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Establishing Roman Rule In Egypt: The Trilingual Stela Of C. Cornelius Gallus From Philae

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Chapter Summary

Gallus' alleged hubris and his assumed damnatio memoriae have much been discussed among ancient historians, papyrologists, and Egyptologists. In this respect, the most important and crucial Egyptian document is a trilingual inscription - hieroglyphic Egyptian, Latin, and Greek - dated to 16 April 29 BC. It was carved on a stela re-discovered in 1896 in front of Augustus' temple at Philae. Cut into two parts, the stela had been reused in the foundations, presumably of the temple's altar. Gallus' deeds and actions are commemorated in the trilingual stela. This chapter analyses self-presentation of Gallus based on both the visual and textual evidence of his stela and its political, social, and historical context. The Gallus stela is not only a crucial source for Gallus and for the period when Roman rule was established in Egypt in general, but also for Octavian's position, especially in the eyes of the indigenous priests in the first cataract region.

Keywords: Egypt; Gallus; Philae; Roman rule; trilingual Stela



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