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Proceedings of the Vth International Conference of Isis Studies, Boulogne-sur-Mer, October 13-15, 2011
In the Hellenistic and Roman world intimate relations existed between those holding power and the cults of Isis. This book is the first to chart these various appropriations over time within a comparative perspective. Ten carefully selected case studies show that “the Egyptian gods” were no exotic outsiders to the Hellenistic and Roman Mediterranean, but constituted a well institutionalised and frequently used religious option. Ranging from the early Ptolemies and Seleucids to late Antiquity, the case studies illustrate how much symbolic meaning was made with the cults of Isis by kings, emperors, cities and elites. Three articles introduce the theme of Isis and the longue durée theoretically, simultaneously exploring a new approach towards concepts like ruler cult and Religionspolitik.
Amyrtaeus, only pharaoh of the Twenty-eighth Dynasty, shook off the shackles of Persian rule in 404 BCE; a little over seventy years later, Ptolemy son of Lagus started the ‘Greek millennium’ (J.G. Manning’s phrase) in Egypt―living long enough to leave a powerful kingdom to his youngest son, Ptolemy II, in 282.
In this book, expert studies document the transformation of Egypt through the dynamic fourth century, and the inauguration of the Ptolemaic state. Ptolemy built up his position as ruler subtly and steadily. Continuity and change marked the Egyptian-Greek encounter. The calendar, the economy and coinage, the temples, all took on new directions. In the great new city of Alexandria, the settlers’ burial customs had their own story to tell.
A Historical Commentary
The Alexander Romance by Ps.-Callisthenes of Krzysztof Nawotka is a guide to a third century AD fictional biography of Alexander the Great, the anonymous Historia Alexandri Magni. It is a historical commentary which identifies all names and places in this piece of Greek literature approached as a source for the history of Alexander the Great, from kings, like Nectanebo II of Egypt and Darius III of Persia, to fictional characters. It discusses real and imaginary geography of the Alexander Romance. While dealing with all aspects of Ps.-Callisthenes relevant to Greek history and to Macedonia, its pays particular attention to aspects of ancient history and culture of Babylonia and Egypt and to the multi-layered foundation story of Alexandria.
In Studies on Pre-Capitalist Modes of Production British and Argentinian historians analyse the Asiatic, Germanic, peasant, slave, feudal, and tributary modes of production by exploring historical processes and diverse problems of Marxist theory. The emergence of feudal relations, the origin of the medieval craftsman, the functioning of the law of value and the conditions for historical change are some of the problems analysed. The studies treat an array of pre-capitalist social formations: Chris Wickham works on medieval Iceland and Norway, John Haldon on Byzantium, Carlos García Mac Gaw on the Roman Empire, Andrea Zingarelli on ancient Egypt, Carlos Astarita and Laura da Graca on medieval León and Castile, and Octavio Colombo on the Castilian later Middle Ages.

Contributors include: Chris Wickham, John Haldon, Carlos Astarita, Carlos García Mac Gaw, Octavio Colombo, Laura da Graca, and Andrea Zingarelli.