Preferred Citation: Bulloch, Anthony W., Erich S. Gruen, A.A. Long, and Andrew Stewart, editors Images and Ideologies: Self-definition in the Hellenistic World. Berkeley:  University of California Press,  c1993 1993.

The Ptolemaic King as a Religious Figure

The Ptolemaic King as a Religious Figure

Ludwig Koenen
For P.O. Steiner

I. The Janus Head of Ptolemaic Kingship

Ptolemaic kingship has a Janus-like character, as can be seen in a pair of gold seals (see figs. 1a and b).[1] They represent the portrait of the same king, the left as Greek ruler with the diadem, the fight as pharaoh with the double crown of upper and lower Egypt. Even more interesting, in the pharaonic portrait the Egyptian double crown is encircled by the Greek diadem.[2] Thus, the king is officially seen as double-faced, the one

[1] I am obliged not only to the organizers of the conference for dragging me into a topic that, although I dearly love it, I did not want to pursue at this time any further, but also to a number of participants in the conference who discussed the topic of my paper in informal gatherings with me. I regret that I do not always recall who said what to me. Special thanks are due to S. M. Burstein, who insisted that the interpretation of P. Tebt . 703 by W. Huss (for citation see n. 41) could not be right; further to M. Ostwald and D. Shanzer, who saw an early version of this paper, and to U. Kaplony-Heckel and H.-J. Thissen, with whom I discussed the demotic evidence for the apomoira . I also wish to express my most sincere thanks to F. W. Walbank, who was the respondent to my paper but got it only at the last minute and from whose comments and publications I learned more than will be in evidence here. R. Hazzard sent me a detailed and penetrating appraisal and criticism of E. Grzybek's new book on the Macedonian calendar (see nn. 61, 96, and specifically 110). I discussed particular aspects of my interpretation of Kallimachos with G. Schwendner and with graduate students in my seminar on Hellenistic literature: I learned as much from them as, I hope, they learned from me; G. Schwendner brought additional literature to my attention; both he and K. Lord considerably improved the English of this paper; and their requests for clarification forced me to rethink and change crucial details. A. W. Bulloch, S. Hinds, T. Gagos, Donka Markovska, and D.J. Thompson carefully proofread versions of the manuscript, saving me from not only typographical errors. I wish I could have taken more of their suggestions and objections into account than is possible at this late hour.


face directed toward his Macedonian and Greek subjects and the other, the pharaonic head, toward the Egyptians; but the Egyptian viewer is at the same time reminded that the Egyptian crown is now controlled by the Greek diadem (see also n. 50 [1]); furthermore the features of the


face are individualized beyond what would be acceptable for an Egyptian artist.[3]

Better known are two mosaics from Thmuis showing a bust of a woman crowned with the prow of a ship (figs. 2a and b). The first one is signed by the artist Sophilos in the upper left corner. Both mosaics date from about 200 BC , but they are copies of an earlier work. Until recently this image was identified as Alexandria; but as has now been argued, it is rather a representation of Berenike II, perhaps as Agathe Tyche.[4] The woman is dressed in Hellenistic military attire. She has large eyes as the Ptolemies usually do, thus expressing her superhuman nature. In her hand she carries a mast like a scepter. A ribbon is fastened on the mast and appears behind her head like the tainiai of the royal diadem. The prow of the ship is decorated with what has been described as a sea creature, a wreath of victory, a caduceus, and probably a single cornucopia. The queen's corpulence signals prosperity and ease, in contrast to the impression given by her military attire. On the whole, this is an image of might and power, especially sea power, and of victory, wealth, and abundance. Each of the symbols is Greek, and thus the image addresses the Greeks. Yet the strong symbolism is inspired by the Egyptian tradition.[5] In particular, the fancy and unparalleled crown reminds us of the great diversity of Egyptian crowns, including the large throne which Isis carried on her head.

Measures, images, and rhetoric, however, did not always target either the Greek or the Egyptian audience. On gold octadrachms of Arsinoe II, the second wife of Ptolemy II Philadelphos, which were struck after her death, the head of the queen appears with a diadem, a veil, and a scepter. The latter is similar to scepters in the Greek tradition, but

[3] In Ptolemaic times Egyptian art remained idealizing and symbolic; R. S. Bianchi, "The Pharaonic Art of Ptolemaic Egypt," in Cleopatra's Egypt , 55-80. The fact that the Egyptian art remained faithful to its own tradition does not preclude the possibility of Greek influence; whatever foreign influences were accepted, they became totally embedded in the Egyptian tradition.

[4] W. A. Daszewski, Corpus of Mosaics from Egypt , vol. 1, Hellenistic and Early Roman Period , Aegyptiaca Treverensia 3 (Mainz, 1985), pls. A and B (after pp. 9 and 40), 32f., 42a, Cat. nos. 38 and 39, PP. 142-16o. Comparable ideas are expressed in Augustus' Rome when Livia appears with a mural crown and, thus, is iconographically linked to Kybele/Magna Mater (Sardonyx, after 14 AD ; cf. Ceres Augusta from the theater of Leptis Magna); see P. Zanker, The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus , Jerome Lectures 16 (Ann Arbor, 1990), 234-236 with figs. 184 and 185 (Augustus und die Macht der Bilder [Munich, 1987], 236ff. and Abb. 185f.).

[5] The representation of the corpulence of rulers first occurs in Greek art with the Ptolemies; the symbolism of this motif is traditional in Egyptian art. While there is nothing un-Greek in the way the corpulence is represented, the motif and its symbolism are Egyptian. For the representation of the corpulence of Ptolemaic rulers see Kyrieleis, Bildnisse , 163f.; for the Egyptian tradition see Bianchi, "Pharaonic Art," 68f.


on closer inspection it becomes clear that the top is formed as lotus leaves and something which by parallels has been explained as a uraeus carrying the sun. Arsinoe III, the wife of Ptolemy IV, carries a similar scepter on a gold octadrachm (fig. 3a); on another gold octadrachm of this queen, the tail of the snake encircles the shaft of the scepter (fig. 3b).[6] A description of the scepter is given in the well-known inscription from Kanopos, where in the year 238 BC the priests gathered for a synod. When princess Berenike had prematurely died during the time of the synod, the priests voted to create a cult for her. A priest was to carry her statue in processions holding her in his arms like a child, and the statue was to have a scepter, which emerged from behind the snake-shaped crown and was like the scepter of goddesses: in particular, it depicted the stern of a papyrus plant encircled by a snake.[7] Her festival was to be similar to the festival of the daughter of the sun-god Re.[8] The goddess protected her father.[9] Thus, in her Egyptian cult the young princess became the protector of her father, the king. It follows that on her Greek coin Arsinoe II was shown precisely in this function: even after

[6] W. Cheshire, "Zur Deutung eines Szepters der Arsinoe II. Philadelphos," ZPE 48 (1982): 105-111 with pls. IV and V; Kyrieleis, Bildnisse , pl. 70.1 and 2 and 88.1-3.


her death, she was to be the protector of her brother and husband and his kingship. The Greek face and dress with the Greek diadem were thus combined with a symbol of Egyptian kingship.

These first impressions already permit us to stress a methodological postulate that will govern this paper. It is not sufficient to observe that the iconography, or for that matter a cult, a title, a phrase, is either Greek or Egyptian and therefore is addressed either to the Greeks or to the Egyptians. We should rather look behind the appearance and draw attention to the ideas expressed in the Greek or Egyptian forms, and on that level it becomes possible that the idea belongs to the Greek or the Egyptian tradition and yet is expressed in forms and conventions that render the idea understandable for the other segment of the population.[10] The Greek and the Egyptian cultures remained separate to the degree that each of them had to be addressed in its forms of expression and within its own tradition, and yet the ideas behind the different forms of expression could be similar. On this level cultural influences, and even a certain acculturation, are not sufficiently measured by the images in which the ideas of Ptolemaic kingship are expressed. On the other hand, images carry their own traditions and conventions, and, by necessity, these manifestations color the message in which the ideas appear. Hence, translations of an idea from one culture into the other can only be partial, and in a new environment an idea will develop in its own right but will also carry the baggage of the other culture's traditions.

In order to explore our first impressions, let us briefly turn to the social reality of the Ptolemaic kingdom. At the outset I wish to state that the general picture which I shall try to draw will be subject to corrections in details. There was a great deal of variation from place to place and over the period of Ptolemaic rule,[11] but it is safe to say that Ptolemaic kingship indeed had a double face. For the Greeks the king was the inline image whose ancestors had won the land by their conquest (inline imageinline image). While this factor quickly lost importance in Egypt, the state continued to be seen as the affairs inline image of the king.[12] The Greeks obeyed him, because he enabled them to have a profitable life. There

[10] For futher iconographical examples see n. 50.

[11] The nature of our fragmented and anecdotal evidence in connection with the researcher's need to generalize leads to constant neglect of this obvious fact. See D. J. Crawford, "The Opium Poppy: A Study in Ptolemaic Agriculture," in Problèmes de la terre en Grèce ancienne , ed. M. I. Finley, Civilisations et Sociétés 33 (Paris, 1973), 223-251, esp. 223-228; Bagnall, "Greeks and Egyptians," 21.


were the soldiers and the military settlers with military ties to the ruler; under Philadelphos there was a group of male adolescents aged between about fourteen and seventeen who were called "Ptolemaioi." They formed an age class at a sports contest,[13] and their name indicated that they were in a special relationship with the king. Moreover, the top ranks of the military and the administration were connected with the king by the bond of "friendship." "Friend," inline image, was an official court title.[14] They received not only positions of influence but sometimes large estates. Apollonios, the dioiketes or head of the Ptolemaic administration, had a inline image of 10,000 arourai , or 6,760 acres. This is of course no indication of the kleros that a normal officer would receive; a Greek soldier could end up with, nominally, 100, 80, 70, or 20 arourai, that is, 68, 54, 47, or only 13 1/2 acres, and it is not even certain that, for example, a inline image would indeed own 100 arourai. Most Greeks had come to Egypt in order to make a fortune and at the same time to live an enjoyable life. They came from everywhere in the Greek world. The list of victors of a local agonistic celebration of the king's birthday reads as if it were a panhellenic contest: there were the Macedonian, Thracian, Thessalian, Samian, Halicarnassian, Boiotian, and Tarentine victors as well as another victor from Naucratis, the old Greek city in Egypt.[15] In Egypt a young man could find, in the words of Herondas, "everything there is and will be: wealth, the wrestling arena, power, peace, renown, shows, philosophers, money, young men, the temple of the Brotherly Gods, the king a good ruler, the Museion, wine, all the goods somebody may desire, and more women, by Hades' wife Kore, than the sky boasts of stars, and beautiful like the goddesses who once came to Paris to let him judge their beauty" (l.26ff.). Urbanity and culture were as much an attraction as the chance to make money, preferably in the city of Alexandria but also in the towns and villages throughout the country, where religious and civic clubs made life tolerable for Greeks. In general terms, they were the soldiers, military settlers cultivating their kleroi with the help of subfarmers, professionals, bankers, agents, administrators, and tax farmers. They were the elite. Yet not all were successful.[16]

[13] L. Koenen, Eine agonistische Inschrift aus Ägypten und frühptolemäische Königsfeste , Beitr. z. klass. Phil. 56 (Meisenheim, 1977), 15-17. For the inscription see SEG 27 (1977): 1114 and 1305; 33 (1983): 1361; cf. J. Bingen, in Semaines philippopolitaines de l'histoire et de la culture thrace , Plodiv, 3-17 octobre 1980 IV (Sofia, 1983), 4:72-79 (non vidi ).

[14] L. Mooren, The Aulic Titulature in Ptolemaic Egypt: Introduction and Prosography , Verh. AWLSK 37 (Brussels, 1975), 78.

[15] Agonistiche Inschrift ; for a photograph of the stone see E. Bernand, Recueil des inscriptions grecques du Fayoum , vol. 3 (Cairo, 1981), pl. 42; SEG 27 (1977): 1114, 1305; and SEG 33 (1983): 1361.

[16] J. Bingen, "Présence grecque et milieu rural ptolémaïque," in Problèmes de la terre , 215-222; cf: eundem, "Économie grecque et société égyptienne au III , siècle," in Das ptolemäische Ägypten: Akten des intern. Symposions , Sept. 1976, Berlin, ed. H. Maehler and V. M. Strocka (Mainz, 1978), 211-219 (stressing the Greekness of the economic system).


On the other side, there were also relatively well-to-do Egyptians, frequently from priestly families with close ties to the still rich temples, which continued to keep control over and receive the revenues from their land inline image[17] and from the state, thus maintaining economic as well as social influence. The temples provided secure and in many cases substantial revenues to their priests, especially since individuals and families could collect the revenues and revenue shares from several priestly functions; the priests enjoyed a number of privileges.[18] Even with the restricted nature of our documentation—many more Greek than demotic papyri have been published—we find some Egyptians in the administration, hence also in functions that gave them control over Greeks; we find indications that there were many more Egyptians in such positions, but, at least since the second century BC , Egyptians tended to use Greek names when they executed Greek administrative functions (as Greeks could use Egyptian names when dealing with Egyptian affairs).[19] Some Egyptians, including priests, served in the regular

[18] On the economic power of the temples, partly visible in the enormous building programs of Egyptian temples, as well as on the economic and social influence of the priests, see J. Quaegebeur, "Documents égyptiens et role économique du clergé en Égypte hellénistique," in State and Temple Economy in the Ancient Near East , ed. E. Lipinski[*] , Orient. Lov. Anal. 6 (Louvain, 1979), 707-729; J. H. Johnson, "The Role of the Egyptian Priesthood in Ptolemaic Egypt," in Egyptological Studies in Honor of R. A. Parker , ed. L. H. Lesko (Hanover and London, 1986), 70-84.

[19] See Clarysse, "Ptolemaeïsch Egypte," 21-38; eundem, "Hakoris, an Egyptian Nobleman and his Family," AncSoc 22 (1991): 235-243, and "Some Greeks in Egypt," in Life in a Multi-Cultural Society: Egypt from Cambyses to Constantine and Beyond , ed. J. H. Johnson, Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilizations 51 (Chicago, 1992), 327-341. Among a number of case studies presented in the first of these articles Clarysse points to two brothers, Polemon and Menches alias Asklepiades, sons of Petesouchos alias Ammonios and his wife Thasis, both heads of the village administration of Kerkeosiris in the Fayum toward the end of the second century: the former performed the office of epistates, which was usually administered by persons with Greek names; his brother was the village secretary, the office which almost always was controlled by men with Egyptian names. Polemon, the epistates, named his son Petesouchos, after the Egyptian name of the son's grandfather Petesouchos alias Ammonios. Clarysse concludes that in Ptolemaic Egypt there were indeed two cultures, Greek and Egyptian, which did not meld; yet there was also a group of the population which was at home in both cultures: "'s Morgens gaan ze naar her gymnasium, speken Grieks, lezen Homeros en kleden sich als Grieken, en's middags gaan ze naar de tempel en zingen ze misschien Egyptische hymnen. En wanneer ze sterven laten ze zich mummificeren naar aloud Egytisch gebruik" (p. 35). In this situation names are not a sufficient indication as to whether an official is Greek or Egyptian. Whereas the names would indicate that at the beginning of the Ptolemaic rule and again in the second and first centuries BC more Egyptians served in leading positions than during most of the third century BC , this is no longer a certain conclusion. Moreover, even if our statistics should be correct, this would not necessarily indicate a deliberate change of policy during the reign of Philadelphos. For obvious reasons it may have been easier for people already in authority when Alexander and then the Ptolemies took over to continue in positions of influence than for the next generation of Egyptians to enter high office. For the evidence see W. Peremans, "Étrangers et Égyptiens en Égypte sous le règne de Ptolémée 1 ," AncSoc 11/ 12 (1980/81): 213-226; R. S. Bianchi, "Ptolemaic Egypt and Rome: An Overview," in Cleopatra's Egypt , 13-20, esp. 13; Koenen, "Adaption," 152 n. 26; for Egyptians in military service see n. 20.


army as officers and soldiers, others, it appears, in special Egyptian elite units.[20] There also were Egyptians in trade or managing their estates, notwithstanding the fact that the king nominally claimed ultimate ownership of all landholdings and that the size of Egyptian estates was much smaller than that of Greek estates. According to the surviving evidence,


in one case the holdings amounted to 80 arourai, or about 55 acres. Only when they belonged to the class of cavalry soldiers could they assemble larger holdings (100 arourai, i.e., about 68 acres): they were then regarded as Greek.[21]

It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between the Egyptian middle and lower class. The farmers of crown land inline image, whom a previous generation of papyrologists has seen as totally dependent and subject to severe restrictions of their freedom, in short almost as serfs, are now understood as an economically quite diverse group. The size of plots varied considerably, and the farmers of large plots, some of whom managed their land by hiring employees and some by subletting, were rather well-to-do, at least by village standards. Even temples farmed inline imageinline image. The farmers of the crown may have been exploited, yet they made a living, had a certain economic freedom, seem to have enjoyed


some security of tenure (although they could contract for different plots at different times), and received privileges including substantial protection from overzealous administrators and agents.[22] A similar picture emerges when we turn to Egyptian soldiers of the second century BC . At the same time, institutional discrimination appears. For example, while, as already stated, a Greek soldier and settler would get an allotment of 68, 54, 47, or 13 1/2 acres and frequently did not have to reside in the countryside, soldiers in less prestigious, by and large Egyptian, units of the military and the police inline image had to settle for 5 or 3 l/2 acres in the second century. But even for crown tenants, who had to pay a higher total of various levies, arourai of land were regarded as providing sufficient income, at least when combined with other revenues which a farmer could obtain (see n. 22).

Intermingling of Egyptians and Greeks became unavoidable, particularly in the countryside. Perhaps beginning with the third or fourth generation of Greek immigrants, intermarriage created a class of mixed population, among which, in a long process, the differences between people of Greek and those of Egyptian extraction disappeared. Persons frequently used two names. A person of Greek extraction would use his Egyptian name in an Egyptian social environment; in a Greek environment and in governmental or military capacities an Egyptian would be called by his Greek name. People were governed more by their social environment than by their ethnic extraction.

Some case studies illustrate the process. (a) By the middle of the third century, Monimos, an Alexandrian, and his family moved to the Fayum, an environment where marriages between Greek men and Egyptian women were common, and the children of such families had partly Greek and partly Egyptian names. (b) Particularly well known is the case of Dryton the cavalryman who, born in 195 BC , was a citizen of Ptolemaïs in the south of Egypt and belonged to the politeuma of the Cretans. In the second part of his life he was stationed in the countryside, mainly in Pathyris, nineteen miles upstream from Thebes. There he married his second (or third) wife, Apollonia, from a local family enrolled in the politeuma of the Cyrenaeans. His wife's family used double names and was of Egyptian extraction, and she became a financially independent woman capable of making loans to others. While Dryton never lost his


Greekness and may even have had some interest in Greek love poetry, his family, which included five daughters and no son, was embedded in an Egyptian environment fostered by the female members of the family. Some of the documents are written in demotic. (c) Finally we may mention the case of Maron, alias Neksaphthis, son of Petosiris. In the second century BC he started his service as an ordinary policeman; but in his long career he was advanced to be "a Macedonian of the cavalry settlers" inline image, thus belonging to one of the most prestigious units. In this position he had tenure of nominally 100 arourai of land and, as I have already indicated, could now be regarded as a Greek.[23]

In such an environment the distinction between Greeks and Egyptians is problematic; we speak of Greco-Egyptians. But this is a modern concept. In Egypt people were either Greeks or Egyptians (Goudriaan, Ethnicity , 117). Their ethnicity is not sufficiently described, in anthropological terms, as a mere in-group and out-group designation based upon self-ascription or ascription by others; it was not only a social (Goudriaan, Ethnicity , 8-13), but also a legal and political reality. At least in the third and second centuries BC , the change of a person's name and his country of origin was regulated by royal decree, and the authorization of such a change was reserved to the higher administration.[24] It was advantageous to be "Greek." In the middle of the third century Greeks, as well as Persians and women, did not pay the obelos tax, a poll tax levied together with the salt tax, the main poll tax of Ptolemaic times; and teachers of Greek inline image and sport inline image, priests of Dionysos and some other priests, and the winner of the main contests (the games in honor of Alexander, the Basileia, and the Ptolemeia) and their descendants were exempted from the salt tax: teachers of elementary Greek were as much rewarded as teachers of physical education; both helped to spread the Greek culture and the language needed by

[24] BGU 1213 and 1250 [C. Ord. Ptol . ll. 34, 47]; J. Mélèze-Modrzejewski, "Le statut des hellènes dans l'égypte lagide," in "Bulletin de bibliographie thématique: Histoire," REG 96 (1983): 241-268; on the BGU texts pp. 244ff.


the administrators of the Ptolemaic bureaucracy.[25] In the philanthropa edict of 118 BC , "Greek soldiers," as well as other groups like priests, crown farmers, and monopoly workers, were exempted from losing part of their houses to billeting (P. Tebt . 5, 168ff.; C. Ord. Ptol . 53). This language implies, of course, that the administration and the legal system recognized somebody as being either Greek or Egyptian, and that "Greek soldiers" were privileged, but along with other, partly Egyptian, groups important for the government. Thus, the government's motives were economic and their favors were directed toward the groups they needed most.

