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The Foreign Policy Of Ptolemy II

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Chapter Summary

Before presenting the main characteristics of Ptolemy II Philadelphus' foreign policy the author likes to contemplate one of the oddities of studying the foreign policy or 'empire' of the Ptolemies. Quite differently from the empire of the Seleucids, the interests of the Ptolemies outside Egypt are often observed and analysed as separate from their activities in Egypt, even when scholars such as Tarn or Rostovtzeff have tried to explain Ptolemaic foreign policy with terms such as offensive or defensive imperialism. The administrations of Syria or Cyprus are seldom considered as part of a Ptolemaic state, and are instead often included in the study of Ptolemaic foreign policy. The early development of a court on Cyprus, parallel to that in Alexandria, may have started with such regular visits of Philadelphus and his close friends, integrating the island into a royal domain of authority on a scale similar to Egypt.

Keywords: Alexandria; Cyprus; Egypt; foreign policy; Ptolemy II Philadelphus



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