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An Elusive Model: Images Of Egypt’s Multicultural Identity In The Ptolemaic And Roman Periods

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Chapter Summary

This chapter answers the question: to what extent one can agree with either of the two current scholarly scenarios describing Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt in the terms of a &t;cultural apartheid&t; or a &t;cultural symbiosis&t;, respectively. In funerary religion there existed many different types and degrees as well as different local traditions of the combination of Egyptian and Greek/Roman religious and social conceptions and visual forms. The spectrum is wide. It includes the "Main Tomb" of the Great Catacomb at Kom el-Shoqafa, Alexandria, where the architecture and the sculpted relief decoration depicting Egyptian ritual scenes and deities present a unique integration of Egyptian and Greek/Roman concepts, forms and styles. The Greek cults and festivals promoted the formation of the common Hellenic identity of the diverse groups of Greek immigrants.

Keywords: Egyptian deities; Greek images; multicultural identity; Ptolemaic period; Roman period



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