By and large it was still the Greek or Egyptian extraction that counted; but the system provided avenues for Egyptians to become Greek, as well as for Greeks to be culturally Egyptianized. In dally life, however, in an Egyptian village, the differences between the Greeks and the Egyptians were small. The particular situation must have varied from village to village and depended on the percentages of the Greek and the Egyptian population.

Ethnic tension, although poorly documented, is undeniable. The evidence is anecdotal, and we are not told whether ethnic or other forms of social tensions were involved. Here are a few examples, the first from the first century BC . In one instance, a Greek cavalryman took away the cows of an Egyptian Ibis keeper, a very low Egyptian priest, with which he was plowing. When the priest spoke up against the soldier, the latter broke into the priest's house and took away whatever he found useful.[26] Another example brings us to May 5, 218 BC . A Greek settler went to a small village in the Fayum for some private business. An Egyptian lady poured urine from a window or door upon him and his coat. A quarrel arose. The lady tore his coat to pieces, spat in his face, and ran back into her house when other people intervened. The unfortunate incident in itself may have had as little to do with ethnic tension as our first example. But when the Greek complained to the authorities, he stressed that he, a Greek and visitor, was mistreated by an Egyptian woman (P. Ent . 79).[27]

[25] See H. Harrauer's introduction to CPR 9 and, on the salt tax, cf. J. Shelton, "Notes on the Ptolemaic Salt Tax under Ptolemy III," ZPE 71 (1988): 133-136; the preceding remarks are deeply indebted to D. Thompson, "Literacy and the Administration in Early Ptolemaic Egypt," in Life in a Multi-Cultural Society , 323-326, and W. Clarysse, "Some Greeks in Egypt," ibid., 52.

[26] B. Kramer and D. Hagedorn, "Zwei ptolemäische Texte aus der Hamburger Papyrussammlung: 1. Eingabe an den König," APF 33 (1987): 9-16.

[27] W. Peremans, "Classes sociales et conscience nationale en Égypte ptolémaïque," in Miscellanea in honorem J. Vergote , ed. P. Naster, H. de Meulenaere and J. Quaegebeur, Orientalia Lovaniensia Periodica 6/7 (1975/76), 443-453, esp. 450; Lewis, Greeks in Ptolemaic Egypt , 61.


Remarkably similar is the story of Ptolemaios, a Macedonian, who in the second century lived in the temple of Astarte within the precinct of the Sarapeion of Memphis in an environment totally controlled by the Egyptian cult. He had entered the nonpriestly service of the deity to escape, at least in part, economic hardship rather than legal persecution, and he shared a room with an Egyptian. He and his twin brother Apollonios, also serving in the temple, were somewhat cultured men with some interest in literature. Apollonios copied part of a Greek translation of the Egyptian narrative of The Dream of Nektanebos , but he might have been attracted more by the dream prophecy than by the literary value of the piece.[28] The brothers owned at least part of an astronomical treatise and part of a philosophical text with quotations from Sappho, Ibykos, Alkman, Anakreon, Timotheos, Thespis, Euripides, and others;[29] moreover, there was another papyrus in their possession with two excerpts from comedy, a wife's speech and a monologue. In the papyrus, the former is wrongly ascribed to Euripides.[30] Over the years Ptolemaios submitted several complaints about incidents in which he had been attacked by Egyptian inhabitants of the temple precinct. On November 12, 163 BC , he and his Egyptian roommate were attacked by a group of temple cleaners and bakers; Ptolemaios escaped to his room and his Egyptian roommate suffered the beating. When Ptolemaios complained to the Greek authorities, he likened the event to an attack which the same group of people had made on him during the revolt of Dionysios Petosarapis and stated that he felt harassed although he "was Greek."[31] The attack itself may have been caused by individual circumstances and reasons, but Ptolemaios thought that the reminder of the past revolt and the insinuation of ethnic tension would help him, a Greek, with the Greek authorities. In other cases the inability to understand the other person's language may have played a role. Once a non-Greek, probably Arab, employee of Apollonios' domain complained to Zenon, the chief manager of the estate, about his local supervisor discriminating against

[28] Now see L. Koenen, "The Dream of Nektanebos," in Classical Studies Presented to W. H. Willis , ed. D. Hobson and K. McNarnee, BASP 22 (1985): 171-194.

[29] See Thompson, Memphis , 258f. on UPZ 101.

[30] P. Didot . Both excerpts have been ascribed to Menander (see A. W. Gomme and F. H. Sandbach's commentary [Oxford, 1973], pp. 723-729), wrongly, I think, at least in the case of the monologue.


him by withholding his salary and giving him cheap wine, because he was not Greek inline image and could not speak Greek well.[32] In the cities the situation was even more complicated because residents lived in ethnic quarters which would provide social support[33] as well as foster hostility towards those in other quarters.

Cultural and social separation on the one hand, mixture and amalgamation on the other, sometimes both blending together in the same villages and families, and, hence, unavoidable ethnic friction—all these elements are part and parcel of the same complex social reality.

II. Partial Amalgamation of Ideas

Undoubtedly, the Greek kings were in an extremely difficult position. There was a socially and ethnically divided population. There was the pride and the power of the victors and, on the other side, the fact that the victorious Greeks were a very small minority in a country they did not understand. There was no concept of "fatherland." Thus, the situation was totally different from the situation, let us say, in Macedonia. The Greeks had come as immigrants, basically on their own or on their ancestors' initiative. The Egyptians had been there for thousands of years, but their interests hardly reached beyond their villages and their possessions. During the last period of pharaonic kingship the country was split between rival dynasties, and the temples, always powerful in Egypt, were no longer restrained by the central government. Thus, the temples and the noble families normally connected with them had become the centers of power. Nevertheless, the concept of ideal kingship and the uniqueness of the Egyptian gods, myths, and rituals still created a feel for what was Egyptian. All this survived the Persian rule but was questioned again when the Greeks conquered the land. The Egyptians had little choice. They generally accepted the Ptolemies as their pha-

[33] Thompson, Memphis , 87.


raohs. The ethnic Origin and ties of the pharaoh meant little from the Egyptian point of view as long as he functioned in his role of conquering the daily assault of chaos and renewing the cosmic and hence the social order.[34] This he did by historical deeds as well as by performing the rituals; in fact, historical deeds were perceived as real inasmuch as they were seen as repetitions of the cosmogonic acts which the gods enacted at the beginning of time and still continued to perform daily. All authority, religious or other, was derived from the pharaoh. The only opposition could have come from the priests, who undoubtedly were a center of secular power too. But not recognizing the pharaoh was next to impossible; it implied a denial of the priests' own legitimacy and function.[35] The king was also the ultimate source of livelihood for farmers, landowners, noblemen of ancient lineage, administrators, soldiers, and workers. To use the words of the Instruction of Seheteb-ib-re (Middle Kingdom), "He gives food to those who serve him, he nourishes him who treads his path. The king is sustenance, his mouth is plenty, he who will be is his creation. He is the Khnum of everybody, begetter who makes mankind." Similarly, in the New Kingdom, Ramses II addressed quarry workers: "I, Ramses, am the one who creates generations by nourishing them."[36] In Ptolemaic times, Epiphanes is "green life for men" (see section II. 1.a with n. 58, and II.1.c [3]). The fact that in the eyes of the Greeks the kingdom was the affairs inline image of the king points to a secular and largely economic understanding of rulership, but it could be stretched to contain the same obligation as expressed by the Egyptian sentiment.

This situation called for a pragmatic approach on the part of the Ptolemies. The system could be made economically productive and could finance the wars with the other diadochs only by establishing a strong central administration, while at the same time interfering as little as possible with the temples and the religious beliefs of the people. Social separation seemed to provide part of an answer. With regard to the religions, the kings administration let everybody follow his or her beliefs. It is significant, for example, that on the occasion of an Isis festival in 217 BC , probably the Amesysia or festival of the birth of Isis, the lower adminis-

[34] Cf. J.-C. Goyon's short remarks in Cleopatra's Egypt , 29-39, esp. 30.

[35] E. Winter, "Der Herrscherkult in den ägyptischen Ptolemäertempeln," in Ptolemäische Ägypten , 147-160, esp. 147f.; C. Onasch, "Zur Königsideologie der Ptolemäer in den Dekreten yon Kanopus und Memphis," APF 24-25 (1976): 137-155, esp. 139 (with more literature).

[36] For the Instruction of Seheteb-ib-re from Abydos see M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature I (Berkeley—Los Angeles—London, 1973), 125-129, esp. 128; for the speech of Ramses II to the quarry workers see Ahmed-Bey Kamal, "Stèle de l'an VIII de Ramsès II," Recueil de travaux relatifs à la philologie et à l'archéologie égyptiennes et assyriennes 30, 213ff., A. Hermann, Die ägyptische Königsnovelle , Leipz. Ägyptologische Studien 10 (Glückstadt—Hamburg—New York, 1938), 53-56, esp. 55.


tration did not work and prisoners were sent home, while for the higher administration of the nome, business went on as usual.[37] Greeks in higher positions obviously did not care for this festival; but this attitude did not, of course, prevent them from creating Sarapis, a deity that presented an essentially Egyptian theology in a Greek dress.

The separation was most dearly practiced with regard to the law.[38] The Greeks followed common Greek (basically Athenian) law, while the Egyptians had their own courts, the laokritai . By 118 BC the language of contracts determined the competence of the court that was to hear lawsuits involving Egyptian and Greek parties (P. Tebt . 1.5.207-220 [C. Ord. Ptol . 53; Sel. Pap . 210]). This regulation is not necessarily an indication that it had become difficult to distinguish between Egyptians and Greeks, but it was, on the one hand, an attempt to make sure that the court was fully knowledgeable of the traditions, legal requirements, and implications of the contracts essential for the case.[39] On the other hand, the parties had a choice of the law that they wanted to govern their relations when they wrote their contracts, an aspect particularly important in family law where the Egyptian law provided greater protection-and independence for women. In all courts, the inline image was Greek,

[37] T. Caulfield, A. Estner, and S. Stephens, ZPE 76 (1989): 241-254, esp. 244f.

[38] W. Peremans, "Égyptiens et étrangers dans l'organisation judiciaire des Lagides," AncSoc 13/14 (1982/3): 147-159; H. J. Wolff, "The Political Background of the Plurality of Laws in Ptolemaic Egypt," in Sixteenth Congress of Papyrology , 313-318; Préaux, Monde hellénistique 2:587-601; on the other hand, E. Seidl, in light of his knowledge of demotic documents, believed in reciprocal influence of the two legal systems; see, for example, Ptolemäische Rechtsgeschichte , 2d ed., Äg. Forsch. 22 (Glückstadt, Hamburg, and New York, 1962) 2, 182, and 184; and eundem, "Griechisches Recht in demotischen Urkunden," in Akten des XIII. Intern. Papyrologenkongresses , ed. E. Kiessling and H. A. Rupprecht, MB 66 (Munich, 1974). Here, as in other areas, both sides of the controversy are partially right; and, in general, separate and parallel legal systems do not preclude the possibility that each system could learn from the other. Women, for example, tended to seek the stronger protection and economic liberty granted to them by the Egyptian law. At the beginning of the Roman time, women in Oxyrhynchus tended to secure their marriages through loans to their husbands, a custom which stands in the tradition of Egyptian marriage loans, but was materialized with the help of the Greek banking system; see T. Gagos, B. E. McNellen, and L. Koenen, "A First-Century Archive from Oxyrhynchos or Oxyrhynchite Loan Contracts and Egyptian Marriage," in Life in a Multi-Cultural Society , 181-205.

[39] Cases involving farmers of crown land and persons involved in the fiscal administration were exempted from this regulation. The precise text and meaning of P. Tebt . 1.5.207-220 is much debated; for recent literature see M.-T. Lenger, Corpus des ordonnances des Ptolémées, bilan des additions et corrections (1964-1988), complements à la bibliographie , Pap. Brux. 24 (Brussels, 1990), 15f.; for the different opinions, on the one hand, J. Modrzejewski, "Chrématistes et laocrites," in Hommages à C. Préaux (Brussels, 1975), 699-708 and Lewis, Greeks in Ptolemaic Egypt , 128f. with n. 3 on p. 171; on the other hand, P. W. Pestman, "The Competence of Greek and Egyptian Tribunals according to the Decree of 118 B.C. ," BASP 22 (1985): 265-269. For a brief historical review of the various courts in Egypt see W. Peremans, "Égyptiens et étrangers," 147-159.


and without his cooperation proceedings could not be opened. The king's orders overruled the laws of the Greek as well as the Egyptian system. For good or bad, these orders were a unifying factor. For example, Egyptians as well as Greeks had the right to address inline image (appeals) to the king; in practice they submitted them to the strategos , the civil governor of the nome. The petitions are written in the style of a letter but, after declaring the injustice suffered by the petitioner and asking the king for help inline image, they frequently combine Greek rhetoric with language that indicates the social structure of an oriental society: "I take refuge with you, King, the common savior of all men, and thus I shall obtain justice."[40] It is safe to say that this way of administering law and justice proceeded from the Greek understanding of the king and his personal ties with his subjects, but soon expressed the reality of an oriental monarchy.

Correspondingly, the administration was expected to administer the kings inline image with a sense of equity. This is the point of the strong message which at the beginning of the third century BC was sent by a dioiketes presumably to an oikonomos who just had been inaugurated into his office (P. Tebt . 3.703).[41] The letter is called a inline image and is a summary of preceding oral instructions. The recipient is admonished to protect the crown farmers against officials, to pay scrupulous attention to details, to inspect the crops and the canals, to read files punctiliously, and to attend to his official correspondence meticulously. The dioiketes is sensitive to the difficulties involved in giving general instructions in view of the individual circumstances of each case. It is, however, made absolutely clear that the concern of the dioiketes is focused on avoidance of any financial loss for the crown. There is nothing that sounds un-Greek in the ethics of these instructions, and almost all are very practical and down to earth.


One could easily understand that these instructions were given ad hoc. Yet the instructions seem to have a precedent in the instructions with which, in his Theban tomb, Vizier Rekhmire (New Kingdom) describes his detailed judicial, military, administrative, and supervisory responsibilities which, as in the case of the Ptolemaic oikonomos, include inspections of the water supply and the canals. These instructions are accompanied by a poetic and more general speech by the pharaoh with which he inaugurated the vizier. At the end of this speech follows a paragraph of prosaic instructions: "Furthermore, pay attention to the plow-lands when they are being confirmed. If you are absent from the inspection, you shall send the chief inspectors and chief controllers to inspect. If anyone has made an inspection before you, you shall question him. May you act according to your charge."[42] This is the same spirit which incited the dioiketes of P. Tebt . 3.703 to write his instructions for the new oikonomos;[43] moreover in both cases the instructions seem to have been given in two different forms, in an audience and by a written charge. Hence it may be assumed that such instructions by the pharaoh, and perhaps by high officials as well, were part and parcel of the Egyptian tradition.

The king's philanthropa decrees are related. They mark the beginning of a reign or coalition of joint rulers and, in more general terms,

[43] S. M. Burstein (in his review of CAH 7.1: CPh 82 [1987]: 164-168, esp. 167f.) objects to explanations of the instructions of P. Tebt . 3.703 in light of the Egyptian wisdom literature (see E. Turner, CAH 7.1.147; D. J. Crawford [alias Thompson], "The Good Official of Ptolemaic Egypt," in Ptolemäische Ägypten , 195-202). The Egyptian wisdom literature is indeed concerned with rather general, mostly moral or expedient, and frequently almost proverbial, instructions. They are not applicable to a specific office and insofar not comparable to the Ptolemaic instructions. But the instructions for Vizier Rekhmire are similar. W. Huss, "Staat und Ethos," esp. 72ff., invokes the term of wisdom literature, as I did in the original paper. To this S. M. Burstein (see n. l) objected. "Literature of instruction" (D. J. Crawford) or more specifically "inaugural instruction" is a more appropriate term. Yet these instructions breathe the moral and cultural spirit of the wisdom literature; or in W. Huss' words, the wisdom literature "bildete den Nährboden der Dienstanweisungen."


any other attempt to reorganize the government and to make a new beginning. The king or the joint rulers issue an amnesty, annul debts, reduce taxes, confirm rights and privileges, and take measures to protect their subjects from corrupt and high-handed officials and agents. This amounts to a declaration of rights and policies which will inaugurate a new, just, and better era. Again, these philanthropa continue Egyptian tradition.

What appears totally Greek may nevertheless have Egyptian antecedents as well. Thus, the interpretation with which we began and which separates the king into a clearly Greek and an Egyptian image seems to perceive only part of the reality. In fact, the king served simultaneously the Egyptian and Greek functions of his office. To some extent each side of the population had to be aware of, and to tolerate, the other's point of view. A good example is provided by the trilingual decrees of synods of the Egyptian priests (in Greek, demotic, and hieroglyphic). These decrees presumably resulted from complex negotiations and exchanges of drafts between the state and the temples. In 196 BC the synod of the Egyptian priests gathered at Memphis (Rosettana )[44] and responded with an honorary decree to the philanthropa issued by Epiphanes on the occasion of his coronation in 196 BC . In a similar fashion the Alexandrian synod of 238 BC expressed thanks to Euergetes for his various benefactions to the country and the temples. In both cases the priests address the Greek as well as the Egyptian population. Their decrees glorify the good deeds of the respective kings and certainly serve the interest of the state. The thoughts follow partly Greek, partly Egyptian patterns,[45] as is exemplified by the fact that the Rosettana adds the Egyptian dating formula to the Greek. I shall return to this later (section II.1.a).

Moreover, even from the Greek point of view, something more than a king administering his inline image was needed. The bond between the king and his inline image, between him and his army, the Greek population of

[44] Such synods of Egyptian priests from the temples throughout the country seem to have been requested by the Ptolemies. They were an instrument to control the temples, but the priests were able to use them as a means to extort privileges. See J. A. Evans, "The Temple of Soknebtunis," YClS 17 (1961): 49-283, esp. 164-166. For a collection, discussion, and bibliography of these decrees now see W. Huss, "Die in ptolemaiischer Zeit verfassten Synodal-Dekrete," ZPE 88 (1991): 189-208.

[45] For editions see n. 56; for a brief analysis see Onasch, "Königsideologie"; for more see F. Daumas, Les moyens d'expression du grec et de l'égyptien comparés dans les décrets de Canope et de Memphis , Suppl. aux Ann. du Serv. des Ant. de l'Ég. 16 (Cairo, 1952). For a historical comparison of the two decrees see G. Carratelli Pugliese, "Il decreto della stele di Rosetta," PP 208 (1983): 55-60. He interprets the Rosettana as a document that shows the growing influence of the temples, but also the willingness of Epiphanes to make greater use of the authority of the temples and to solidify his rule by a renewal of traditional aspects of Egyptian kingship (SEG 33 [1983]: 1357).


Alexandria, and the Greeks throughout the country was clearly strong enough as long as Egypt flourished politically and economically. But would this bond be enough in times of need and military defeat? There was and could be no concept of a inline image and of a Greek deity protecting Egypt and all her inhabitants. The traditional gods of the city hardly fitted into the new world, although Gods like Zeus and Dionysos changed into cosmopolitan gods in the course of time, and a deity like Demeter was worshiped by Egyptians under her Greek name.[46] The gods were remote. Sarapis was one attempt to fill the void, the concept of divine kingship another. Regarding the kings as gods, and thus obliging them to benefit men, was the only way to avoid rendering them tyrants.[47] Thus, the Ptolemaic kings were thought of as descendants of Dionysos and Herakles. Theokritos seems to have written his Herakliskos for an agonistic festival, presumably the Basileia and Genethlia of Philadelphos in 285, when the young prince joined his father as coruler, or at least became crown prince. In the poem young Herakles is described as if he were Philadelphos. Later, in 166 AD , the elevation of Commodus to the position of Caesar was celebrated by a statue that depicted the young prince as Herakliskos killing the two snakes, an event also crucial in Theokritos' poem for Philadelphos. The statue of Com-modus is clearly in line with the Ptolemaic tradition, and one wonders whether there once existed similar representations of Ptolemaic kings in the role of Herakliskos killing snakes.[48]

There was an additional legend that had Ptolemy I almost appear as a son of Zeus. Philip, the father of Alexander, had a lover, Arsinoe, herself a descendant of Herakles and sharing most of the ancestors of the house of Philip. When she was pregnant, Philip married her off to Lagos. The child, the later Ptolemy I, was exposed, but an eagle fed him and, extending his wings, protected him from sun and rain. Ptolemaic coins spread the message. On the front they show the face of the ruler

[46] J. Quaegebeur, "Cultes égyptiens et grecs en Égypte," in Egypt and the Hellenistic World , 306; Peremans, Vreemdelingen , 10.

