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2 Cuius regio, eius religio? Rulers and Religious Change in Greco-Roman Egypt

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Chapter Summary

Religion and power can be studied from so many different angles, not only is religion organized around some power base, but it also exerts power; on the other hand religion is subject to power from outside the immediate religious sphere; religion and the powerful can join forces, but it can also be a threat to temporal authority; and so on. The appearance and cults of the Egyptian gods, mainly in Egypt itself, in which at least part of the change can be argued to be caused by or be the effect of conquest: Greco-Macedonian and subsequently Roman rule. Looking at the Egyptian gods, Isis and the whole famille isiaque, for clues about the relationship between political overlordship and religious acculturation, one can find the same thing again and again: empire increases choice and people choose for their own reasons.

Keywords: Egyptian Gods; Greco-Roman Egypt; Isis; religious change



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