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This is the only substantial and up-to-date reference work on the Ptolemaic army. Employing Greek and Egyptian papyri and inscriptions, and building on approaches developed in state-formation theory, it offers a coherent account of how the changing structures of the army in Egypt after Alexander's conquest led to the development of an ethnically more integrated society. A new tripartite division of Ptolemaic history challenges the idea of gradual decline, and emphasizes the reshaping of military structures that took place between c.220 and c.160 BC in response to changes in the nature of warfare, mobilization and demobilization, and financial constraints. An investigation of the socio-economic role played by soldiers permits a reassessment of the cleruchic system and shows how soldiers' associations generated interethnic group solidarity. By integrating Egyptian evidence, Christelle Fischer-Bovet also demonstrates that the connection between the army and local temples offered new ways for Greeks and Egyptians to interact.Read more
- Combines papyrology, historical research and social theory to illuminate the role of the army in Hellenistic Egypt
- Connects political and military history to socio-economic and cultural developments
- Proposes a new view of the contribution of the army to the functioning of the Ptolemaic state
Reviews & endorsements
"Fischer-Bovet has written the first full-scale study of the Ptolemaic military in over a century. Few books have the potential to change the direction of scholarship; this is such a book … This well-written, clearly argued study belongs in all university libraries."
S. M. Burstein, ChoiceSee more reviews
"Army and Society in Ptolemaic Egypt offers a wide-ranging analysis of Ptolemaic military institutions, particularly as a social vehicle for stability and integrative activity. It features a comprehensive bibliography, numerous sources in translation, several helpful maps, charts and diagrams, and thorough indices."
Paul Johstono, Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"… [the book] is filled with a great deal of useful and highly interesting information and, as such, it amply repays the time taken to make a considered read."
Victor Blunden, Ancient Egypt
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- Publication planned for: June 2019
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781108707800
- dimensions: 244 x 170 mm
- contains: 34 b/w illus. 4 maps 28 tables
- availability: Not yet published - available from
Table of Contents
2. The army in Late Period Egypt (664–332 BC)
Part I. Structure and Role of the Army:
3. Military challenges faced by the Ptolemies: power, money, crisis and reform
4. Military organization and hierarchy
5. Military recruitment and ethnic composition
Part II. Economic Status and Social Networks of Soldiers and Officers:
6. Settling soldiers
7. Soldiers and officers in the Egyptian countryside
Part III: The Army and Egyptian Temples:
8. Priests in the army: a politico-ideological explanation
9. The army and Egyptian temple-building
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