Egypt and the Limits of Hellenism

Egypt and the Limits of Hellenism

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In a series of studies, Ian Moyer explores the ancient history and modern historiography of relations between Egypt and Greece from the fifth century BCE to the early Roman empire. Beginning with Herodotus, he analyzes key encounters between Greeks and Egyptian priests, the bearers of Egypt's ancient traditions. Four moments unfold as rich micro-histories of cross-cultural interaction: Herodotus' interviews with priests at Thebes; Manetho's composition of an Egyptian history in Greek; the struggles of Egyptian priests on Delos; and a Greek physician's quest for magic in Egypt. In writing these histories, the author moves beyond Orientalizing representations of the Other and colonial metanarratives of the civilizing process to reveal interactions between Greeks and Egyptians as transactional processes in which the traditions, discourses and pragmatic interests of both sides shaped the outcome. The result is a dialogical history of cultural and intellectual exchanges between the great civilizations of Greece and Egypt.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 4 b/w illus. 1 map 1 table
  • 1139102133
  • 9781139102131

Table of contents

Introduction: the absence of Egypt; 1. Herodotus and an Egyptian mirage; 2. Luculentissima fragmenta: Manetho's Aegyptiaca and the limits of Hellenism; 3. The Delian Sarapis aretalogy and the politics of syncretism; 4. Thessalos and the magic of empire; Epilogue.
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Review quote

"...the chapters are focused and well-written and add up to a clear, engaging, and lucid study. Everyone who writes about cross-cultural interaction in the ancient Mediterranean should read this terrific book." --BMCR "...we see through careful marshalling of Egyptian evidence how limited is our understanding of these events when viewed with only the Hellenic eye. His is a compelling analytic model that it would profit classicists of every type to read with care." --Classical World
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