[47] Different, and yet ultimately comparable, is the situation of the Greek cities which had to defer a substantial amount of their power and authority to a ruler who was not part of the cities' power structure; seeing this ruler as a god kept intact the traditional ideology of autonomy of the city; see S. Price, Rituals and Power: The Roman Imperial Cult in Asia Minor (Cambridge, 1984), 25ff., esp. 29f. For a systematic analysis of the various forms in which the ruler cult developed in Ptolemaic Egypt now see H. Hauben, "Aspects du culte des souverains a l'époque des Lagides," in Egitto e storia antica 441-467.

[48] For the interpretation of Theokritos' Herakliskos see Koenen, Agonistiche Inschrift , 79-86; for Rome see W. H. Gross, Herakliskos Commodus , Nachr. Akad. Göttingen, philhist. Kl. 1973, no. 4, LIMC IV.2.555, no. 1639. It would make no difference for the argument if the statuette should depict Commodus' brother Annius, who became Caesar at the same time.


and on the back the eagle of Zeus. As brother of Alexander, Ptolemy was the legitimate king of Egypt. He was a descendant of Zeus. He was the exposed child, the child whose father is not quite known and therefore may be divine. Such myths existed among many peoples.[49] In this special case, they implied a concept of Egyptian kingship according to which the king is the son of the highest god, of Amun-Re, the Egyptian equivalent of Zeus. The king was believed to have been fathered by his predecessor acting in the role of Amun-Re (see section II.1.c [5]). The particular image of the wings protecting the baby from sun and rain corresponds to the traditional and common image of the pharaoh protected by the wings of Horus the falcon. On the Ptolemaic coins the eagle of Zeus holds lightning bolts in his talons and, at least in some issues, spreads his wing as if flying up, but certainly not in imitation of the Egyptian falcon's protective gesture. Greek art would not imitate Egyptian art and symbols and adopt its pictorial programme but rather try to express an Egyptian idea in Greek pictures.[50] Hence it was possible to

[49] G. Binder, Die Aussetzung des Königskindes: Kyros und Romulus , Beitr. z. klass. Phil. 10 (Meisenheim, 1964); for Ptolemy see pp. 72 and 151f.


see the eagle of Zeus on the coins without thinking of such ramifications, but those who understood the Egyptian ideology would know better.

I. The Eponymous State Cults in Alexandria and Royal Cults in Egyptian Temples

At this point some attention needs to be given to the cult of Alexander and the Ptolemies. The theological concept was Greek. It proceeded from the idea that the deeds of some men had shown them as founders, benefactors, and saviors of their cities, and therefore as heroes or gods. The cult was founded by Ptolemy I Soter in the dry of Alexandria (see section II.1.b), and the names of the priests were used for dating all official documents, both state and private, even those of minor importance. Dating by eponymous priests or other officials was a common practice of Greek cities.[51] But the Alexandrian eponymous priesthoods were used not only for the city, but throughout the entire kingdom. For the purpose of dating, it would have been sufficient to count the years of the king, as was the Macedonian as well as the oriental practice.[52] Admittedly, from our point of view eponymous dating is very helpful in determining the date of a document, because regnal years are frequently

[51] For a survey see R. Sherk, "The Eponymous Officials of Greek Cities," ZPE 83 (1990): 249-288, ZPE 84 (1990): 231-295, ZPE 88 (1991): 225-260, ZPE 93 (1992): 223-272, esp. 259-265 on the eponymous cults in Alexandria and Ptolemaïs (no. 212); the final part will appear in 1993.

[52] The Macedonians counted regnal years, but this was also Egyptian practice. The Macedonian year, however, followed a different rationale. The first Egyptian year ran from accession to Thoth 1, the beginning of the next civil year, which then was counted as the second regnal year. The first year could thus be very short. The Macedonians made the accession day the new year's day of the regnal year, at least in principle. Thus, the first year runs from the day of accession till the day before the first anniversary, when the second year begins.


ambiguous. Under the early Ptolemies three different regnal years were used: one according to the Macedonian practice, another according to Egyptian custom, and a third one for the fiscal year.[53] In official documents, dating by eponymous priests supplemented the regnal year; and in this combination, the dating by eponymous priests indicated that the regnal years were counted the Macedonian way. But because of the length of the list of the eponymous priests, dating by eponymous priests was a very cumbersome way to resolve the ambiguity of regnal dating. In short, the practical purpose was hardly a sufficient reason for the creation of a single eponymous cult, not to speak of the ever increasing numbers that flourished in Alexandria and Ptolemaïs. Hence, eponymous dating in Egypt fulfilled, by and large, a symbolic function. On a first level, through the combination of dating by regnal years and eponymous officials, the kingdom represented itself in the double imagery of kingship and Greek city, even if the latter meant little in political reality. On the second level, the eponymous officials were priests, not other state or city officials. The combination of regnal years and eponymous priests of the state cult pointed to the unity between the administrative and religious functions of kingship. And on a third level, the eponymous cults in Alexandria were devoted to Alexander, the founder of the city,

[53] The Egyptian calendar was perhaps the most important contribution which the Egyptian tradition gave to the Ptolemaic economy and administration. Already during the reign of Philadelphos, the Macedonian calendar lost all practical importance and became ceremonial, and by 257 BC a certain Numenios being ordered to meet the dioiketes Apollonios in Memphis did not know the Egyptian equivalent to the Macedonian date of the king's birthday (P. Cairo Zen . 4.59541). It is significant that for fifteen years Philadelphos was not bothered by the fact that the Egyptians would not accept the count of regnal years which he had introduced for the Macedonian count in 282 BC . But in 267 BC the need for reform could no longer be denied, and the Egyptian count was changed too (n. 61). By this time the Egyptian calendar had taken over in all other regards. For a while an additional financial year was used, but it was based on the Egyptian calendar; the only difference was its beginning on Mecheir first—that is, in March—thus producing a year that should have been attractive for an agricultural economy. It is not known when this financial year was introduced; but it might be noted that in the year 21 of Philadelphos it practically coincided with the Macedonian regnal year. The financial year was never in general use.
Moreover, when Philadelphos changed the count of the Macedonian regnal year as early as in his first year (282 BC ; see n. 61) and the first year became the fourth, he calculated the retroactive first year from his elevation to coregent (possibly on Dystros 12, 285, his so-called birthday; see n. 110 [2 b]) to the next Macedonian new year's day of his own count (presumably Dystros 25, 285; see n. 96). The new first year may have had less than two weeks. The retroactive count was of no practical consequence, but it avoided having the period of Dystros 12-24 occur twice in the same year. The method followed the practice used for the Egyptian regnal year. See nn. 52 and 61; and Koenen, Agonistiche Inschrift , 52f. An attempt by Euergetes to introduce an intercalation system into the Egyptian calendar was an instant failure.


and to the subsequent Ptolemies. Thus the state cult of the city propagated the divine nature of kingship and the kings; the state cult was a means of propagating the ideology of Ptolemaic kingship.[54]

The main facts are well known.[55] We may turn to an example and look at the protocol of the decree of the synod of Egyptian priests assembled in Memphis mainly for the coronation of Ptolemy V Epiphanes in 196 BC ; this decree is best known through the Rosetta inscription. It combines the Greek eponymous dating with the Egyptian dating by the royal titularry, the "Great Name," of Epiphanes and is accompanied by the regnal year 9.[56]

a. The Egyptian Royal Titulary of Epiphanes and the Eponymous Priests of His State Cults: The Formulas

The Greek version of the synodal decree of Memphis (Rosetta inscription):

inline image


inline image


inline image


inline image


[54] The propagandistic use of the dating formula goes beyond these generalities. I have called the Ptolemaic dating formula a seismograph that indicates the changes in both the cult of the dynasty and the power structure (in the edition of P. Köln inv. no. 5063 [P . Köln 2.81; SB 10763]: "Kleopatra III. als Priesterin des Alexanderkultes," ZPE 5 [1970]: 71).

[55] J. Ijsewijn, De sacerdotibus sacerdotiisque Alexandri Magni et Lagidarum eponymis (Brussels, 1961), 196; P. M. Fraser, Ptolemaic Alexandria (Oxford, 1972) 1:214-226; F. W. Walbank, CAH 7.1.96-99; Préaux, Monde hellénistique 1:255-261; C. Habicht, Gottmenschentum und griechische Städte , 2d ed., Zetemata 14 (Munich, 1970), 230ff.; Koenen, "Adaption," esp. 154-170; for the Philopatores also see E. Lanciers, "Die Vergöttlichung und die Ehe des Ptolemaios IV. und der Arsinoe III," APF 34 (1988): 27-32; for the modern fasti of these priesthoods see G. Van der Veken in W. Clarysse and G. Van der Veken with the assistance of S. P. Vleeming, The Eponymous Priests of Ptolemaic Egypt , P. L. Bat. 24 (Leiden, 1983). I restrict myself to a brief survey.

[56] OGIS 1.90 (SEG 8.463; 33.1357; cf. n. 45); for the demotic and hieroglyphic texts in transliterations and all three texts in translation see S. Quirke and C. Andrews, The Rosetta Stone: Facsimile Drawing (London, 1988). The upper part of the stone with the first hieroglyphic lines is broken off. The text can be supplied from parallel versions; see Spiegelberg, Der demotische Text , 77-86 (parallel Greek text and translations of the Egyptian texts). For the hieroglyphic version of the royal titulary I follow Spiegelberg. In Ptolemaic times, hieroglyphic was a dead language, and the hieroglyphic texts of the bilingual and trilingual decrees are artificial creations. Yet this traditional and formulaic language remains important, particularly in the case of the royal names. See also G. Roeder, Die ägyptische Religion in Texten und Bildern , vol. 3, Kulte, Orakel und Naturverehrung im alten Ägypten (Zürich and Stuttgart, 1960), 167-190. The only other king for whom a Greek translation of the Egyptian royal titulary is extant in Philopator; see H.-J. Thissen, Studien zum Raphiadekret , Beitr. z. klass. Phil. 23 (Meisenheim, 1966); Koenen, "Adaptation," esp. 155 n. 36. For the connection of the Egyptian royal titulary with Greek dating and stylization of decrees see Jean Bingen, "Normalité et spécificité de l'épigraphie grecque et romaine de l'Égypte," in Egitto e storia antica , 15-35, esp. 20-24.






The hieroglyphic version (see n. 56):

|38 In year 9 on the fourth of Xandikos, which in the reckoning of the inhabitants of Egypt is the second month of the winter season under the Majesty of

Horus-Re (Hr )

the Youth who has appeared as king in place of his father

Lord of the Two Crowns ( )

the glorious[57]


who has made firm the Two Countries,


who has made Egypt beautiful,


who in his heart is pious towards the gods

[57] The Egyptian versions offer a traditional phrase which is best translated: "great in his might." Hieroglyphic is frequently ascribed to kings and refers to physical strength as well as to power and reputation. The Greek translation interprets the word in the latter sense. See Thissen, Studien , 31f.; and Spiegelberg's translation, Der demotische Text , 31.


Horus triumphant over Seth of Ombos (Hr )

who is green life for men,[58]


Lord of the hb-sd[*] festival like Ptah-Tnn


king just like Re

King of Upper and Lower Egypt

the heir of the two Father-loving Gods

|39 (njswt-bjt[*] )


chosen by Ptah


("Mighty is the Spirit of Re")


Living Image of Amun

Son of Re (

R' )



Living forever,


Beloved by Ptah,


the Shining God (= Epiphanes),


the Charitable God (= Eucharistos),


the son of Ptolemy and Arsinoe, the two Father-loving Gods

when . . .


b. The Development of the Greek Eponymous State Cults and Egyptian Temple Cults of the Ptolemies

The protocol of the synodal decree of Memphis combines the Egyptian royal titulary (the kings "Great Name") with the regnal year and with the eponymous dates of the state cults in Alexandria . The count of regnal years is part of both the Egyptian and the Macedonian tradition (see n. 52) and thus mediates between the Egyptian and the Greek elements. At Epiphanes' time the priesthood of Alexander contained the series of Ptolemaic rulers from Ptolemy I Soter and Berenike I to Epiphanes, the reigning king; and several other eponymous cults had been added. The development of this formula is characterized by the following steps:

In 290/89 Ptolemy I Sorer , who claimed the same lineage as Alexander, founded a new cult of Alexander[59] with an eponymous priesthood, at the time called simply the "priest." Ptolemaios himself had already received cultic honors on the island of Rhodes from the league of the Nesiotai and in Ptolemaïs as founder of the city. Moreover, at least once,

[59] At the time when this institution was founded, a cult dedicated to Alexander the founder seems already to have existed in Alexandria. Ptolemy I had buried Alexander first in Memphis, then in Alexandria.


he and his wife Berenike received a dedication as inline image in Egypt. All these honors were based on specific merits in specific cases, but they went one step farther: on coins Ptolemy Sorer wears the aigis of Zeus. He thus appears Zeus-like. The genealogy I mentioned rendered him a descendant of Zeus. But the deification of the inline image was only established by his son and successor Philadelphos in 280 BC .

Ptolemy II Philadelphos founded a cult of himself and his wife Arsinoe II, probably in 272/1 BC. At this time Arsinoe II already had the name Philadelphos,[60] and she was still alive. Now the title of the eponymous "priest" became "the priest of Alexander and the

,"[61] with omission of the Theoi Soteres for whom, however, Phi-

[60] Fraser, Ptolemaic Alexandria 1:217 and 2:367 no. 228; Koenen, "Adaption," 157, 159.


ladelphos founded separate cults. But the Theoi Soteres appear in the series of gods by whom, in continuation of pharaonic practice, people would officially swear. For example, a papyrus of 250 BC testifies that somebody "swears by King Ptolemy, the son of King Ptolemy and Queen Berenike, the Soteres, and by Arsinoe Philadelphos, the Gods Adelphoi, and by the Gods Soteres, their parents."[62]

In his fifth year (243/2) Euergetes added his name and that of his

[62] P. Sorb . 1.32.4-9 with notes. The list of gods was to grow in a similar way as in the title of the priest of Alexander (but with reversed order). For example, at the time of Epiphanes, one would swear "by King Ptolemy, the son of Ptolemy and of Arsinoe the Gods Philopatores, and by the Gods Philopatores and the Gods Adelphoi and the Gods Euergetai and the Gods Soteres and Sarapis and Isis and all the other gods" (P. Petr . 2.46 [Wilcken, Chrest . 110]). Later, of course, the formula was shortened (e.g., P. Oxy . 49.3482.28-29 of 73 BC ), just as the dating formula was abridged. The inclusion of other gods corresponds to traditional Egyptian practice; the king could either replace old gods or be invoked side by side with them (cf. E. Seidl, Der Eid im ptolemäischen Recht [1929], 45-48), but the generalization "and all the other gods" is Greek (cf. nn. 172 and 182).


wife Berenike II to the title of the priest of Alexander and the Theoi Adelphoi ; in the ninth year (288 BC ) the Egyptian priests who were gathered at Kanopos followed the precedent of the Greek cult and, in their own cults, added the title of priest "of the Theoi Euergetai " to the titles of all priests in the entire country; the Euergetai were inline image of the Egyptian gods. In addition to the existing four classes of priests they created a new class called inline image.[63] They resolved to enlarge the honors which in the Egyptian temples were already given "to King Ptolemy and Queen Berenike the Gods Euergetai and for their parents the Gods Adelphoi and their ancestors the Gods Soteres" (20-22 [ = 15-17]).[64] It is unfortunately not dear whether this refers to separate cults or whether, as seems likely, these cults were meant to be dynastic: the cults of "the Theoi Euergetai, Theoi Adelphoi , and Theoi Soteres ." But Alexander, the first name to be mentioned in the series of divine names in the Greek title of his priest, is not included in the Egyptian version, and the names are arranged in reverse order.[65] From Euergetes on, we indeed find priests identified as "servants" of the royal couple and of other gods; and in the course of history the ancestors of the royal couple were added and the list grew just as the title of the priest of Alexander kept growing. Later, there were priests identified by the main god of the temple where they served, plus the royal couples from the Philadelphoi or Euergetai on to the reigning king. The theory that the Egyptians worshiped only the deceased kings can no longer be maintained. Although they began their own ruler cult with Arsinoe II (see nn. 68, 69) and, in contrast with the Greeks, only after her death, already with Euergetes this distinction no longer applies. The Egyptian cult developed in the Egyptian temples, while the Greek ruler cult, that of Alexander and of the Ptolemies as well as that of individual kings and queens, developed in Alexandria and other places where the Greeks lived. Greeks and Egyptians followed their own traditions, yet the Greek and Egyptian institutions of the ruler cult fulfilled similar functions. It is essential to realize that the Egyptian priests accepted the Greek cult names of the royal couples. We will return to this below.[66]

[63] Can ., Greek 24f. (Kôm el-Hisn 19). This resolution was only partly implemented, and the title was merely given to specific individuals; see Thompson, Memphis , 134, and below.

[65] Cf. the genealogically arranged series of Ptolemaic kings by whom the official oath was sworn; see nn. 62 and 172.

[66] For the preceding paragraph see J. Quaegebeur, "Egyptian Clergy and the Ptolemaic Cult," AncSoc 20 (1989): 93-113; for the titles of priests referred to above, see 104f. It is worthwhile to quote Quaegebeur's conclusion: "I have tried to demonstrate that, parallel with the Hellenistic dynastic cult, a native version developed which encompassed, from Ptolemy III on, the ancestors as well as the living monarchs. I prefer not to use the passive term 'reception' in connection with the dynastic cult since the higher clergy participated actively in the development of their version of the royal cult, which had always been part of the temple ritual but was adapted to the history of the new royal house." For veneration of the ancestors of the ruling king in Egyptian temples see also Winter, "Herrscherkult." Recently D. Fishwick (following E. Winter) has again asserted that only deceased Ptolemies were worshiped in Egyptian temples ("Statues Taxes in Roman Egypt," Historia 38 [1989]: 335-347. For the Egyptian priest of the royal cult, see also E. Lanciers, "Die ägyptischen Priester des ptolemäischen Königskultes (Zusammenfassung)," in Life in a Multi-Cultural Society , 207-208.


Philopator , as he was already named as a child, received veneration from the Egyptians early on; after his marriage to Arsinoe III, Theban priests were called "priests of Amun, the Gods Adelphoi, the Gods Euergetai, and the Gods Philopatores." Presumably on the occasion of the wedding (in or before 220 BC ) the couple added themselves to the cults of the Egyptian gods in the form in which the Greek dynastic cult flourished in the Egyptian temples.[67] Then, beginning with the seventh year (216/5 BC )—that is, with the year following the Battle of Raphia—Philopator and Arsinoe III were added to the Greek cult and the dating formula. It is certainly unexpected that the inclusion of the Philopatores in the Alexandrian cult was anticipated by first adding them under their Greek names to the Egyptian cults. The road to this initiative was paved by the enthusiasm with which the Egyptian temple had accepted Arsinoe II and, consequently, the Theoi Adelphoi .[68]

In the following year, Philopator included Ptolemy Soter and Berenike in the title of the priest of Alexander in their proper chronological order, thus finally establishing the genealogical line of the dynasty. This last step was not followed by the Egyptian dynastic cult, which excluded Alexander and Ptolemy Soter. In the Greek cult, the Ptolemaic god-kings were inline image of Alexander; in the Egyptian cult, they were inline imageinline image of the Egyptian gods. Thus, his insertion would have been theo-

[67] P. Vatic. dem . 2037B of Thoth of the third year (October 15 to November 15, 220); the title of the priests occurs in the signature. It is significant that the dating formula of the document does not contain the addition of the Theoi Philopatores . Before the document attracted renewed attention, the wedding was dated by J. Quaegebeur to shortly before the Battle of Raphia (June 8, 217 BC ; "Documents Concerning the Cult of Arsinoe Philadelphos at Memphis," JNES 30 [1971]: 248 with n. 60; for the date of the battle see Koenen, "Adaption," 165 n. 64). For the interpretation of P. Vatic. dem . and its far-reaching consequences see Lanciers, "Vergöttlichung." For a discussion of the problems see also Huss, Aussenpolitik Ptolemaios' IV , 260-265.

