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Hellenistic EgyptMonarchy, Society, Economy, Culture$
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Roger Bagnall and Jean Bingen

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748615780

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748615780.001.0001

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Two Royal Ordinances of the First Century and the Alexandrians

Two Royal Ordinances of the First Century and the Alexandrians

(p.141) Chapter 12 Two Royal Ordinances of the First Century and the Alexandrians
Hellenistic Egypt

Jean Bingen

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter concerns an inscription dated to 41 BCE, which contains two orders issued by Cleopatra VII and Ptolemy XV (Caesarion). These protect the interests of Alexandrian landholders in nomes in the Delta against what they claim are excessive tax exactions that go beyond what the queen had ordered. Cleopatra, faced with an external crisis produced by the defeat of the forces of Brutus and Cassius at Philippi and the ascendancy of Mark Antony, needed firm support from the Alexandrian propertied classes. In this case, the price of that support was exemption from a variety of special taxes. The language of the inscription preserves some of the rhetoric of the court hearing, probably from the speeches of the landowners' lawyers.

Keywords:   Alexandria, Delta, Cleopatra VII, Mark Antony, Battle of Philippi, taxation

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