Death in the Temple of Ptah: The Roman Conquest of Egypt and Conflict at Memphis

In: Journal of Egyptian History
Nenad Marković

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This study aims to trace the possible fate of the family of the High Priest of Ptah after the Roman conquest in 30 bce. The mysterious death of Imhotep / Padibastet iv created a clear rupture in the succession line. At first, Roman authorities seemed to hesitate to appoint a new high priest of Memphis, for various reasons, and thus waited almost three years to install Pasherienamun ii, the first cousin of Imhotep / Padibastet iv, at the temple of Ptah. This occurred simultaneously with the creation of new priestly office: “prophet of the son of Caesar.” However, the embalmed body of Imhotep / Padibastet iv remained unburied until 23 bce, which might indicate previous dysfunctional mutual relations between the primary and the secondary branches of the same family.

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