[68] See especially J. Quaegebeur, "Ptolémée II en adoration devant Arsinoe II divinisée," BIFAO 69 (1971): 191-217, "Documents"; cf. eundem, "Reines ptolémaïques et traditions égyptiennes," in Ptolemaïsche Ägypten , 245-262, and "Cleopatra VII," 42; Thompson, Memphis , 126-138. For the material interest that the temples had in founding cults for Arsinoe II see section II.1.e.


logically difficult. Here is the problem: from the Egyptian point of view Alexander could merely have become the first in the series of ancestors; thus he would not have had the primary position which he had in the Greek series, where he was the god who originally and ultimately gave his name to the title of the priest. If, however, it was better to leave Alexander out of the Egyptian cult, then it was also convenient to avoid the introduction of Soter into the series. To be sure, there was no theological problem, and already under Euergetes the priests had decided in principle to include Soter in the series of kings to be venerated in the Egyptian temples. But it seems it was convenient not to add him to the series, since his insertion would have brought the question of Alexander into play. Doing nothing was better, as long as the Ptolemaic kings did not insist that the temples follow the lead of the Alexandrian cult.[69]

In the end,[70] the king became, indirectly, his own priest. Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II was priest of Apollo in Cyrene, most likely when he was ousted from Egypt by his brother and resided in Cyrene. Apollo was identified with Horus, and the Egyptian king lived the role of Horus. Being king and priest of Apollo implied a claim to the Egyptian throne. But it also opened the door for a development which let later Ptolemaic kings become priests of Alexander and the Ptolemies, including themselves. Ptolemy IX Soter II had this priesthood through almost his entire reign (116-107; and once before [135/4]), Ptolemy X Alexander at least for three years (107-105 and 84/3), and Kleopatra III at least once (105/4). It was common throughout the Hellenistic world that, in times of economic hardships, Greek cities made the local god or goddess serve as eponymous priest: the deity was her or his own priest. This meant in practical terms that. no person wealthy enough had been found and that, hence, the temple of the deity assumed the costs of the priesthood. In this respect, the feature is perfectly Greek. It is also understandable that Ptolemaic kings undertook to fill in and to bear the costs. Yet the fact that they, being kings, implicitly worshiped themselves is without precedent in the Greek institution. The presence of Kleopatra III, a woman, in a male priesthood is even more remarkable. It is reminiscent of Queen Hatshepsut, who was depicted with the male beard of the Egyptian king; but there are closer historical antecedents: in Edfu, Berenike

[69] For the silent exclusion of Alexander and Soter see Winter, "Herrscherkult," 156f. ("Ebenso scheint mir der Beginn der Herrscherreihen in den ägyptischen Templen mit Ptol. II und Arsinoe II aus dem hieroglyphischen Material nicht erklärbar"). Cf. Quaegebeur, "Cleopatra VII," 42. For the introduction of the name of Philometor into the title of the dynastic priest see section II.1.d (Philometor).

[70] For certain changes under Ptolemy V Epiphanes see E. Lanciers, ZPE 66 (1986): 61-63.


II, the wife of Euergetes, received a female Horus-name and thus was regarded as pharaoh.[71]

In addition to these male priesthoods for the king, queens also received their separate cult, in Egyptian as well as in Greek temples.[72] The priestesses of their Alexandrian cult became eponymous. Philadelphos created the priesthood of the kanephoros of Arsinoe Philadelphos either in 269/8, when Arsinoe II was still alive, as we now know, or more likely after her death in the beginning of July 268 (n. 61).[73] After her death, the king was a god on earth and the queen a goddess in heaven. In 211/0 Philopator added the Athlophoros of his mother, Berenike Euergetis, and in 199/8 Epiphanes included a priestess of his mother, Arsinoe. There were still more changes to come, and some indicated a slow propagandistic Egyptianization of the ideas, albeit not of the forms in which the cults were practiced.[74] Suffice it to say that the Ptolemaic queens took an extraordinary part in the deification. King and queen were the divine couple in the image of Zeus and Hera.

There was a second eponymous state cult of the Ptolemies in Egypt, founded by Ptolemy IV Philopator in Ptolemaïs in the south of Egypt, north of Thebes, in 215/4, when he also inserted Ptolemy I into the Alexandrian title of the priest of Alexander. The cult in Ptolemaïs was

[71] For documentation of the Ptolemaic priesthoods see Van der Veken's list in Eponymous Priests; for the king serving as his own priest see R. Sherk, "Eponymous Officials," ZPE 93 (1972): 265; on Kleopatra III see Koenen, "Kleopatra III"; for Berenike's Horus-name see Quaegebeur, "Egyptian Clergy," 98 with n. 27; for Hatshepsut see also n. 8 and section II.1.d (Philometor).

[72] For the evidence of Egyptian cults see the literature quoted in n. 68.

[73] The first securely attested kanephoros is Aristomache daughter of Aristomachos in 267/6. Matela or Metals of P. dem. Brux . may now rather be assigned to 259/8; and Eukleia daughter of Aristodikos could have been the first kanephoros or could belong to a later year. See Van der Veken, in Eponymous Priests 6-7, and Fraser, Ptolemaic Alexandria 2:366 n. 225.


originally for Ptolemy I Soter and Philopator the reigning king, but over time the cults multiplied and changed. Ptolemy VI Philometor removed himself from the title of the priest of Soter, and instead received a separate eponymous cult for himself and his wife. In imitation of the Alexandrian cult he also added a kanephoros of Arsinoe. There was a tendency to build independent cults for individual kings and queens, but their accumulation reflected the dynastic line as did the title of the priest of Alexander in Alexandria. As Alexander was the core of the Alexandrian cult, so Ptolemy I was the center of the cult in Ptolemaïs. Whereas the eponymous priests of Alexandria were used throughout the kingdom, those of Ptolemaïs were only used in the south. The double list of eponymous priests of Alexandria and Ptolemaïs staged the old Egyptian symbolism of the two countries in a new form: it was the king's ritual duty to unify the Two Countries—that is, in the main meaning of the phrase, Lower and Upper Egypt.[75] Thus now, at least in the south, the Ptolemaic rule presented itself in two different sets of eponymous state cults, each of them stretching from the present ruler or the royal couple back to Alexander and Soter, respectively. The dynastic line that represented the succession, by itself a perfectly Greek thought, was capable of expressing the Egyptian idea of transferring the power of kingship from the ancestors to the reigning king.[76]

c. The Official Egyptian Titulary of the King in the Protocols of Documents

The Greek dating formula amounted to an ever-growing protocol. Its function in part paralleled the protocol of the old Egyptian dating formula, which only temples continued to use. When it was combined with the Greek formula, the Egyptian preceded the latter. The Egyptian formula is based on the royal titulary or "Great Name" (see section II.1.a) which each king received at his coronation. It consists of five invariable titles (left column), each of which is followed by an individual name (right column). In general terms, the "Great Name" expresses the divine origin of the king, as the Greek dating formula does in a different way. It lacks an elaborate genealogy but lets the king ap-

[75] More on this in section II.1.c (2) and (4); W. H. Mineur, Callimachus: Hymn to Delos (Leiden, 1984), 165f. on line 168; P. Bing, The Well-Read Muse , Hypomnemata 90 (Göttingen, 1988), 136; Koenen, "Gallus," 136 n. 64, and "Adaption," 186f.

[76] See also section II.1.c (4); Quaegebeur, "Egyptian Clergy," 96, with a quotation from L. Bell, "Luxor Temple and the Cult of the Royal Ka," JNES 44 (1985): 283, stating that in the New Kingdom the rite served "to identify the reigning monarch with the divine ancestors."

The eponymous priesthoods made up the largest portion of the dating formula in official documents, side by side with the brief indication of the year of the king; the formula could get longer than the contract itself. Hence abbreviations were invented, but this is of no immediate interest in the present context.


pear as an incorporation of the gods, the original kings of the country. Thus, in the traditional parts of the name, in the invariable rifles (left column), the king appears as the son of the creator god. He is not called a "god," as in the Greek cults. In fact, he is only a god inasmuch as he exercises the creative and protective function of specific gods. He is not a god because honored as a god for his previous deeds, but he is the visible presence of the gods because of his divine office. Therefore, he repeats the deeds which the gods have done in mythical times. The pharaoh does not earn his divinity, but he displays it by playing his role. Despite such differences, it is clear that the Greek formula serves a general purpose similar to the Egyptian titulary. It propagates the king as the divine ruler. A closer, albeit rather quick look at the different elements of the Egyptian "Great Name" and the meaning of the Greek cult names confirms this impression.[77]

(1) "The King"

translates the Egyptian Horus title (Hr ); in the hieroglyphic version of the synodal decree of Memphis, this Horus is identified with the sun-god Re, that is, the god who expresses the cosmic and cosmological power of Re. The corresponding individual name, however, immediately adds "the young, who has received the kingship from his father." Thus, the concept of Horus the sun-god is supplemented with the other aspect of the same god: Horus the child, the son of Isis and Osiris. That Epiphanes was indeed young at the time of his coronation is accidental. Yet his actual youth may have been perceived as expressing precisely the youthful quality claimed by this part of the name. In the context of naming the king, the combination of the two aspects of Horus expresses the belief that the king exhibits the power of Horus the sun-god as well as the idea that he has received the kingship from his father Osiris. While young Horus represents the king on earth, Osiris stands for the dead king, the father and predecessor; both taken together describe the transition of power. The genealogical series of the names of the dynastic priesthood serves precisely the same function.

(2) "The Lord of the Crowns"

renders the title, which literally means "the Two Ladies." This title identified the king as lord of the two crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt or, in the hieroglyphic version, as representing the tutelary goddesses of Upper

[77] In the following remarks I shall leave aside the changes in meaning that developed in the long history of the royal titulary in spite of its rather static terminology. For more information see Thissen, Raphiadekret , 27-42; J. yon Beckerath, Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen , Münchener Ägyptol. Studien 20 (Munich and Berlin, 1984), 1-42; H. Frankfort, Kingship and the Gods (Chicago, 1948), 46f.; G. J. Thierry, De religieuze betekenis van bet aegyptische koningschap (Leiden, 1913); A. Moret, Du caractère religieux de la royauté pharaonique , Ann. du Musée Guimet, Bibl. d'Ét. 15 (Paris, 1902), esp. 18-32.


and Lower Egypt, Nekhbet and Wadjet. Egypt was mythically regarded as a double kingdom and, through the ritual of the coronation, each king unified the two parts of the country (cf. section II.1.b [end] and (4) below). But this is too abstract. The two crowns were incorporations of the two tutelary goddesses of the double monarchy. By appearing in the crowns of the king, they protect the Two Countries. This idea is picked up in the corresponding names, which describe the king as being glorious, putting Egypt in order, and being pious towards the gods.

(3) The title "The Triumphant over His Enemies" is an interpretative rendition of what originally meant "Horus of (or upon) Gold" or more generally the "Falcon of Gold." In the late period of Egyptian history this was understood as "Horus being victorious over Seth" (Hr ); hence the Greek translation. Thus, the title recalls the same myth which we encountered with the first title: when Seth had killed Osiris, the previous king, and had thus pushed the land back into its original chaos, he was conquered by Horus; the land was reestablished and regained the state in which Re had created it from chaos. The following individual name focuses on the same ideas: restoration of life (or rather: the king is life), renewal of the creation by Re, and the permanent renewal by means of a specific festival, the sed festival or thirty-year festival (see n. 110 [2a]).

(4) The njswt-bjt[*] title, "The Great King of the Upper and Lower Countries," again stresses the idea of the double monarchy represented in hieroglyphic form by the "Sedge" and the "Bee," the symbols for Upper and Lower Egypt (cf. section II.1.c [2]). It is followed by the individual "prenomen" of the king, which is encircled by a cartouche. Starting with the cartouche of Euergetes, it is here that the Egyptian titulary accommodated the genealogical descent so crucial for the Greek formula: "the descendant of the Gods Philopatores." The idea of descent becomes crucial for the prenomen (cf. n. 76). The filiation is followed by more traditional names assuring that the king has been approved by the gods; thus "Whom Helios Gave Victory" is simply a translation of the Egyptian name User-Ka-Re, literally "Strong Is the Spirit of Re." Moreover, Epiphanes received the name "Living Image of Zeus"; he is on earth what Zeus or, to use the Egyptian name of the god, what Amun-Re is in heaven. According to Egyptian beliefs this indicates that Amun-Re is living in him and that it is Epiphanes who on earth exhibits the might of Amun-Re, his father.[78]

[78] The pharaoh is generally the "image of God NN." The hieroglyphic phrase used for Epiphanes is shm-'nh-(n)-Jmn[*] , which in its general sense recalls the name of Tutankhamun (eighteenth dynasty): twt-'nh-Jmn[*] . Both words, shm[*] and twt , mean "image," but twt can also be rendered "complete, perfect"; and Tutankhamun's name may originally have meant "Perfect-with-Life-is-Amun" (G. Fecht, "Amarna-Probleme," ZAeS 85 [1960]: 90). Substituting shm[*] for twt is replacing an unwanted ambiguity by a meaningful one. shm[*] is not only very commonly used for "image" but originally meant "might." Thus, the Egyptian phrase used for Epiphanes still yields the connotation of "Living Might of Amun." See E. Hornung, "Der Mensch als 'Bild Gottes' in Ägypten," in O. Loretz, Die Gottebenbildlichkeit des Menschen , Schriften des Deutschen Instituts für Wissensch. Pädagogik (Munich, 1967), 123-156, esp. 137-150 and 143-145; eundem, Conceptions of God in Egypt: The One and the Many , trans. from Der Eine und die Vielen (Darmstadt, 1971) by J. Baines (Ithaca, N.Y., 1982), 135-142.


(5) The same idea appears in the final title: "Son of Amun-Re" (inline imageR' ). I have already mentioned the legend of the birth of Ptolemy I. In the language of Greek myth, it reflected the Egyptian beliefs that the king was the son of, and protected by, the supreme god, that is, by Amun-Re, who in Greek terms corresponded to both Zeus and Helios. Alexander was depicted on coins as "Amun-Re," the ram god. Furthermore, the Macedonian king had marched to the Oasis of Amun in Siwa as soon as he had taken Egypt and, if for once we can trust Pseudo-Kallisthenes, had been crowned in the temple of Ptah at Memphis.[79] The march to Siwa was time-consuming and is dangerous even nowadays. It resulted from a shrewd calculation. Alexander could count on the fact that he would be greeted as the Egyptian king, hence as the "son of Amun." The same would have happened in any other Egyptian temple, but only the temple of Amun in Siwa had authority in the Greek world. Hence the message spread to Greece. In Egypt, legends were told illustrating the fifth rifle. In Pseudo-Kallisthenes, Alexander is fathered by Nektanebos, the Egyptian king, who appears as Amun. When Alexander appears on coins with the horn of a ram, this picture expresses his descent from the ram god Amun.[80]

The fifth title is followed by the proper names of the king, in the case of Epiphanes by a transcription of his Greek name "Ptolemaios" and traditional Egyptian names which further assure that he is "beloved by Ptah." The latter means more than the English phrase indicates to the

[79] Koenen, Agonstische Inschrift , 29-32; cf. Thompson, Memphis , 106: "When Alexander the Great took Egypt in 332 BC , he visited . . . Memphis, where he sacrificed to the Apis bull and to other gods, celebrating in the city with both gymnastic and musical contests. Arrian, unlike the later Alexander Romance , makes no mention of an actual enthronement ceremony here in the temple of Ptah, but it is dear that in Memphis, sacrificing to the Apis bull in its native form, Alexander was claiming acceptance as pharaoh among the Egyptians whom he now ruled." Most recently S. M. Burstein, "Pharaoh Alexander: A Scholarly Myth." AncSoc 22 (1991): 139-145, has argued against any coronation before that of Epiphanes, and specifically against a coronation of Alexander.

[80] See Grimm, "Vergöttlichung"; R. Merkelbach, Die Quellen des griechischen Alexanderromans , 2d ed., Zetemata 9 (Munich, 1977), 77-82; Koenen, "Adaption," 167; H. Brunner, Die Geburt des Gottkönigs: Studien zur Überlieferung eines altägyptischen Mythos , Ägyptol. Abh. 10 (Wiesbaden, 1964), esp. 22-31, 42-58; Moftah, Königsdogma , 99-106.


modern reader. It attests that Ptolemy is the son of the god, this time the son of Ptah. Or, to use another phrase recently used to explain the meaning: "A ruler described as beloved of a god becomes a form of that god."[81]

The proper names are again encircled by a cartouche. After the car-touche the Greek cult-names ("Epiphanes Eucharistos") are added, a practice which already began with the name of Ptolemy Soter. In the Rosettana the cult-names are followed by the proper names of the kings parents. By accommodating the Greek filiation the last two titles of the "Great Name" adopt the propaganda functions of the Greek dating formula. First, there is the filiation of the king with the cult-names of his parents (after the fourth title), then the king's own proper name "Ptolemaios," his own cult-names, and finally again his filiation, this time with the parents named by their proper names.

d. The Meaning of Greek Dynastic Cult-Names

In light of the preceding consideration of the Egyptian titulary, it will now turn out that the Greek cult-names capture more of the tenets of the Egyptian titulary than can be assumed at first glance. But again, I will have to restrict the presentation of the evidence to the most important examples.[82]

"Soter" and "Euergetes" were names recalling the Greek honors for men who had served their city in an extraordinary way. Yet the same names expressed ideas of Egyptian kingship. In the capacity of his second title the king was the divine protector of his country and of the gods. When Philopator in his name is called "the savior of men" (cf. section II.1.c [2]), the same Egyptian word is used that appears in the translation of inline image (ntrw[*] ndw[*] cf. n. 87). It already occurs in the greeting which the gods extend to Haremheb at his coronation (ndy.n[*] "our protector"); and Sesostris I and Neferhotep I are each called "protector of the gods." Another Egyptian word for the same idea appears in the titulary extant in the temple of Philae: Shed , "savior." Similarly the transcription for "Euergetes" is derived from mnh[*] , an epithet that a later generation gave to King Snofru (fourth dynasty).

"Philadelphos" is originally the name for Queen Arsinoe If; the couple was called inline image. The name alludes to the mythical marriages of Tefnut the daughter of Shu and her brother Shu, or of Osiris and his sister Isis, who conquered even death and became the exemplar

[81] Bell, "Luxor Temple," 290 n. 222; Quaegebeur, "Egyptian Clergy," 101; for the imagery of love as expressing the ideology of Ptolemaic kingship, see Koenen, "Adaption," 157-168, and section II.1.d below.

[82] The following is a shortened version of what I said in "Adaption," 152-170; the documentation is given there.


of love; in this capacity Isis was invoked in magic.[83] In the Isis aretalogy from Cyme, Isis calls herself inline image (6), just as Berenike II and occasionally Kleopatra II are called inline imageinline image or inline image. In the Mendes Stele, Arsinoe II is "sweet with love," an Egyptian term of praise for women. From the Greek point of view, the queen loved the king, her brother, and the king responded with the same love. The ideological importance becomes even clearer when Euergetes and Berenike II are officially represented as brother and sister, when in reality they were cousins by adoption (see n. 170). While such marriages were perfectly acceptable to the Greeks, brother and sister marriage was not. The relationship which, in the case of Phi-ladelphos, Sotades had castigated as an unholy marriage ("You push your prick into the unholy hole"),[84] had become the most holy because, according to Theokritos, it imitated the marriage of Zeus and Hera (Ptol . 130ff.). Similarly, it is praised by Kallimachos (SH 254.2).[85] According to the Greek view, it was the mother's love for their father that made the children similar to him. Thus, the love of the rulers guaranteed the birth of the legitimate successor (Theokr. Ptol . 38-44). "Love" became part of the ideology of Ptolemaic kingship, and this development was strongly influenced by the Egyptian dogma.[86]


From the Egyptian point of view, Arsinoe's love for her brother is closely related to her beneficence. She is "beneficient towards her brother"; in this epithet the word is used that describes the Egyptian equivalent of "Euergetes " (mnh.t[*] n sn-s[*] ). Moreover, "Philopatores ," the name of Ptolemy IV and his wife Arsinoe III, is from the Egyptian point of view merely a variant of the same set of ideas. The king had received the name Philopator when he was a boy. It designated him as successor. Shortly after his wedding, he added the cult of Philopatores to the Egyptian cults, at least to the cult of Amun. That was four years before he introduced his cult into the Alexandrian dynastic cult (see section II.1.b). This second step followed the Battle of Raphia, in which, as the Egyptian priests issuing the Raphia decree tell us, the king had killed his enemies "like previously Harsiesis" (i.e., Horus). The king received a statue which was called "Horus who protects his father, whose victory is beautiful." This is Harendotes, Hrnd[*] it.f , "Horus the protector [or "savior"] of his father."[87] The love of his father manifested itself in the victory over the enemies of his father. He took revenge and protected his father. The same beliefs were attached to Alexander, who in the Alexander Romance is called "the avenger

of his father Philip" and of his mother.[88] To give another example, in the Rosetta inscription Epiphanes saved his father and his country when he was crowned.[89] In the ritual he became,


as we may say with Egyptian terminology, "the savior of his father." In this phrase, the term "father" was ambiguous. It referred to the dead king as well as to the gods. Ultimately both meanings were identical. In mythical terms each pharaoh is the avenger of his father; he shows this quality in the succession and, very specifically, in the rituals of the coronation in which he awakens his predecessor to the life of Osiris, the dead king, and restores the order of the world, which through the death of the king had lapsed into chaos.

Originally, the dynastic cult and its organization grew out of Greek thinking, although it aimed at the creation of an institution comparable to the role of pharaoh as god on earth and in office. Hence, Philopator (or rather his advisors) had no hesitations about seeing the cult of the Philopatores added to the Egyptian cults immediately after the wedding. With regard to the Greeks he had to wait until his victory over Antiochos had indeed established him as "Philopator."

