Ptolemy I and the Quest for Legitimacy

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:
Ptolemy I and the Quest for Legitimacy

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Ptolemy I Soter founded one of the first round of Hellenistic states. In taking the title of king, he had to communicate to those whom he wanted to follow and accept him a concept of monarchy they found intelligible and acceptable. In the case of Greek settlers, the concept of kingship had deep roots but a problematic status in contemporary thought. For the Macedonians, it was closely linked to the legacy of Philip II and Alexander the Great, and Ptolemy stressed his connection to Alexander. He also created a self-image as a patron of Greek culture. For the Egyptian population, the king occupied the ritual position of the pharaoh, but they were not the source of Ptolemy's power, and his ideology was not directed at them.

Keywords: monarchy; Macedonia; Alexander the Great; Alexandria; kingship

Chapter.  6792 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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