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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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Graeco-Roman Egypt and the Question of Cultural Interactions

Graeco-Roman Egypt and the Question of Cultural Interactions

Chapter:
(p.240) Chapter 18 Graeco-Roman Egypt and the Question of Cultural Interactions
Source:
Hellenistic Egypt
Author(s):

Jean Bingen

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748615780.003.0019

The rich documentation in both Egyptian and Greek from Hellenistic Egypt offers an exceptional opportunity to study cultural interaction in the ancient world. This chapter looks at the difficulties posed by such study from the conceptual and methodological points of view. Neither “Greek” nor “Egyptian” is in fact a simple, coherent category, both groups having tremendous internal diversity and in some cases long interaction before the Ptolemaic period. The evidence suggests for the early centuries the maintenance of separate cultural traditions, but the same individual can operate in both in their different languages, exaggerating the appearance of separation. It is particularly in the area of religion that interaction can be seen to be intense and complex.

Keywords:   Egyptian religion, temples, intermarriage, bilingualism, epigraphy

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