"Philometor " is a similar formation. Kleopatra I, the mother of Ptolemy VI, ruled in his place when he was a minor (181-176), and in protocols of documents her name preceded his. It seems that he received the name Philometor right at the beginning of this joint rule.[90] At this point the name was clear in its meaning for the Greeks: it put the son and male partner of the joint rule in the second place and appealed to his obligation toward his mother, who continued to be called Theos Epiphanes . From the Egyptian point of view, the land was then governed by Isis with her child Horus. It was only after the death of Kleopatra in the fifth year (177/6) that Ptolemy VI added to the title of the dynastic priest the phrase "and of King Ptolemy Philometor"; in the next year he married his sister Kleopatra II,[91] and in the following, seventh, year his name and his wife's were added to the title of the dynastic priest as the

. At this point, the tide became capable of expressing the set of ideas which we encountered with the name
. The queen was dead, and the son followed her, receiving de facto the crown from her and taking care of her as dead "Osiris." As Queen Hatshepsut had shown (cf. nn. 8 and 71), theology and ideology made no difference between a male and a female pharaoh; the queen played the male role.

[91] It was a children's wedding; Philometor was eleven years old; for his birth in 186 see my discussion in "Die demotische Zivilprozessordnung," APF 17 (1960): 11-16, esp. 13f. with n. 2.


In Egyptian eyes, and possibly without the knowledge of the Greeks, the significance may have gone even further. Pharaoh was Kamutef , "the bull of his mother." He fathered himself out of his mother, thus eternally renewing the kingship. The king was Min or Horus, "who impregnated his mother." This terrible incest, even more upsetting than the one expressed in the name of Philadelphos, was a consequence of theological and ideological constructs, and therefore did not imply any consummation of the incest. When father and son, predecessor and king, function in the same role of King Horus, then the son as well as the father is the lover of Isis, the mother of Pharaoh. In the role of king, individuals were not distinguishable. They performed the cyclic renewal and guaranteed the eternal permanence of pharaonic kingship.

Finally, I may mention "Epiphanes ," a name which again seemed easily understandable for Hellenistic Greeks: the king is a manifestation of the divine, visible to men and not far remote. In Egypt, however, Epiphanes corresponds to the idea of pharaoh as ntr nfr , the "good (or "beautiful") god." On the occasion of his coronation at the age of thirteen, he "appeared on the throne," that is, he rose in his role as sun-god, whose daily victory over darkness restored Egypt from chaos. Ptolemy V seems to have received this name at his coronation. According to the Egyptian translation, he is the god "who comes forward" (or "the resplendent god"). The identification with Re, the sun-god, is evident; he is, indeed, the son of Re (see section II. 1.c [5]).

The discussion of the few remaining names would not add substantially to what already has been said.[92] The names discussed demonstrate that the Greek cult names were selected with great care: they sounded Greek to Greeks and yet Egyptians could recognize their pharaoh. Given the way in which Greeks thought about deification on the basis of deeds and merits, it was a matter of diplomacy to find the right moment for adding the ruling king to the dynastic cult. Occasionally the king would use the popularity of the queen to pave the way (Arsinoe II). In other cases he would have the Egyptian temples make the first step and test the waters (Philopator).[93] In any case, the Greek state cult must not be seen in isolation from the Egyptian cult. In the Egyptian temples the kings, queens, and other members of their family were worshiped under their Greek cult-names, and the Greek rulers entered the Egyptian

[92] "Apion" is dear, and hardly needs to be discussed; for "Tryphon" see H. Heinen, "Die Tryphe des Ptolemaios VIII. Euergetes II.: Beobachtungen zum ptolemäischen Herrscherideal und zu einer römischcn Gesandtschaft in Ägypten (140/39)," in Althistorische Studien , 116-130; Kyrieleis, Bildnisse , 163f., who sees the representation of corpulence in pictures of the early Ptolemies in this context (see section I, above, on the mosaics from Thmuis [figs. 2a and b]).

[93] See also section II.1.b (2) and (4); for Philopator see section II.1.b (4).


temples as inline image . The Greek and Egyptian ruler cults, each an institution in its own right, each directing itself to, and appealing to the loyalty of, its own audience, nevertheless reciprocally influenced each other.[94]

e. The Apomoira for the Temples

In this context we may now turn to a more practical item, the apomoira , a tax of generally 16.7% (in special cases, a reduced rate of 10%) on the proceeds from vineyards and garden land. This was most likely a traditional tax paid to the temples at least in late pharaonic times; hence the name of the tax is probably translated from Egyptian: demotic dni.t.w , "portion," namely, of the gods.[95] As was mentioned, Philadelphos added a new priesthood, the kanephoros of Arsinoe, to the eponymous priesthood of Alexander in 269 BC when Arsinoe II, his sister and wife, was still alive or, more likely, shortly after her death in the beginning of June of 268 (see section II.1.b with nn. 61 and 73). At that time cults for Arsinoe were founded throughout the country, probably with retroaction to the beginning of the year on March 28/29 (Dystros 25), 268 BC .[96] In order to finance the expendi-

[94] Quaegebeur, "Cleopatra VII," 44f. with regard to Arsinoe II; see also his other contributions to this subject (n. 68). Cf. Hauben, "Aspects," 466f.; "Par. le blais du culte dynastique, les Ptolémées donc pouvaient relier les gens, aussi bien les Égypfiens que les Grecs, chaque groupe dans sa propre tradition, à l'état ptolémaïque."

[96] The date is derived from P. Rev. Laws col. 37 (M. T. Lenger, C. Ord. Ptol . 18), which in the twenty-third year ordered the farmers of vineyards and gardenland to provide written information on the total harvest for years 18-21 (i.e., for the period before collection through tax farmers began) as well as information on the amount and the temple to which the apomoira was paid in each year; the temples had to submit corresponding information (see above). The beginning of the eighteenth year was obviously the administrative starting point for the appropriation of the apomoira to the cult of Arsinoe. The year began on the evening of March 29, 268, but the vintage would not begin before the middle of July at the earliest. In the calculation of the Macedonian regnal year, I retain Dystros 25 as the Macedonian new year's day (see Agonistiche Inschrift , 39-43 and tables; also Pest-man, Zenon Archive , 215ff. [Pestman's tables start with 260]); Samuel, Ptolemaic Chronology , took Dystros 24 as the new year's day, and in this he is now followed by R. A. Hazzard, "Regnal Year"; E. Grzybek, however, Calendrier macédonien , follows a suggestion of F. Uebel that makes Dystros 27 the new year's day (BO 21 [1964]: 312; Kleruchen , 14; but see eundem, "Jenaer Kleruchenurkunden," APF 22/23 [1974]: 89-114, and Koenen, Agonistiche Inschrift , 41 n. 79; see also n. 113, below). Furthermore, the calculation is based on the assumption that the twenty-five-year cycle, which can be reconstructed from P. dem. Carlsberg 9, was not adjusted by one day as Samuel suggested (pp. 58f.). Therefore most dates fall one day earlier than they would fall in Samuel's calculation.


tures, the proceeds from the apomoira were reassigned to the cult of Arsinoe, or more specifically "to sacrifices and libations" in her cult (P. Rev. Laws 36.19). We can only guess that the proceeds were meant to serve the cult of the new goddess in both Greek and Egyptian temples.

In a next step, the system of collection of this tax was changed and brought in line with the collection of other taxes by the state. From April 14, 264 BC , the tax was farmed by the highest bidder—a Greek procedure—although the actual collection was left to officials of the state, thus adding additional control. The proceeds in wine and money went to the treasury, and we may assume that the treasury was to transfer them to Greek and Egyptian temples, where they were to serve the new cults of Arsinoe. In short, the administration of this tax was absorbed into the Greek system; moreover, the Greek authorities had it in their power to divide the proceeds between Greek and Egyptian cults.[97]

An exception was made for the temples: they were exempted from paying this tax (P. Rev. Laws 36.7-10) and continued to collect it from tenants of their inline image.[98] In light of this fact we can now better understand the king's repeated assurances that the temple could keep this revenue. In the Rosettana the synod of the Egyptian priests, gathered at Memphis in 196 BC on the occasion of Epiphanes' coronation (see section II.1.a), recognizes that, according to the Greek version, the king "has ordered . . . that the apomoira which is owed to the gods from vineyards and gardens and from other possessions that belonged to the gods during the reign of his father, should remain in place."[99] Similarly, in the philanthropa decree of 118 BC ,[100] the joint rulers order that the temples will continue to "receive the apomoira which they used to

[97] P. Rev. Laws 36 (C. Ord. Ptol . 17) and 37. On the so-called Revenue Laws, a collection of regulations regarding tax farming, see J. Bingen, Le papyrus Revenue Laws: Tradition grecque et adaptation hellénistique , Rheinisch-Westfälische Akad. d. Wiss., Geisteswissenschaften, Vorträge G 231 (Opladen, 1978), esp. 17f. on the apomoira; Préaux, Économie , 165-181, and Monde hellénistique 1:378; H. Kortenbeutel, RE Suppl. 7:43f. While the tax for gardens was always paid in money, the tax for vineyards was originally paid in wine, although, around 190 BC , payment in money became optional and later obligatory (now see J. Kaimio, P. Hels . 1:122-126).

[100] For the philanthropa decrees see sections I (on P. Tebt . 1.5), II, and II.2, as well as the final remarks of this paper.


receive from vineyards, gardens, and other possessions."[101] In other words, the temples retain the apomoira which they used to receive, that is, the apomoira paid by the tenants of their inline image.[102] The use of this apomoira from temple land remained unrestricted; it was for the gods in general.

Did the temples lose money, clout, and independence through Philadelphos' appropriation of the apomoira? If we are right in suspecting that the proceeds of the tax from nontemple land was now shared between the Greek and the Egyptian cults, the Egyptian temples would have continued to receive part of it for their cults of Arsinoe. Under Epiphanes the proceedings from the apomoira were earmarked for (Arsinoe) "Philadelphos and the Gods Philopatores."[103] Again we may expect that this was applicable to the Egyptian as well to the Greek cult, but in practical terms the change will not have meant much. The restriction to the cult of Arsinoe and Philopatores was less of a burden than it seems. In the Egyptian temples Arsinoe as well as the Philopatores were worshiped as the ancestors of the ruling kings. When the synodal decree of the Egyptian priests gathered at Kanopos was moved to introduce cults for the ruling couple, the king and the queen were added to the rifles of all priests, just as they were added to the Greek priesthood of Alexander; the ancestors were included in the honors (see sections II.1.a


and b). An entire new class of priests was established, festivals founded, statues erected, and so on, and the ancestors were part of this. Moreover, inasmuch as Arsinoe and the Philopatores were inline image of the Egyptian gods, the priests may have been able to use some part of the allocation even for their regular cult.[104] the supervision would have been in the hands of the kings representative in the temple, the epistates . According to the evidence available, these controllers were selected from priestly families (see n. 17). In short, the fact that this revenue was earmarked for the cult of Arsinoe and, later, the Philopatores, must have been an enticement to introduce the Greek cults into the Egyptian temples, albeit in an Egyptianized form.

Given the extent of the cult of queens and kings we may expect that the apomoira collected by the state was good business for the temples. The proceeds were designated for the cult of Arsinoe at a time when the development of new vineyards and garden land boomed. Much of the land reclamation in the Fayum produced vineyards, because the planting of vineyards was a popular means of creating privately operated landholdings. Hence, even before the new regulations went into effect, the area of land subject to this tax had grown substantially; all vineyards, except those belonging to the temples, were now subject to this tax. Thus, the total volume of the tax must have been growing far beyond what the temples had been able to collect. Given the growth of the income from the tax, it is not certain whether the temples had less profit from it than at the time when they collected the tax themselves. The state's system was more effective than collection by the temples.[105] By way of analogy, the churches in modem Germany have never been better off than since the state began to collect a tax to finance the churches (the so-called Kirchensteuer ). In short, the apomoira brought money into the temples, financed the new cults and chapels, and, in spite of the restrictions on the use of the money, was a boost for the economy of the temples.

There remains a reservation: the temptation not to deliver to the cult what was designated to it must have been great when the state was in a crisis, in particular since the temples lacked any means of control. Yet contrary to what has sometimes been said, we have no clear attestation that the apomoira was ever used for secular purposes.[106]

[104] Cf. Quaegebeur, "Documents égyptiens," 713f.

[105] The impact may have been different in different parts of the country, depending on the number and sizes of gardens and vineyards.

[106] Secular misuse of the revenue has been claimed for P. Köln 5.221 and P. Col. Zen . 1.55. The former (edited and discussed in detail by H. Schäfer) is an account and calculation of payments of apomoira presumably from about 189 BC . After an empty space, the same scribe wrote an instruction (?) for the distribution of wine with reference to an order by the dioiketes: one portion is to be used in Ptolemaïs, another portion is to be brought to the military camp in Theogonis for furnishing the wine rations, and a third portion is to be reserved for home consumption in the villages and for furnishing the wine ration of an employee of a scribe. The wine is here used for secular purposes, but with regard to both syntax and content the connection with the preceding account of apomoira is less clear. Moreover, the actual use of the wine does not address the question how the account was settled between the state and the temples; the state may well have transferred money to a temple account. The Col. Zen . papyrus is a receipt for amounts of wine; one is taken from the apomoira paid to the goddess Philadelphos and is to be used for the wages of the guards under the recipient's charge. This transaction is subject to analogous difficulties of interpretation; see Préaux, Ëconomie , 180f.; for the Rosettana and P. Tebt . 1.5, which also have been claimed as evidence for secular use of the apomoira, see above.


2. Dynastic Festivals

In the preceding discussion a distinction was drawn between the Egyptian ideas of divine kingship—which were based on the belief that, by virtue of his office, the pharaoh played the role of the gods, in particular of the gods who created Egypt and her order—and the Greek beliefs, according to which the deeds and the specific merits of the king entitled him to divine honors, in life as well as after death. But we have also seen that the two forms overlap. The Greek cults in the Egyptian temples were treated like Egyptian cults with all the daily rituals and festivals that were performed in Egyptian temples. The names of the new deities could be understood by the priests as expressing, perhaps in odd ways, their own beliefs in kingship. The king was the incarnation of the divine powers residing in the "Great Name" (see section II.1.c). He was, in particular, the son of Helios and the inline image of Zeus. The wedding assimilated the divine couple to Zeus and Hera. More generally the Ptolemaic kings and queens were assimilated to and identified with specific Greek as well as Egyptian gods, the kings in particular with Dionysos and Horus, the queens with Aphrodite, 'inline image, and Isis.[107] Correspondingly the kings enemies were "enemies of the gods," that is, Typhonians or Sethians.[108] The Egyptian nature of such identifications seems to be obvious. Yet the basic thought pattern was not foreign to the Greeks. It will suffice to mention a figure like Salmoneus, who played the role of Zeus, as well as the fact that such identifications spread easily through the Hellenistic world. Thus, it is also necessary to understand the Hellenistic development as deriving from Greek roots. Such identi-


fications with specific gods, however, and in particular the changing of the identifications in accordance with the specific functions the king performed at any moment, are part and parcel of the Egyptian thinking, as we have observed several times.

From the Egyptian point of view, the identification with gods and the Ptolemaic "deification" resulted from the role which the king reenacted in rituals and deeds. At his coronation the king was recognized as the son of Amun; he restored order, reestablished the cults, refounded the temples, unified the Two Countries, overcame chaos, and was victorious over his and his father's enemies so that everything was again as perfect as it was at the time when Amun-Re created the world; he received his royal titulary, the "Great Name," which propagated precisely this set of ideas. The propaganda was accompanied by concrete measures such as the so-called philanthropa, which I mentioned earlier (see n. 100).

The first unambiguously attested coronation is that of Epiphanes, but in my mind there is little doubt that Alexander and subsequently all of the Ptolemies had been crowned.[109] Alexander's coronation and Soter's assumption of the kingship and coronation gave rise to a series of related festivals. They are difficult to trace because they were celebrated according to different calendars, including the so-called Sothis calendar. A further complication results from the fact that all festivals extended over several days. Many details remain questionable, but a relatively clear general picture seems to emerge. The results are summarized in the accompanying table.[110]

[109] Elsewhere I have argued the case for Alexander (see section II.1.c [5] with n. 79) and Soter (cf. n. 112), Philadelphos, Euergetes, and briefly Philopator (Agonistische Inschrift , see index, s.v. "Krönung"); see also n. 8 on Berenike, the young daughter of Euergetes and Berenike II. Burstein argues against any coronation before that of Philopator (see n. 79), as many have done before.


Some explanatory remarks will be useful here despite their unavoidably technical character. I proceed in the order of the columns 1-6:

(1) The left column lists the dates of a series of celebrations which, in


terms of the Sothis year, fall into the period of January 5 through 9.[111] The series was presumably inaugurated by the date on which Ptolemy I began to use the title of king in Egypt and, perhaps, was crowned. According to the documentation available, this could have taken place around January 6, 804 BC .[112] Philadelphos' accession to the sole rulership and his coronation followed on Dystros 25 (col. 4), that is, January 6/7, 282.[113] This anniversary was celebrated in the Atum temple at Pithom in 279 (January 2-6); in this year the anniversary in terms of the Sothis year coincided with Macedonian Peritios 24-28 (col. 5), which in turn included the monthly celebration of the accession according to the Macedonian calendar (Peririos 25).[114] The accession of Ptolemy III Euergetes

[111] I use the term "Sothis year" for a schematic, not an astronomically correct year. For the use of the Sothis year in Egypt see now Krauss, Sothis- und Monddaten ; further R. Merkelbach, Isisfeste in griechisch-römischer Zeit: Daten und Riten , Beitr. z. klass. Philologie 5 (Meisenheim, 1963), esp. chaps. I and VI; at the end of that monograph there is a table which compares several calendars and allows for an easy reading of the Julian equivalents of the Sothis year.

[112] The two latest demotic papyri of Alexander IV date from Hathyr of 304 (beginning January 6); November 7, 305 to November 6, 304 was counted as Soter's first year; thus, he was recognized as king somewhere in the course of this year. The two papyri from Hathyr do not establish a firm date after which Sorer became king, since the news must have taken some time to travel and there may have been some resistance from Egyptians; up to this point, the years of Alexander IV were continued, although he had died in 310/9 (P. W. Pestman, Chronologic égyptienne d'après les textes démotiques , Pap. Lugd.-Bat. 15 [Leiden, 1967], 12f.; T. C. Skeat, The Reigns of the Ptolemies , MB 39 [Munich, 1954]. For the Greek world, however, Ptolemy I had already been proclaimed king in late summer 306 (P. Kö1n VI.247.ii; C. A. Lehmann, "Das neve kölner Historikerfragment," ZPE 72 [1988]: 1-17. The coronation aimed mainly at the Egyptians (Jan. 6; col. 1) may have been repeated two months later wthin the ritual of the Kikellia, a festival of Isis and Osiris (see col. 2).

[113] Dystros 25 (rather than 24 or 27) is the first day of the Macedonian regnal year under Philadelphos, Euergetes, and Philopator; see n. 96.

[114] For the anniversary of Philadelphos' coronation see Pithom Stele, lines 6ff. and my arguments in Agonistische Inschrift , 58-62. Grzybek, Calendrier marédonien , 89-93, argues that, in this text, the accession of Ptolemy I Soter, not of Ptolemy II Philadelphos, is celebrated (cf. n. 110 [2a] and [2b]). In any case, the date recorded in the inscription, Hathyr 7, corresponds to January 6 in 279 BC , the sixth year of Philadelphos in his count from his elevation to joint ruler; in the Sothis year, this day was an anniversary both of the assumption of the kingship by Ptolemy 1 Soter and of the coronation of Ptolemy II Philadelphos. The Pithom Stele was erected in the year 21, apparently at an anniversary of the coronation; but the priests do not indicate the precise date, presumably because the Egyptian calendar used by the temple would appear to contradict the character of the day as the anniversary of Philadelphos' accession or coronation. In the year 6—that is, 279 BC — the king arrived in Pithom on Hathyr 3, four days before the anniversary; thus the visit extended from Hathyr 3 to 7, January 2 to 6, that is, Peritios 24-28 if there was no additional intercalation, or Dystros 23-27 in the case of an additional intercalation, as Grzybek assumes (see n. 110). It may be noted that in that year the anniversary of Philadelphos' accession, according to the Egyptian calendar, fell on Hathyr 7 or, according to the Macedonian calendar, on Dystros 27, the first day of the Macedonian year under Philadelphos according to Grzybek (see n. 96). But such festivals were celebrated each month, and Peritios 25 would fall into this pattern (for monthly celebrations see n. 120).


Some Ptolemaic Dynastic Festivals

Sothis year

Macedonian year

Egyptian year










Dystros 12 (?), January 24/25 332/1 (?)


BASILEIA , coronation of Alexander the Great in Memphis (?)

January 6, 304 (?)


Hathyr 1 (?)

proclamation of Ptolemy I Sorer as king


March 4/5, 304







Choiak 28/29

Kikellia (festival of Isis) and following journey of Osiris; celebrated in 238 on February 16/17


March 7, 304 (?)







