Article

Law in Graeco-Roman Egypt: Hellenization, Fusion, Romanization

Uri Yiftach-Firanko

in The Oxford Handbook of Papyrology

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199843695
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199843695.013.0023

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

Law in Graeco-Roman Egypt: Hellenization, Fusion, Romanization

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The Ptolemaic kings of Egypt ruled a variety of ethnic groups that were diverse in language, culture, religion, and legal practices. The main themes were tolerance and even the protection of particular legal traditions. By the beginning of the Roman period, changes were under way. The autonomous courts of law had by then ceased to exist. The second century ce witnessed the abandonment of demotic script in legal documents and the emergence of a new law, “the law of the Egyptian”, which was applied by the entire population and consisted of Greek and Egyptian elements alike. In the late third century bce, agoranomeia were established in the throughout Egypt to allow the state to monitor foreclosure on assets placed as security for debts. In the Roman empire, Roman citizens in Egypt followed major elements of the Roman law of succession, family, and personal status.

Keywords: Hellenization; Romanization; demotic; Ptolemaic kings; autonomous law courts; Roman empire; agoranomeia

Article.  9539 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Greek and Roman Law ; Greek and Roman Papyrology

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