Two Royal Ordinances of the First Century and the Alexandrians

Jean Bingen

in Hellenistic Egypt

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print March 2007 | ISBN: 9780748615780
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670727 | DOI:
Two Royal Ordinances of the First Century and the Alexandrians

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  • Greek and Roman Archaeology


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This chapter concerns an inscription dated to 41 BCE, which contains two orders issued by Cleopatra VII and Ptolemy XV (Caesarion). These protect the interests of Alexandrian landholders in nomes in the Delta against what they claim are excessive tax exactions that go beyond what the queen had ordered. Cleopatra, faced with an external crisis produced by the defeat of the forces of Brutus and Cassius at Philippi and the ascendancy of Mark Antony, needed firm support from the Alexandrian propertied classes. In this case, the price of that support was exemption from a variety of special taxes. The language of the inscription preserves some of the rhetoric of the court hearing, probably from the speeches of the landowners' lawyers.

Keywords: Alexandria; Delta; Cleopatra VII; Mark Antony; Battle of Philippi; taxation

Chapter.  5658 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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