Tybi 1 (?)

monthly celebration of Ptolemy Soter's acclamation as king and coronation


Dystros 12, 308


"birthday" of Ptolemy II Philadelphos, possibly not the actual date of his birth; coinciding with BSILEIA


Dystros 12, 285 (December 15/16)


BASILEIA beginning of joint rule (or designation as crown prince) of Ptolemy I So ter and II Philadelphos, and "birthday"

January 6/7, 282





Dystros 25


coronation, sole rule of Ptolemy II Philadelphos

January 2-6, 279




Peritios 24-28

Hathyr 3-7

visit of Ptolemy II Philadelphos at Pithom temple; celebration of the anniversary of his coronation (in the Macedonian calen dar) and of Ptolemy I Soter's assumption of kingship (in Sothis year); consecration of a sanctuary

(continue )


(Table continued from previous page)

Sothis year

Macedonian year

Egyptian year










Dystros 12 (?), January 24/25 332/1 (?)


BASILEIA , coronation of Alexander the Great in Memphis (?)

January 7/8, 246


Dios 5


beginning of joint or sole rule of Ptolemy III Euergetes ("birthday")




Dios 25 (Jan. 27/28, 246)


coronation of Euergetes (on monthly celebration of the festival on Dystros 25)


Dystros 25



dies imperii of Euergetes changed from Dios 25 to Dystros 25


March 7, 238


Tybi 17

date of synodal decree of Egyptian priests at Kanopos


July 19 (Thor 19)


Pauni 1

festival in honor of the Gods Euergetai

January? (between Dec. 29, 222 and Jan. 15, 221)


Loios 9/10 ? (= Jan. 6)


succession of Ptolemy IV Philopator


Dystros 25 (?)


dies imperii continued under Philopator (?)


July 13 (?)


Dystros 91/22 acc. to Carlsberg cycle; Dystros 30 in schematic equation


Mesore 30, 210 (Oct. 9)

"birthday" of Ptolemy V Epiphanes soon followed by elevation to joint ruler


possibly Dystros 25 or 27/28 (Oct. 12/13 or 15)


Epag. 3/4 or possibly Thor 1 (Oct. 15)

elevation of Epiphanes to joint ruler, soon after birthday (above) and before November 29

January 1 and possibly 6 (?), 196


Mecheir 17 and 22 (?)

coronation of Epiphanes in Memphis and his anakleteria in Alexandria, respectively

(continue )


Some Ptolemaic Dynastic Festivals (continued )

Sothis year

Macedonian year

Egyptian year









January 5-9


victory festival of Horus the King in Edfu


March 5. 29


Pharmuthi 20

erection of victory stele for Cornelius Gallus by the priests of the temple of Isis in Philae (Gallus = Horus)

January 5/6


Aion festival in Alexandria. later Epiphany of the Christians


March 5 (in Ronan times)


Navigium Isidis

NOTE : The arrows indicate which date of a festival produced the date of another festival by way of either a monthly celebration or a passing into another chronological system.


as joint or sole ruler, his "birthday" as it was called in the Kanopos inscription, took place on January 7/8, 246 BC . Ptolemy v Epiphanes was crowned in Memphis on Mecheir 17, January 1, 196, and he celebrated his Greek anakleteria in Alexandria a few days later, possibly on Mecheir 22, January 6. The Alexandrian celebrations had the stronger claim on the date of January 6. Before, the accession of Philopator may have fallen into the same period (December 29, 222, to January 15, 221); and some offices thought that his dies imperii fell in the month of Loios. Loios 9/10 would have corresponded to January 6. But after some fluctuation, this king seems to have continued the dies imperii of Philadelphos and Euergetes on Dystros 25.[115] During the same period in early January, the temple of Horus in Edfu celebrated the annual victory festival of its god, in which the god overcame his enemies and brought the Nile flood.[116] The Alexandrian festival of Aion and, later, the Christian celebration of Epiphany were observed on the same dates. This should be no surprise, given the fact that Ptolemaic kings could be identified with Aion Plutonios, the benefactor of the world,[117] and that Epiphany is also a festival of Christ's kingship.[118]

(2) In the second column, we first encounter the Isis festival of the Kikellia and the following journey of Osiris, which were essentially days of mourning for the death of the god. It was celebrated on Choiak 28/29. In 304 BC this date corresponded to March 4/5, which, by two days, preceded a monthly celebration (Tybi 1; March 7) of what might have been the coronation of Ptolemy I Soter. The repeated coronation at the Kikellia (Hathyr 1; January 6) might well have been a ritual of this well-

[115] For the accession of Philopator between December 29, 222, and January 15, 221, see the documents discussed by J. Bingen, CE 50 (1975): 239-248, and the Panemos Embolimos in P. Cairo Zen . 3. The latter indicates that, for some time or in some offices, Loios was regarded as the month of Philopator's accession (Pestman, Zenon Archive , 218 n. 14).

[116] In this case, the temple staged Horus' victory over the evil forces that blocked the arrival of the Nile flood in a lake, because the festival did not concur with the time of the flood. The king and Horus were seen as doing precisely the same thing. The coronation of a king was to stabilize the order of nature and specifically to guarantee good floods. In the festival at Edfu the representative of the king ritually staged the god's mythical deed. Hence, the dynastic coronation festival amounted to Horus' victory. This is a thought pattern that is different from identifying Ptolemy I Sorer with Atum. But it might be possible to rephrase the relationship between Sorer and Atum in such terms (if Grzybek's interpretation of the Pithom Stele were right).

[117] A. Alföldi, "From the Aion Plutonios of the Ptolemies to the Saeculum Frugiferum of the Roman Emperors," in Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean in Ancient History and Prehistory , Studies presented to F. Schachermeyr (Berlin and New York, 1977), 1-30. The argument could be strengthened with the use of Egyptian evidence.

[118] This is indicated by the texts of the liturgy; the day is also celebrated as the festival of the Three Holy "Kings" and their worship of Christ after his birth.


recognized festival (see n. 112): the death of Osiris preceded the accession of Horus. The date of March 7 was also remembered in the Sothis year, as is indicated by the following observation. When the Egyptian priests were gathered at Kanopos in 138 BC and referred to these festivals, the date of Choiak 28/29 corresponded to February 16/17.[119] After the last major celebrations (February 23) the priests stayed on until March 7 (Tybi 17), when they issued the Kanopos decree. It seems, then, that they waited for the anniversary of the coronation of Ptolemy I Soter on March 7, in which case this festival was calculated in the Sothis year. In 304 BC , the coronation of Ptolemy I Soter suited the religious character of the preceding Kikellia and the death of, and mourning for, Osiris. In the ideology of Egyptian kingship, this god represented the predecessor of Horus or the governing king (see section II.2.c [1] and [3]). "Le roi est mort! Vive le roi!"

The celebration of the coronation date in early March continued to be observed beyond Ptolemaic history and to run parallel to the celebrations at the beginning of January. The priests assembled in Philae erected a victory stele for Cornelius Gallus on about the same Sothis date, March 5, that is, on the day of Osiris' journey; in Rome this was the date of the Navigium Isidis . Here we may stress that the choice of the dates for Soter's coronation was influenced by the meaning of festivals of the Egyptian religion. But part of the mechanism used, namely the celebration of monthly festivals, was Greek and was introduced into the Egyptian temples by the Ptolemies.[120]

According to the Kanopos decree, celebrations in honor of Ptolemy IIl Euergetes and his wife Berenike II were ordered in all Egyptian temples on the new year's day of the Sothis year (July 19), which happened to be Pauni 1 of the Egyptian civil year in 238 BC . Whether the celebrations of the royal couple ever had any importance outside the temples, we do not know. Under Philopator, the festival of July 19 was respected but not observed by the higher Ptolemaic administration (see above, section II and n. 37).

(3) For the third column we have only the information of a single inscription which attests that Ptolemy II Philadelphos celebrated his birthday on Dystros 12 (born in 308 BC ; cf. nn. 53 and 110 [2b]) and that the Basileia was celebrated in an unknown town in the countryside on this day (March 8). We may further suspect that the Basileia, originally a thanksgiving feast for victory in honor of Zeus, was officially regarded

[119] Can . 51 and 64 (Kôm el-Hisn 41 and 54), where special honors for the deceased princess Berenike are instituted; for this and the following synchronisms see Merkelbach, Isisfeste , 36-39, 57f.

[120] For the Greek habit of celebrating birthdays and other religious festivals monthly see W. Schmidt, RE 7.1136; F. Taeger, Charisma (Stuttgart, 1957) 1:420.


as Philadelphos' birthday; it was conceivably celebrated on the day that he was elevated to the position of joint ruler or, at least, was declared crown prince (December 15/16 [?], 285 BC ). It is further possible that the day was chosen because Alexander may have been crowned on the Basileia which he celebrated in Memphis (331 BC ), possibly on Dystros 12 (Jan. 24/25?).[121]

(4) The fourth column begins with the coronation of Ptolemy II Philadelphos and his declaration as sole ruler on Dystros 25, 282 BC , that is, on January 6/7.[122] This accession took place on an anniversary of his father's assumption of the kingship (see above, discussion of col. 1). Thus Dystros 25 became the dies imperii not only for Philadelphos, but also for Ptolemy III Euergetes and Ptolemy IV Philopator (cf. n. 113). For part of his reign, however, Euergetes used Dios 25 as dies imperii ; this day denotes a monthly recurrence of Dystros 25, the day on which his father's accession was celebrated.[123]

(5) Euergetes' coronation (col. 5) was set on Dios 25, that is, on a monthly celebration of Philadelphos' coronation (Dystros 25).

(6) Finally, in the sixth column, we find Ptolemy V Epiphanes' birthday on Mesore 30, 210, that is, October 9. Whether this was the real birthday or only the official one, we do not know. From the point of view of the Egyptian religion, this birthday made the prince appear as born before the great gods were born on the following Epagomenai. In any case, Philopator seized the opportunity and elevated the baby before November 29 to be his coregent. If at the time the twenty-five-year cycle was still used to determine the equivalences of the Macedonian and the Egyptian calendar (see n. 110), the birthday would correspond to Dystros 21/22. It would then be likely that Epiphanes became coruler on Dystros 25 (October 12/13, 210), on the traditional dies imperii of the Ptolemies (see n. 113), when he was just three days old. He was the Horus-child on the throne (see section II.1.c [1]; cf. II.1.d, Philometor), a quality that was still very visible when he became sole king and, at the age of thirteen, was crowned and received the name Epiphanes (see section II.1.d, Epiphanes). The road for this elevation of the newborn prince had been prepared in the previous generation when Euergetes gave his daughter Berenike the title "queen" immediately after her birth; she was the "daughter of Re," the equivalent to Horus the Child

[121] I tentatively accept E. Grzybek's reconstruction of the Macedonian calendar under Alexander; see his table 1, Calendrier macédonien , p. 181. For the problem of Alexander's coronation see n. 79.

[122] According to E. Grzybek's reconstruction of the Macedonian calendar, which assumes an additional intercalation, the date is December 7/8, 283 (see nn. 61 and 110).

[123] For Philopator's Macedonian new year's day see n. 96.


(see n. 8). We observe, again, that the female members of the family are made to lead the development of the royal cult and ideology.

Our investigation on the dates of accessions and coronations yields mainly three results pertinent to our present considerations. (a) Such dates were celebrated as dynastic festivals and were reused by later kings; (b) but they also created the dates and the raison d'être for Egyptian festivals. (c) The "message" conveyed by the choice of some of the dates follows the Egyptian ideology of kingship. The considerations with which I began and which nicely separated the two faces of Ptolemaic kingship for the Greeks and the Egyptians respectively, are only part of the truth. At least in the area of the ideology of kingship and its propaganda, the two sides influenced each other. The Greeks found it helpful to accept the Egyptian dogma of divine kingship, but they shaped it in accordance with Greek ideas; hence the veneration of queens and kings as gods. Thus the cult of Alexander and the Ptolemies addressed primarily the Greeks, but it was realized in forms that, at the same time, would deliberately meet the expectations of the Egyptian priests and would, therefore, also be directed to the Egyptian population. This was particularly evident in the choice of the cult-names of the kings. In fact, the two populations were not always that clearly separated, especially outside the relatively small areas of concentration of Greek settlers.

The dynastic cult invaded the Egyptian temples and developed by and large along its own lines. In a way, the long eponymous dating formula was an equivalent to the official Egyptian protocol, while this protocol was changed to express the importance which the Greeks attached to the filiation of the king and, hence, to the dynastic line. But even here, the Egyptians could easily adjust to the changes in light of their cult of the pharaoh's ancestors.

The coronation followed the Egyptian rite; it made the divine character of the king evident. For the Alexandrian Greeks the proclamation was sufficient, but not for the rest of the country. Even the anakleteria which in the case of Epiphanes probably took place a few days after the coronation in Memphis assumed an irrational, almost religious, value; they were staged in such a way that they could function as the Greek[124] equivalent to the Egyptian coronation. Soter's proclamation as king, naturally, entered the Egyptian temples, and in Edfu, a place rarely visited by a Ptolemaic king, it became the festival of the divine king Horus. But even in Greek Alexandria the development was finally not different,


as is evidenced by the transformation of this dynastic festival into an Aion festival and finally into the Christian Epiphany.

In most of these examples, the Greeks influenced the Egyptians and gave them something new to incorporate into their system. Yet in doing so the Greeks reacted to what they experienced in the country and to what they understood to be the expectations of the Egyptians. The Ptolemies, like Alexander before them, knew that they could win the loyalty of the conquered people only if they conformed to their idea of kingship.

III. Kallimaghos

At this point the Alexandrian poets, in particular Theokritos and Kallimachos, become important. They demonstrate the struggle of Greek culture to come to terms with the new world and contribute to the self-understanding of the Greek elite. Greek poetry, of course, speaks to the Greeks within the Greek tradition. I shall not suggest that the Alexandrian poets found their audience in the mixed population of the countryside. They directed their poems to an audience that spoke Greek and felt Greek; and yet members of this audience had to administer the affairs of the king in his double role. In poems, therefore, which refer to the king and to ideas of kingship, we may find intersecting levels: the surface meaning in terms of Greek myth and Greek thought and the subsurface meaning in which the Greek narrative and the Greek forms reflect Egyptian ideas. This would show the audience that ideas that appeared to be foreign could still be understood in terms of the Greek mythical and poetical tradition. The poets were not Egyptianizing Greek thoughts, but Hellenizing those Egyptian ideas that had become common in the thinking of the court. Thus the influence of Egyptian ideas on Greek poetry stems paradoxically from the Greek efforts to Hellenize these Egyptian ideas. Here I must restrict myself to a few observations on Kallimachos.[125]

1. The Hymn to Delos

The inspiration Kallimachos received from the Egyptian ideology of kingship as it made itself felt at the court in Alexandria is clearest in his Hymn to Delos . But since this has been dealt with elsewhere, I can be very brief.[126] The learned reader easily savors the network of mainly Homeric

[125] Gf. T. Gelzer, "Kallimachos und das Zeremoniell des ptolemäischen Königs-hauses," in Aspekte der Kultursoziologie: Zum 60. Geburtstag von M. Rassem , ed. J. Stagl (Berlin, 1982), 13-30.


and Pindaric allusions, and he may even recognize the hymn as witty and thoroughly entertaining but at the same time as a serious realization of the Kallimachean program.[127] What may appear at first glance to be an exhibition of learnedness frequently reveals itself on a closer look to be a hint of the poetical intention. On a Greek level of understanding, the knowledgeable reader admires the novelty in which a traditional form reappears. But most readers will have difficulties in coming to terms with the long prophecy at the center of the poem (although prepared by other prophecies, to be sure), in which Apollo predicts the coming of Philadelphos and raises him to his own level.

At this point, the reader should observe the signs by which the poet indicates that an Egyptian side is involved too.[128] For example, Apollo is born when the Delian river Inopos is swollen with the waters of the Nile flood.[129] In Egyptian myth, Horus is born at the occurrence of the Nile flood and he hides on a floating island. In partial contrast, Delos was floating before the birth and finds its permanent place after the birth. In Apollo's prophecy of the future Ptolemaios, the king is the ruler of the "two continents [

] and the islands which lie in the sea, as far as to the outmost boundary of the world [i.e., the West] and the area from which the swift horses carry the sun" (the East; 168ff.). As we already saw, Egypt is called "the Two Countries," and it was one of the main duties of the pharaoh to unify these Two Coun-

[127] This, of course, does not imply that Kallimachos invented his program and then sat down to write his poems accordingly; nor should Kallimachos' remarks on his own poetry be reduced to a mere post factum defense (as G. O. Hutchinson does: Hellenistic Poetry [Oxford, 1988], 83). His poetical theory most likely developed as he wrote his poetry, and in this sense I speak of the fourth Hymn as a realization of his program (see Bing, Muse , chap. 3). Admittedly, the word "program" is unfortunate, but in view of the modern discussions, it is better to keep the term. See also Hutchinson, 77, against the "need to see . . . an articulated 'programme', which the works were consciously written to fulfil." He adds: "It may be doubted whether Callimachus had any 'programme' of that kind."

[128] For all we know, the Erigone by Eratosthenes was another example of a Hellenistic poem meant to be read on two levels, on a Greek and an "Egyptian" one, although the actual audience was Greek. See R. Merkelbach, "Die Erigone des Eratosthenes," in Miscellanea di studi Alessandrini in memoria di A. Rostagni (Turin, 1963), 469-526.

[129] Kall. H. to Delos 205ff.; L. Koenen, "Adaption," 175f.; Bing, Muse , 136f.; Mineur, Hymn to Delos , 186.

[130] For this concept see sections II.1.a and b (with n. 75) and lI.1.c (2) and (4).


tries.[130] Moreover, the pharaoh "conquers what the sun encircles." King Echnaton's real dominion is described as "the South and the North, the East and West and the islands in the middle of the sea"; it reaches "as far as the sun shines."[131] Is this parallel accidental? Probably in the sense that the passage on Echnaton expresses widely held Egyptian beliefs and Kallimachos need not to have known this specific passage; but hardly, if we refer to these broad Egyptian beliefs. The passage in Kallimachos' hymn goes on to predict Philadelphos' joint fight with Apollo (inline imageinline image). Apollo will destroy the Celts attacking Delphi, and Philadelphos will burn a troop of Celts on an island in the Nile. These mercenaries had fought in his service but were now accused of a mutiny.[132] They are characterized as wearing "shameless girdles" (inline image, 183). The girdle fits the dress of the Celts, and yet it may be borne in mind that, in The Oracle of the Potter , inline image is used as technical term for the Typhonians, the evildoers, the enemies of the gods and the king. This prophecy predicts the perfect pharaoh sent by the gods, who will come after an evil time and renew the country as well as the cosmic order. Such prophecies have a long pharaonic tradition from which specifically the term "wearer of the girdle" was inherited.[133] The extant versions of The Oracle of the Potter go back to an original composed, I believe, about 116 BC , but Kallimachos seems to have known a much older version. In his time, or in his mouth, the oracle favors the Greeks; around 116 BCThe Oracle of the Potter was anti-Greek; and in 115/117 AD , another prophecy featuring inline image is directed against the Jews and

[131] G. Davies, The Rock Tombs of El Amarna (London, 1906 3:31f.; M. Sandman, Texts from the Time of Akhenaten , Bibl. Aeg. 8 (Brussels, 1938), 6-10; J. Assmann, Ägyptische Hymhen und Gebete (Zurich and Munich, 1975), 224; for more see Koenen, "Adaption," 186-187 with nn. 119, 120.

[133] L. Koenen, "Manichaean Apocalypticism at the Crossroads of Iranian, Egyptian, Jewish, and Christian Thought," in Codex Manichaicus Coloniensis: Atti del simposio Internazionale, Rende-Amantea, Sett. 1984 , ed. L. Cirillo (Cosenza, 1986), 285-332, esp. 328-330 (on the "wearers of the girdle" and its occurrence in the Deir "Alla inscription, a Canaanite prophecy from 700 BC ).


apparently encourages the Greco-Egyptian population of the countryside.[134]

In view of this, it seems to me that Kallimachos not only understood crucial elements of the Egyptian ideology of kingship but also made poetic use of a prophecy propagating these ideas. He places Greek myths in an artful and witty arrangement of complementary or contrasting images in order to express the Egyptian ideology of kingship as it was accepted and propagated by the court. He made the ideology acceptable by putting the Egyptian prophecy and its ideology into the web of allusions to old Greek poetry.

On one level, then, the Hymn to Delos is an exemplary poem, an embodiment of Alexandrian poetics; on the other level, it transforms tenets of Egyptian ideology into the language of Greek poetry. Both levels resolve into unity. The Apollo of the Hymn to Delos is the ultimate source of both Kallimachean poetry and Ptolemaic kingship. It is thus that the old Pindaric vision of unity of government and music reappears in a new poetic and social context.[135]

2. Epigram 28 Pf. (2 G.-P.)

The Hymn to Delos ends with a hilarious ritual, in which sailors dance around the altar, beating it and biting the trunk of a tree with their hands turned backwards. The modern reader is inclined to take this as a device by which the poet undercuts the seriousness of what he has said before. The poet would thus be ironic in the extreme, toying with his audience. Before coming to such a conclusion, we should try to understand the function of Kallimachean humor, in particular since this will be a crucial factor for our discussion of the Coma . As an example I wish to take Epigram 28. We must be brief and focus on what is important in the present context.[136] First lines 1-4:

[134] This version of the oracle h known from two papyri which, in part, supplement each other. Only one version is published (PSI 982 = CP Jud . 3.520 [1964], cf. Gnomon 40 [1968]: 256); I shall publish the other in the P. Oxy . series in the near future. Presently no dependable text of the oracle is available.

