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Economic Reforms In The Mid-Reign Of Ptolemy Philadelphus

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Chapter Summary

Ptolemy Philadelphus is primarily known as the rich and successful patron of Alexandrian poets and scholars, a king who presided over the development-if not the foundation-of the famous Museum and Library in Alexandria. This chapter starts with a sick king-a king in pain-as suffering from gout he sits in his palace and looks out on the simple peasants eating their plain food and enjoying themselves on the shore. The agricultural economy of Egypt and the exploitation of its natural wealth were essential to the success of any Egyptian pharaoh, and the chapter explores some of the administrative detail as, under Ptolemy II, the related institutions of census and land-survey were developed and put into use. Through looking at the twin operations of counting the people and measuring the land we may start to gain a measure of the institutional and economic developments in this reign.

Keywords: Alexandrian poets; economic reforms; Egyptian pharaoh; museum; Ptolemy Philadelphus



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