Joe will provide the reference) and new boarding techniques.

[1]: (Lloyd 2000, 397-398)





Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.