[135] See Pyth . 1; Bing, Muse , 110-128 and 139-143; and below, n. 160.

[136] My reading of the epigram is indebted to A. Henrichs, "Callimachus Epigram 28: A Fastidious Priamel," HSCPh 83 (1979): 207-212; also see, for example, E.-R. Schwinge, Künstlichkeit von Kunst: Zur Geschichtlichkeit der alexandrinischen Poesie , Zetemata 84 (Munich, 1986), 5-9 ( = WJA NF 6a [1980]: 101ff.); Gow-Page's commentary 2:155-157; P. Krafft, "Zu Kallimachos' Echo-Epigramm (28 Pf.)," RhM 120 (1977): 1-29 (with a critical review of then recent research); see also E. Vogt, "Das Akrostichon in der griechischen Literatur," A&A 13 (1967): 85f., and C. W. Müller, Erysichthon: Der Mythos als narrative Metapher im Demeterhymnos des Kallimachos , Abh. Ak. Mainz, Geistes- und Sozialwiss. Kl. 13 (Stuttgart, 1987), 36. For further bibliography see Lehnus, Bibliografia Callimachea , 295-297.


I loathe the cyclic poem and I do not enjoy
     a road which leads many people hither and thither;
I hate a meandering darling, and from a public fountain
     I do not drink. I am sick of all that is public.
Lysanies, yeah, you are my handsome one, hand some—but before this
     is said, echo responds distinctly: "in someone's hand!"[137]

Kallimachos begins this negative priamel with five rejections in four lines. The first two lines offer two pair of rejections of increasing length; the next two lines combine two other examples, this time of decreasing length, with the preliminary conclusion drawn from all four examples. In the first pair of rejections (lines 1-2), Kallimachos combines his intensive but almost prosaic distaste for cyclic poetry (inline imageinline image )[138] with an ambiguous refusal dressed in the traditional metaphor of the highway ("a road which leads many people hither and thither"). That Kallimachos will later take up the metaphor in his prologue to the edition of the Aitia (27f.) in four books and elevate it to a command Of Apollo (see below) stresses the theoretical character of this statement. It refers to Pindar,[139] who had used the metaphor of riding on a busy street

[138] The precise meaning of the word is uncertain, and it could indeed be intentionally ambiguous (H. J. Blumenthal, CQ 28 [1978]: 125-127, esp. 127). Later the word overwhelmingly referred to cyclic poetry, but Numenius uses the word for "common," "conventional," that is, "un-Platonic" (F 20 des Places). The suggestion that Numenius may have taken this usage from Kallimachos' epigram (Blumenthal), implies that Kallimachos' text would either unambiguously mean "common" or Numenius misunderstood it in this way. G. O. Hutchinson (Hellenistic Poetry , 79 n. 104) prefers "banal or commonplace poem"; see also C. Meillier, Callimaque et son temps , Publ. de l'Univ. de Lille 3 (Lille, 1979), 124.


for the imitators of Homer—in Kallimachos' terms the authors of cyclic poetry. Thus the knowledgeable reader expects the road metaphor also to speak about poetics, but he soon realizes that in the third example, the first member of the following dicolon (line 3), the poet turns to his rejection of an unfaithful boy. Thus the reader wonders whether the preceding road metaphor should be taken in a similar sense. In a small poem of the sixth century, extant in the Theognidea , this metaphor is indeed used for the boyfriend who walks the road to another lover.[140]

Kallimachos' third example means precisely what it says: he hates an unfaithful boy. Proceeding to the fourth rejection, the reader recognizes immediately that, because of the form of the negative priamel, the fountain must represent something detestable, hence not Hippokrene, the fountain of the Muses. He recalls another passage of the Theognidea (959ff.) where the poet says that when he drank from a dark-watered fountain inline image—that is, from a deep fountain in a shady place—the water seemed sweet and dean to him; but now the fountain is polluted, water is mixed with water, and the poet will drink from another spring or river.[141] The sense is again erotic. But whereas in the Theognidea the fountain is clearly described as dark-watered and then as polluted, Kallimachos' fountain needs no such qualification. At this point the reader notices that Kallimachos throughout the epigram (as well as in his other poetry) mixes prosaic with poetic diction. Line 1, "the cyclic poem" inline image is a prose expression, a fact which is made more impressive by the contrast to the preceding poetic word (inline image, "I hate"); and the series of things hated ends with inline image, "I am sick," again a prosaic word.[142] These prosaisms remind the contemporary reader that, in plain language as used in Egypt, the word "fountain" (inline image, a word used in prose as well as in poetry) normally denotes a fountain that is public or on an estate where it is used for professional purposes—surely a very popular and hence, for Kallimachos, undesirable place.[143] This is the primary sense needed in the epigram.


Golden seals, middle of and cent.; Louvre Bj 1092 and 1093; from H. Kyrieleis,
 Bildnisse der Ptolemäer, Arch. Forsch. 2, DAI (Berlin, 1975), pl. 46.


2 a & b.
Berenike II from Thmuis (Tell Timai), Greco-Roman Museum in Alexandria
 inv. no. 21739 and 21736, Photos by D. Johannes, from W. A. Daszewski, Corpus
 of Mosaics from Egypt I, Aegyptiaca Treverensia 3 (Mainz, 1985), pl. A 
(after p. 7; cf. pll. 32 and 42a; cat. no. 38) and B (after p. 40; cf. pl. 33;
 cat. no. 39). Also see, e.g., E. Breccia, Le Music Gréco-Romain,


1925-1931 (Bergamo, 1932), pll. A, LIV 196 (both [a]) and LIII 194 (b), M. Rostovtzeff, The Social
 and Economic History of the Hellenistic World (Oxford, 1941) I pl. XXXV;
cover of F. W. Walbank, The Hellenistic World (Cambridge, Mass., 1982), both (a).


Gold octadrachms with portrait of Arsinoe III in the British Museum (BMC Ptolemies
 67, 1-2, pl. 15.6) and in Glasgow, from H. Kyrieleis, Bildnisse der Ptolemäer, Arch. Forsch.
 2, DAI (Berlin, 1975), pll. 88.1-2 (cf. pp. 102f.); see also J. N. Svoronos,

, pll. 39.1-3 and 42.1, 4.


All four first members of the priamel can be taken in a literal meaning: rejection of cyclic poetry, a crowded street, an unfaithful lover, and a public fountain. But the second and fourth members express also metaphorical meanings, again amounting to rejection of both popular poetry and an unfaithful lover. Thus, the metaphorical meaning of the street and the fountain vacillates between the parameters determined by the two rejections that have literal meaning only.[144] Moreover, the layers of the literal and metaphorical meanings prepare for the fifth member of the negative priamel, the generalization summarizing all levels of interpretation: I am sick inline image of everything that is popular.

The following cap or climax (lines 5-6) turns the priamel, already presented in hilarious artistry, on its head. Taking up the erotic elements, Kallimachos begins the positive conclusion of the negative priamel as one should expect. "Lysanies, yeah, you are handsome, handsome:" nekhi kalos kalos. " Expressions like inline image are common confessions by which a Greek lover declared his love to a boy. Kallimachos repeats the adjective, as did the girl addressing Daphnis in Theokritos' (?) Boukoliastai 2 (8),73. Such duplication is both archaic and colloquial, as a Greek reader conscious of his language would hear instantly.[145] But as soon as the audience believes it understands the epigram, its expectation is deceived. Kallimachos seems himself to walk the popular road, but at the same time the repetition prepares for the effect of the echo. He plays only with the echo of his last words: nekhi kalos kalos ; and it is broken twice. When the first echo arrives, its very beginning is broken off: only allos is heard, and before this echo reaches the second kalos , this word is made inaudible by the return of the second


echo (n)ekhi . In turn the second echo weakens and immediately fades away. Thus all that is produced is allos ekhi .[146]

In part the pun is based on the pronunciation inline image and inline image, which at the time did not yet dominate the scene but was obviously used by some people. Kallimachos himself plays in other poems with the pronunciation of inline image and inline image,[147] and the only additional surprise in the echo's pun is the fact that the i of ?C? becomes i of inline image in the metrical position at the end of the line, where a short vowel would be lengthened by the following pause. There may be an additional sound effect: the i , the last sound of the echo (and the epigram), imitates the echo as slowly fading away. Kallimachos plays with pronunciations which at his time occurred but were not frequent; and it might have been precisely for this reason that he found such puns intriguing.

Another related element of this pun is the fact that at the moment when the climax (Lysanies) is topped and the reader's expectation is turned upside down, Kallimachos uses the emphatic inline image, a word which may not have been as rare as its attestations in the surviving literature suggest.[148] In the context of the poem the use of the emphatic word

[146] I.e., (nekhi k )alos(kalos n )ekhi (kalos kalos ). The right explanation was given by K. Strunk, "Frühe Vokalveränderungen in der griechischen Literatur," Glotta 38 (1960): 74-89, esp. 84f.


seems to sound somewhat droll. The emphasis precedes the peripateia. What makes the pun burlesque, however, is its content. Lysanies, who for a moment seems to be the climax of the priamel, is somebody else's darling. Kallimachos' likes are not better than his dislikes. The humorous reversal of the climax depends on the meaning of the sentence as well as on the play with the sound pattern.

The climax of the priamel undercuts, first, its positive conclusion, that Kallimachos loves Lysanies. This boy is not what his name promises, and he puts no end to his lover's heartache.[149] The name was actually in use, and Lysanies could therefore be a real person. But I doubt that this is the reason why Kallimachos invokes this name. He rather stands for this type of boy. He is public property and thus must belong to what Kallimachos hates. Second, the entire buildup of the negative priamel is undercut. Does the joke therefore negate the seriousness of Kallimachos' erotic dislikes? That is hardly the case. And is it inconceivable that Kallimachos meant to rescind his hatred of the cyclic (and other bad) poetry? The punch line makes fun of his own way of life and of his poetic principles; but his seriousness and his laughter are two sides of the same coin. What otherwise would have been an inflated, boastful, overserious poetical credo, is deflated by the humor and thus kept in civilized human proportions. It does not provoke rejection; it becomes acceptable.

We should bear this in mind as we now return to Ptolemaic kingship, specifically to Kallimachos' poem The Lock of Berenike . There we will find a deflation even of the sovereign, but done in such a way that, with a broad smile, even his apparently overwhelming power is put into a human context of friendship and love.[150]

3. The Lock of Berenike

As far as we can tell, Kallimachos is more subtle in the Lock of Berenike than in the Hymn to Delos . The poem centers on the concept of divine kingship. Its imagery suggests in poetic playfulness that the queen, the

[149] Here I follow a suggestion communicated orally by T. Gagos.

[150] Cf. G. O. Hutchinson's general statement (Hellenistic Poetry , 32): Kallimachos' "work characteristically explores the effects which lie between absolute seriousness and entire deflation. One must not seek, therefore, to resolve the poetry into either extreme—nor even rest content with asserting that it belongs to neither."


"daughter" of the new deity Arsinoe II, must be divine too. The deification of the queen is anticipated by the catasterism of the lock.

The Lock of Berenike may be dated to September 245 BC , when the astronomer Konon detected the constellation of the lock after its heliacal rising.[151] This was about two years before Euergetes added Berenike II and himself to the Alexandrian cult of Alexander and the Gods Adelphoi (section II.1.b [3]). Thus, both Konon's "discovery" and Kallimachos' poem reflect the mood at the court, which may even have initiated the disappearance of the lock.[152] If the hair can become a star, the queen should be divine too. This is an urbane compliment, significant of the atmosphere of the court and of the way in which the issue of divine kingship was accepted and playfully propagated.

The poem can be understood within the parameters of the Greek tradition,[153] and yet the entire institution of divine kingship developed in Egypt under the influence of the Egyptian reality. Hence we will take our clue from Kallimachos, and in a few passages question whether there is an additional Egyptian side to it. But as in the case of the Hymn to Delos , "Egyptian" will refer only to the layers of Egyptian beliefs which at the time were easily accessible to the Greeks.

Three preliminary reminders are essential before we begin our reading of the Lock of Berenike . (1) The Lock was the last poem of the Aitia .

[151] See also below. For the heliacal rising on September 2-8 as well as for other astronomical data relevant for the interpretation of the poem see N. Marinone, Berenice da Callimaco a Catullo (Rome, 1984), esp. 29-44. Recently an attempt has been made to advance the date to September 246, because around September 10 of that year the planet Venus, alias the morning star, would be relatively dose to the Coma Berenices. The planet, of course, is the star of Aphrodite, that is, in the present context, of Aphrodite-Arsinoe. An allusion to this star could be expected (S. West, "Venus Observed? A Note on Callimachus, Fr. 110," CQ 35 [1985]: 61-66). But, according to Catullus, Kallimachos must have dated the catasterism to the heliacal rising of the following year (as is maintained by common opinion): Euergetes became sole ruler on January 27/28, 246 (Dios 25). When, later in the year, he went to war, the queen promised the sacrifice of her lock, but the promise was only fulfilled after his return around September 3, 245. Cat. 66.33-34: atque ibi me cunctis pro dulci coniuge divis / . . . pollicita es, / si reditum tetulisset. is haut in tempore longo / captain Asiam Aegypti finibus addiderat. / quis ego pro factis caelesti reddita coetu / pristina vota novo munere dissolvo . There is no reason to postulate a different chronology for Kallimachos. Hence, part of the chronology proposed by H. Hauben for the Syrian war of 246/5 should be revised. H. Hauben, "L'expédition de Ptolemée III en Orient et la sédition domestique de 245 av. J.-C.," APF 36 (1990): 29-37. For a bibliography on the Lock , see Lehnus, Bibliografia Callimachea , 104-113.

[152] West, "Venus Observed," 62 n. 7, 63 n. 14; H. P. Syndikus, Catull: Eine Interpretation , Impulse der Forschung 55 (Darmstadt, 1990) 2:199 n. 4.

[153] That Kallimachos' Lock of Berenike is exclusively based on Greek traditions was defended by H. Nachtergael in "Bérénice II, Arsinoé III et l'offrande de la boucle," CE 55 (1980): 240-253.


In all likelihood, Kallimachos edited the Aitia in two steps; the first edition consisted of books 1 and 2 only, which are cast in the form of a story told by the narrator, Kallimachos, about his dream encounter with the Muses: his initiation as successor to Hesiod (the somnium ), his questions, and the Muses' answers.[154] In his old age Kallimachos expanded the work of his younger days with two more books, mainly a collection of etiological poems which he had written over the years. He also added (a) the prologue against the Telchines (F 1.1-40) and (b) an invocation of the Muses in which the poet seems to have called upon them to remind him of the earlier encounter when they answered his questions;[155] and (c) he reworked the epilogue of the earlier edition (F 112), which now was to bridge the Aitia and the lambs[156] in the fashion in which transi-

[154] I follow P. Parsons' theory, essentially a combination of R. Pfeiffer's and E. Eichgrün's theories: "Callimachus: Victoria Berenices," ZPE 25 (1977): 1-50, esp. 49f.; cf. Fraser, Ptolemaic Alexandria 2:106f. nn. 11 and 12. For the structure of the first two books as a dialogue with the Muses, see now A. Harder, "Callimachus and the Muses: Some Aspects of Narrative Technique in Aitia 1-2," Prometheus 14 (1988): 1-14; Harder is mainly interested in explaining the dialogue with the Muses as an innovative and playful transformation of epic "dialogues" into a "diegematic" presentation.

[155] P. Bing, "A Note on the New 'Musenanruf' in Callimachus' Aetia ," ZPE 74 (1988): 273-275; this is an addendum to an observation by A. Kerkhecker, "Ein Musenanruf am Anfang der Aitia des Kallimachos," ZPE 71 (1988): 16-24; cf. also Hutchinson, Hellenistic Poetry , 81 n. 109.


tional lines connected the Iliad with the Aithiopis , Hesiod's Theogony with the Catalogue , and the Erga with the Ornithomanteia . Moreover Kallimachos' wording recalls the fashion in which a number of "Homeric" hymns dose with transitional lines that lead into another hymn or epic performance. To this we will return. Suffice it here to draw attention to the fact that Kallimachos gives the traditional feature a new function by using it as a bridge from one genre to the other.[157]

Sandwiched between the invocation of the Muses in the prologue to the later edition (above, [a]) and the somnium of the earlier edition (F 2), there survives a reference to the number 10 in a passage that is almost

[157] Kallimachos plays with this habit: transitional lines seem to turn separate poems into a cycle; but in Kallimachos' case the continuation is in a different genre. Both form and content separate the edition of his works from the negative connotations of a "cycle" and turn the old into a new concept. The use of this feature in the Hesiodic corpus might have made it attractive to Kallimachos.


totally lost. The London scholion explains this as the total number of the Muses or as their traditional number plus either Apollo or Arsinoe (F 2a.5-15 Pfeiffer 2 p. 102). Kallimachos clearly did not tell his readers who was added to the Muses, but the queen was an obvious candidate (see also the Florentine scholion ad F 1.45f. Pfeiffer 1 p. 7). This section of the poem may well come from what was originally the prologue of the edition of the first two books; but it was reworked and turned into the front piece of the device framing the edition of the four books. The epilogue participated in the same fate. Part of it was clearly written to cap the first edition: Kallimachos mentions inline image (his poetry; in the nominative) and the Charites as well as the inline image (both in the genitive). The Charites may be meant to remind the reader of the first aition of book 1 (on the Charites; F 3-7 with SH 249A), while the "lady" or "queen" recalls either Berenike or Arsinoe. Then a quotation from the beginning of the somnium follows.[158] This framing device connects the epilogue clearly with the early edition of books 1 and 2.[159] But then Kallimachos reworked the epilogue so that it would serve the later edition of the entire books 1-4 and now create a transition to the Iambs . The transitional link (line 9) imitates the transitional formulas of Homeric hymns (see n. 156). Hence it is preceded by "All hail, Zeus, also to you, and preserve the entire house of the lords." This line is preceded by another: "Hail, and bring (even) richer grace." The recipient of this first prayer is not known, but must be a deity of poetry, most likely Apollo. This, then, takes up the mention of Apollo in the prologue of the edition of the entire four books (F 1.21-29), and at this point the epilogue forms a framing device with the prologue of the later edition.[160] The meaning of inline image and inline image shifted correspondingly: from Philadelphos and Arsinoe II in the edition of books 1 and 2 to Euergetes and Berenike II in the edition of the entire four books.[161] Therefore,

[158] Pfeiffer ad F 2.1-2; cf. C. A. Faraone, "Callimachus Epigram 29.5-6," ZPE 63 (1986): 53-56, esp. 55 n. 9.

[159] Knox, "Epilogue," thought that the entire epilogue also originally belonged to the edition of books 1 and 2; this must be modified in light of n. 155.


the same shift must apply to the tenth Muse of the prologue. What in the early edition (books 1 and 2) meant Arsinoe, may in the later edition (books 1-4) refer to Berenike. The framing between prologue and epilogue was a characteristic feature of both editions. Later, when discussing the end of the Lock of Berenike , we shall have to come back to this feature.

Books 3-4 lack the kind of structural coherence which the narration of his talks with the Muses provides, but they are nevertheless held together by a frame: the first poem is the Victoria Berenices (SH 254-269), which begins with an invocation of Berenike, "the holy blood of the Brotherly Gods."[162] The last poem is the Coma Berenices . Berenike functions in the third and fourth books in the same manner in which Arsinoe does in the first two books.

(2) The papyrus which records the Greek fragments of the Lock of Berenike omits Catullus' lines 79-88 and, on the other hand, adds a closing distich. Especially the latter fact confirms the suspicion that Kallimachos made some changes in his Lock when he added books 3 and 4 to the earlier two books of the Aitia (see below). Most likely the papyrus contains the original version of the poem whereas Catullus followed the version inserted into the Aitia .[163] Below I shall analyze this original version, but because of the very fragmentary nature of the Greek, I will frequently resort to the text of Catullus.

