When the Greeks Ruled Egypt

When the Greeks Ruled Egypt: From Alexander the Great to Cleopatra is the illustrated catalogue for the exciting exhibition at New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World. Through sculpture, coins, religious statuettes, funerary stelae, papyri, and more, all drawn from a variety of distinguished American collections, the catalogue examines the interactions between Greek and Egyptian cultures during the nearly three hundred–year period when Egypt was under Greek rule. It reveals how Egypt’s Ptolemaic rulers used longstanding cultural traditions as a means of asserting power and provoking loyalty among the conquered population. It also looks at the intense familial intrigue and jockeying for position that characterized the Ptolemies.

The catalogue’s essays address such issues as the use of royal portraiture to convey messages about the royal family and its power, the use of religion to assert the divine nature of the Ptolemies, popular iconographic forms, and the many languages spoken in Egypt before and during Ptolemaic rule. Exploring the ways in which two long-lasting and different traditions were brought together, When the Greeks Ruled Egypt reminds us that the use of culture—and family—for political ends is hardly unique to our era.

Contributors include Mary C. Greuel, Roger S. Bagnall, Dee L. Clayman, Roberta Casagrande-Kim, and Olaf E. Kaper.


ISBN: 9780691165547

120 pp. | 8 x 10 1/2 | 80 color photos. 70 color illus. 1 map. |

On sale in ISAW Gallery and through the Princeton University Press.