The Ptolemaic Dynasty was successful in Egypt overall, although not successful enough to last. Rome took the place of the Ptolemies and began trying to create a state that was more successful than their predecessor. To do this, the Romans maintained some things the Ptolemies were doing, yet changed others. This paper argues that the Romans changed the Ptolemaic administrative system by giving the military a much more active role while maintaining its reliance on local educated Greeks, also arguing that the Romans maintained the social identity of Egypt as an agricultural base while adding a Roman status aspect to the social structure.
In regards to administration of Egypt, the Romans changed the system from the Ptolemaic way, the most notable difference being the use of the Roman military. The military was the main way to reach the administration (Lloyd). Thus, the Roman military presence was quite strong in Egypt. Having shown their reluctance to be ruled over in the past by the Persians and Greeks, this was a good idea. The Egyptian people were less likely to rebel with their own dependency on Roman soldiers, especially with their constant presence in Egypt. Still, some revolts still occurred, especially during the third century (Jackson). Other revolts happened due to the increasing tensions between Jews and Greeks in Alexandria.
The Ptolemies used local affluent and educated Greeks to help administer Egypt. The Romans did likewise. In fact, the Romans tried to further elevate the position of the Greeks to offset Egyptian influences (Mieroop). The Roman Empire spanned from Spain in the west, the British Isles in the north, Mesopot...
... middle of paper ...
...were the dominant one in the relationship it was fine. To show just how much this meant to Romans, sex based slander was not uncommon. Catullus would write poetry to make fun of and defame his enemies, using claims of impotence and the like to prove his point (Catullus). This is all to argue the newfound importance of status in Roman Egypt.
To conclude, this paper has argued about the ways the Roman Empire changed and maintained the administration and social identity set up by their predecessors, the Ptolemies, in Egypt. They added in a more active military, while maintaining reliance on the Greeks. They maintained the idea of Egypt being an agricultural base while adding in a different social structure more based around status. As successful as the Ptolemies were, Rome demanded that they were to be more so, and I would argue they were successful in doing just that.
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