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Egyptian cults and local elites in Boiotia

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the worship of the Egyptian gods within the social and political context of the region, tries to see how this foreign cult was absorbed and adapted. It shows how and where it took on a local colour to make its acceptance easier. Part of the appeal of the Egyptian cults, at least under the Empire, was that they filled a need for belonging to a community, which mattered more than the now meaningless rituals attached to old cults which depended for their existence on a vanished society, the foundations of which had been the independent polis and ethnos. The chapter focuses on evidence from Western Boiotia during the Hellenistic period, then move to central Boiotia Thespiai and Thebes from there to Tanagra and Oropos, and then back west for the evidence from Roman Imperial times.

Keywords: Boiotia; Egyptian Cults; Hellenistic period; Local Elites; Roman World



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