(3) A fundamental difference between Kallimachos and Catullus is the gender of the lock; Kallimachos' lock is male inline image, Catullus' lock is female (coma ). Both poets had words of the other gender at their disposal, although Kallimachos might have been restricted by the name given by Konon to the constellation. On the other hand, Kallimachos must have been in a position to influence this name; and, in any case, he

[163] Cat. 66.79-88 is either an addition by Catullus (as most scholars now assume; see for example, Hutchinson, Hellenistic Poetry , 323f.) or by Kallimachos for his second edition. For a relatively recent discussion of the question see Marinone, Berenice , 59-67. The passage offers an additional aition for a sacrifice of ointment before connubial sex (79-80, nunc vos optato quas iunxit lumine taeda / non prius unanimis corpora coniugibus / tradite ). If such a sacrifice is offered by her quae se inpuro dedit adulterio (84), it will not have the desired effect (87f., concordia, amor adsiduus ). The contrast between the two groups of women makes it dear that the sacrifice to the lock is not a custom of the wedding night (as commentators believe), but part of the woman's preparation for making love when she puts on her perfumes. This interpretation fits the lock's complaint that he never received such ointments when he was on the head of the queen, then still a virgin (see later in this section and n. 200); and therefore this aition is much better integrated into the context of the poem, as modern critics believe (see, for example, West, "Venus Observed," 64f. n. 24).


was free to choose the gender Of the other hairs.[164] But when Kallimachos' lock tells us that the hairs which remained on the queen's head longed for him, these are termed female hairs inline image and called "sisters" (51). The lock is distressed that he is no longer on the head of the queen (76). His fate substitutes for, and replaces, the temporary separation of the queen from her brother and husband. Thus, the separation of the lock from the queen and the separation of the king from his sister-wife are functionally related. The former replaces the latter. The use of the male or female gender clearly adds a specific flavor to the poem. In order to retain the almost sexual tension created by Kallimachos' male lock, I will treat the lock in my translations and paraphrases as male when I refer to Kallimachos and to Catullus' original, although the use of the male pronoun will sound strange.

We now turn to the poem. Using the traditional form of Rollengedicht (or dramatic monologue)[165] —a form as old as Archilochos' Iambs (e.g., F 19 W.)—Kallimachos lets the curl, cut off from the head of the queen, tell us his story. The narrator needs no introduction. He begins with the event which is most important for him: Konon's discovery of the catasterized lock both in the air (inline image, 7) and in his maps of the stars (cf. 1: inline image). No new star needed to be discovered; only the shape of the constellation, now known as inline image or coma , had to be recognized. From this event, which is most important to the narrator, he jumps back in time to a brief explanatory mention of Berenike's vow at the beginning of the Syrian war to sacrifice a lock from her head (9-11), and to the wedding of the royal couple (11; 13-18). The lock states, with some exaggeration, that the king went to the war immediately after the wedding[166] —in reality about half a year after his accession and presum-

[165] Cf., for example, Schwinge, Künstlichkeit , 69-71.

[166] There were political reasons for this war. But it should also be said that the pharaoh was expected to engage in warfare immediately after his accession: thus he fulfilled his role of being Horus victorious over Seth and avenging his father; see E. Hornung, "Politische Planung und Realität im alten Ägypten," Saeculum 22 (1971): 54f.; Koenen, "Gallus," 123 with n. 30.


ably well after the wedding (cf. n. 151). In the lock's report, however, the wedding, the beginning of the war, and the vow of the sacrifice form a unit of almost simultaneous events. Up to the wedding and the events following it, the narrator turned backward in time ("rückläufig," Kroll), but from here on the narration will follow the chronological order: the departure of the king (19-32) with the vow of the lock (33-35), then the kings victory and the redemption of the vow to sacrifice a lock (36-50), and next the catasterization: first the mourning of the sister hairs (51f.); second, a gust of wind that carried the lock into the sea (52-58); third, the rising of the lock as a constellation before sunrise (59-64); and fourth, his arrival in his new heavenly position (65-76). With these events the lock's story reaches again the point from which it departed: his discovery by Konon (1-9). But this is not yet the end. Remembering that he has never tasted perfumes, he asks for such sacrifices (89-92; also Catullus 79-88 [see (2) above]). His request constitutes an additional aition (or two) which, from the point of view of the story, points into the future, that is, into the time of the reader of the poem. The basic structure of the narrative, then, starts out with the most important event from the point of view of the narrator, jumps back to the earliest part of the story, and from there on follows the chronological order till it reaches the event from which it began and, passing beyond that point, reaches out to a later event and the presence of the original reader. This narrative structure, particularly known from Pindar and used by Kallimachos elsewhere with elaboration and complications, has been called "complex lyric narrative" in differentiation from the "simple lyric narrative" which omits the last step and ends when it has returned to its beginning.[167] By using the aition as the element which continues the story beyond the point of its departure, Kallimachos varies the scheme. There are other complications, like the occasional mention of past events outside the narrative frame of the story and the very emotional reactions and reflections on the main steps of the narrative. But these we cannot examine in the present context.

[167] The third type of narrative, not relevant in our context, follows strictly the chronological order; because of the frequency of its occurrence in Homer, it is called the "epic narrative." See W. J. Slater, "Pindar's Myth," in Arktouros: Hellenic Studies Presented to B. M. W. Knox on the Occasion of His 65th Birthday , ed. G. W. Bowersock, W. Burkert, and M. C. J. Putnam (Berlin and New York, 1979), 63-70, esp. 63-65; the concept is based on W. Schadewaldt's observations, Iliasstudien , 3d ed. (Darmstadt, 1966), 83ff. For narrative structures in Kallimachos and his use of rather complicated and elaborate versions of "complex lyric narrative," sometimes with flashbacks and flash-forwards into events outside the narrative frame, see Lord, Pindar , 50-73, 146-157.


When the lock describes Konon's work with due learnedness, he also establishes the theme of love (line 5): it is love that brings Selene down from the starry heaven, and love that turns Berenike's lock into a constellation of stars. The queen had pledged the lock "to all the gods" for the safe return of her husband from his war. As is seen in Catullus' translation, the two wars, the nocturnae rixae and the real war (vastatum finis iverat Assyrios ) are set in contrast to each other (11ff.). Not much is said about the real war, as if the lock wanted to state that love, not history and war, are the métier of the poet. In other words, the lock sticks to Kallimachos' program.[168]

Interrupting the narration of his fate, the lock begins to ask himself questions about the amusing behavior of brides on the wedding night, thus anticipating the reader's reaction to the story (15ff.). But, in answering these questions, the lock amusingly alludes to Berenike's love and tears at the separation from her husband and asks her teasingly as if she were present: "Or did you bewail, not the empty bed when you

were left alone, but the sad departure of your dear brother?" (21f.).[169]

We saw earlier that indeed the love between queen and king, in particular the love between brother and sister, had come to describe the holy nature of kingship, in spite of the Greek distaste for such marriages (section II.1.d, Philadelphos). Moreover, as we were reminded (see [1] above), Kallimachos begins the second part of the Aitia (books 3 and 4) by invoking Berenike II, the "blood of the Brotherly Gods." There the use of the word "blood" is pointed, since Berenike was the daughter of Magas, Philadelphos' brother by adoption.[170] In the Lock Kallimachos accepts the official version of Euergetes and Berenike II as a brother-and-sister couple, and yet in his witty way he removes the seriousness. Thus, the marriage of brother and sister—unbearable to Greek ears and yet, as we saw (section II.1.d, Philadelphos), an essential issue of the ideology of Ptolemaic kingship—appears to be the most natural thing in the world.

The lock continues his story (35ff.): the victorious king returned, and the queen cut off a lock of hair. In teasing words the lock apologizes to the queen for having left her; he swears by her head from which he has been cut, and adds: "May whoever has sworn falsely get what he deserves" (41).[171] An additional playful element is revealed by the fact that

[168] I owe this observation to B. A. Victor, at the time a participant in my course on Kallimachos.

[169] an tu non orbum luxti deserta cubile, / sed fratris cari flebile discidium?

[170] Philadelphos' father, Ptolemy I (Euergetes' grandfather), had adopted Berenike's father, Magas, on marrying Magas' mother.

[171] digna ferat quod si quis inaniter adiurarit .


the official Ptolemaic oath was sworn by the names of the king and the queen. The practice was pharaonic, albeit in a Greek dress.[172] Both in good Greek form and close to Kallimachos' words, the oath regularly contained the phrase: "If I swear the truth, may I do well; if I swear falsely, may I suffer the opposite."[173] Of course, the lock swears by the queen's head from which he comes, and by her life. In the context of the poem the lock conveniently forgets the king.

As the lock tells us in his oath, he left the head of the queen against his will: twice invita (39f.)[174] Catullus' invita corresponds to Kallimachos' inline image: he has not committed any inline image. Iron has cut even Mount Athos for Xerxes, as the lock says again with hilarious exaggeration. Kallimachos calls Mount Athos the "spit of your mother Arsinoe."[175] If Euergetes and Berenike are brother and sister, then Arsinoe is also Berenike's mother, concludes Kallimachos.

Two approaches need to be combined in order to understand Arsinoe's "spit": (a) one is Greek and learned, (b) the other is a play with Egyptian thoughts and symbols.

(a) On the one hand, the "spit" alludes to Sophokles' almost proverbial expression: "Athos casts his shadow on the back of the Lemnian cow."[176] The "cow" was a statue on the island of Lemnos which, before sunset , was struck by the shadow of Mount Athos, the "spit." By itself, however, this explanation does not explain why Kallimachos lets the sun pass directly over Mount Athos, when from the vantage point of an Alexandrian observer such a northerly route is impossible.[177]

[174] For the repetition of invita see above, section III.2 with n. 145.

[175] 43ff.:


(b) On the other hand, the scholiast tells us that "spit" means "obelisk," thus providing us with a synonymous word and with a different due. According to Egyptian symbolism, the top of the obelisk was struck by the first rays of the sun. Hence in the morning Athos "is passed over by the sun," and the question of an Alexandrian viewpoint does not enter the interpretation. Moreover, there was a famous obelisk in front of the unfinished temple of Arsinoe.[178] In other words, the true obelisk of this goddess is Mount Athos, where the rays of the sun appear in the morning.

The "spit" of Athos belongs to Arsinoe II, who before her marriage to her brother Philadelphos was married to Lysimachos. Lysimachos' realm was based in Thrace but, at the height of his power, included Macedonia and the Chalcidice among many other possessions; these were Arsinoe's realms too.[179] At the time of our poem, in the Third Syrian War, Ptolemaios III Euergetes had again extended his claims to the north at least as far as Thrace. In short, the phrase inline imageinline image contains a territorial claim (although to our knowledge Euergetes was never able to materialize it).[180] But this claim is dressed in metaphorical language alluding to the morning rays of the sun ("Arsinoe's obelisk") and the wide casting of the evening shadows ("Arsinoe's spit"); the two explanations complement each other. They describe the journey of the sun which, as we have seen, defines the realm of the Egyptian king and pharaoh (section III.1). In addition, the Greek side of the explanation is rooted in a learned allusion to poetry, but this learnedness remains subordinate to Kallimachos' poetical intentions.

The lock deplores that he was forced to leave the head of the queen (who after all was the one who cut him off). Even Mount Athos had to submit to the force of iron when Xerxes built the canal for his fleet. What could a small lock do against iron? There follows a magnificent curse of the first inventors of iron, the Chalybes known from Aischylos (48ff.). Irony abounds; it feeds on the contrast between the curse and

[178] See Fraser, Ptolemaic Alexandria 2:1024.

[179] For the extension of Lysimachos' realm see E. Will, Histoire politique du monde hellénistique , 2d ed., Ann. de l'Est (Nancy, 1979), vol. 1, part 1, chap. 2A. For a brief period after the death of Lysimachos, she was also married to Ptolemaios Keraunos, whom his troops proclaimed as "king of Thrace and Macedonia" and who made Arsinoe queen. He tried to strengthen his claim to this throne through this marriage. But since this marriage ended with the murder of Arsinoe's children Lysimachos and Philippos, Kallimachos will not have wished to remind Berenike and the audience of this period of Arsinoe's participation in the rule of Thrace and Macedonia. Mount Athos is also the place where gods watch what is going on (Hymn to Delos 125ff.; F 228.47f. [see below]).

[180] Will, Histoire 1.2, chap. 4C2 Adoulis inscription and 3 ("Les acquisitions lagides en 241"); R. S. Bagnall, The Administration of the Ptolemaic Possessions outside Egypt , Col. Stud. in the Class. Tradition 4 (Leiden, 1976), 159f. Euergetes had to cut short his campaign because of an insurrection in Egypt; see Hauben, Expedition , esp. 32ff.


the small present occasion, which is trivial for the reader, but not for the curl.[181]

The precise sequence of the following events remain the secret of Kallimachos and the gods; but the most likely scenario is this: on the grounds of the temple of Arsinoe Aphrodite Zephyritis—the recently deified goddess who passed for Berenike's mother—on Cape Zephyrion, Berenike cut off and dedicated the lock to this goddess and, to be sure, to all gods.[182] The sister hairs were still longing for him—and Kallimachos may have imagined that they did so during the ceremony (51)—when Zephyr, the west wind, caught the lock and swept him into the sea,[183] the "(pure) bosom" of Arsinoe Aphrodite. From there the new constellation would rise on the next morning before sunrise,[184]

[181] Cf. Syndikus, Catullus 2:210: "Aber hier sind die Bilder so hoch gegriffen, dass die Diskrepanz zwischen Bild und Gemeintem komisch wirkt."


washed by the sea (inline image, cf. 63) like other stars.[185]

The west wind is described in very dense and symbolic language: he is the brother of the Aithiopian Memnon, hence the son of Dawn (Eos) the mother of the winds (Hes. Theog . 378). The Aithiopian Memnon was the last hero killed by Achilleus; and the Greeks connected him with monuments in Egyptian Thebes in the south of the country, close to Aithiopia. But these facts help little to explain the appearance of the brother of Memnon in Kallimachos' Lock . Nor is this west wind called "brother of Memnon" in order that he, as the son of Dawn, may be an appropriate vehicle for transporting the lock to heaven.[186] This he does

[186] ". . . and it is most suitable that Zephyros, son of Eos the Dawn and half brother of Memnon, should be the messenger who bears the lock to the queen-goddess," that is, to Aphrodite, whose "heavenly home is the planet Venus, the morning and the evening star" (Huxley, "Arsinoe Lokris," 242).


not do, as we have just seen. The lock rather follows his new nature and, before sunrise, begins his daily journey. With regard to Memnon's brother, however, there is another detail that may be helpful: in Quintus Smyrnaeus, the epic poet some 500 years younger than Kallimachos, the wind gods carry their fallen brother Memnon from the Trojan battlefield to his burial place on the Mysean river Aisepos (550-569, 585-587).[187] This part of the story is probably much older. If so, then Kallimachos' invocation of one of these wind gods as "brother of Memnon" introduces a heroic model for the rape of the lock. Why should Memnon's brother not do again what he once did to save his brother?

Next we are told that Zephyros lets his "swift" wings circle (53: inline imageinline image). This picks up a proverbial phrase which first occurs in a fable told by Archilochos, where the eagle "circles the swift wings" (inline image, 181.11 W.); elsewhere "words" or "love" are also said to travel in the same way. Kallimachos changes one word of the phrase inline image, partly, but not exclusively, for metrical convenience. inline image also recalls Balios, one of the horses of Achilleus in the Iliad , fathered by Zephyr, "that 'flies' with the speed of the winds" (16.149) and "runs with the breeze of Zephyr, which they say is the lightest thing of all" (19.415f.).[188] Kallimachos avoids the name of Balios; instead he uses an etymological pun.

Further, the wind that moves his wings like an eagle is the Locrian horse of Arsinoe with the purple girdle (54).[189] The girdle identifies Ar-


sinoe with Aphrodite. The rape of the lock is engineered by the deity who should have the greatest understanding: the mother and predecessor of the queen, who is herself a manifestation of Aphrodite and an epiphany of the love of the queen and sister. In Theokritos it is Aphrodite who snatched away inline image Berenike I, the mother of Philadelphos and Arsinoe II, before she reached Acheron; and she made her immortal (Ptol . 46ff.; Adon . 106ff.). The servant of this Arsinoe is destined to pick up the lock and to sweep him most likely into the sea, as I said. He is Locrian, that is, he comes as the west wind from Lokroi on the south Italian coast; it hits the temple precinct of Zephyrion, and it is most likely here that he catches the lock. A Pompeian painting shows Zephyr in human shape and with huge wings, carrying Aphrodite on his shoulders and wings.[190]

But this wind is also described as a horse, and the winged wind-horse has caused many headaches. Winds, we are told by interpreters of this poem, are horsemen, not horses, at least before Quintus Smyrnaeus and Nonnos.[191] But on the poetical level, the horse is the consequence of the

[190] Casa del Naviglio (6.10.11); E. Schwinzer, Schwebende Gruppen in der Pompejanischen Wandmalerei , Beitr. z. Arch. 11 (Würzburg, 1979), pl. 4.2; Zwierlein, "Weihe," 289. Some twenty-five years ago I saw a silver statuette in an antiquities shop in Cairo (and I have photographs of it), which depicts an eagle stretching out his wings; on the wings rest a bearded man and a woman; the man puts his right arm around her shoulder. I suspect that, alluding to the rape of Ganymede, it depicts the journey to a blessed afterlife. Cf. nn. 193, 194.


allusion to Homeric Balios, as I have just argued. We are not supposed to imagine the picture; we rather recognize the pun: the wind functions like the Homeric horse Balios, swift like the wind.[192] According to Quintus Smyrnaeus, it is the destiny of Achilleus' divine horses, Balios and Xanthos, to bring Neoptolemos, Achilleus' son, by order of Zeus to the Elysian fields.[193] Horses were known to have performed similar tasks in earlier literature. When Poseidon raped Pelops, he transported him on golden mares inline image to Zeus's lofty house (Pind. Ol . 1.40-43). But such ideas were not restricted to literature. From the middle of the third century through the second century BC terracotta vases of unusual shape are found in South Italian tombs: the upper part of these vases is molded in such a way that the front halves of two, three, or four horses appear galloping upward. On top of the vases are stands for one or more figures, sometimes winged and sometimes not. Paintings on the vases show, among other things, winged figures and horses. The vases with the chariots pulled by horses represent the journey of the soul to heaven. In short, the horses are connected with the idea of snatching man from death and bringing him to his final home.[194]

[192] O. Zwierlein now interprets the "horse" as a metaphor for the function in which Zephyros as a young man carries off the lock ("Weihe," 288).


In South Italy the soul was also represented as riding on a horse to heaven.[195] Kallimachos may give us a deliberate hint with his Zephyros coming from Lokroi on the South Italian coast.[196]

Like horses, the winds of Greek mythology have experience in transporting gods and the dead to heaven.[197] A wind is, of course, the most natural agent to snatch a curl. Thus, the bold, partly self-contradictory combination of imagery may appear less forbidding. To sum up: (a) Rider and horse are inseparable, and specifically, (b) horses were believed to have transported mortal beings to heaven; moreover (c) the winds were known to have done the same and, in particular, (d) the wind is the most natural agent to snatch a curl and, in the case of Berenike's lock, may even have done so. Thus, combining these elements, Kallimachos might have taken the liberty of letting the horse stand in for the rider and act as the gust of wind that carried the lock away.[198] In the third century, this image of the wind-horse will reappear (but see n. 191).

The mythical examples and religious beliefs about horses and winds converge upon each other: under both images, the catasterism of the lock appears as death, a point which was not lost on Catullus (51f. mea rata sorores/lugebant ). To this we shall return.

The lock continues his report (59ff.). The wind, after all, had only to transport him to the sea; from there he rose with the other stars to his place in heaven,[199] presumably at the heliacal rising so that Konon would notice the new lights. The belief that the dead become stars, or live on stars, is both Egyptian and Greek. The lock, however, does not enjoy, or at least claims not to enjoy, his new status and returns to his complaints (69f.). The passage is very fragmentary, but it is clear that, within his

[195] F. Cumont, Recherches sur le symbolisme funéraire des Romains , Service des Antiquités (en Syrie et au Liban), Bibl. arch. et hist. 35 (Paris, 1942), 502f. addendum to p. 149; cf. the same set of ideas in Gaul, ibid., 505, addendum to p. 218 (a woman galloping to heaven).

[196] There was a friendly relationship between Syracuse and Alexandria during the reign of Hieron II over Sicily and of Philadelphos and Euergetes over Egypt. See H. Hauben, "Arsinoé II et la politique extérieure," in Egypt and the Hellenistic World , 99-127, esp. 103.

[198] Cf. Marinone, Berenice , 197f. On the basis of Zwierlein's interpretation of the catasterism (n. 184) one could also argue that Kallimachos may have conflated what happened on earth (transportation of the lock to the temple of Arsinoe Aphrodite on horseback or in a chariot) and what happened on the divine level (Zephyr snatching the lock and bringing it to the same temple).


report, the lock now addresses Nemesis when he takes up his new position among the stars (71ff.):

[Be not] angry, [Rhamnousian Virgo (sc., Nemesis)! No] bull (i.e., the proverbial heavy weight that blocks the tongue) will hinder my word [. . . not even if] the other stars [tear my] insolence to shreds, limb [by limb]. . . . Things here give me not as much delight as distress because I no longer touch your head whence, when the queen was still a virgin, I drank much plain oil, yet I had not the pleasure of the lush ointments of married women. You, Queen, when, on the festival's days, you look at the stars and propitiate divine Aphrodite, you may not leave me, your own hair, without ointment, but rather give me large tributes.[200]

The personification of the lock as a constellation of stars, and his bravery in facing "dismemberment of his insolence" for speaking the truth, is hilarious in the extreme, all the more so if we recall the Egyptian beliefs behind it. inline image (if this is what Kallimachos wrote) is a metaphor similar to Plutarch's inline image (Mor . 767E), and Catullus translates it correctly.[201] Yet the reader familiar with Egyptian thought is reminded that, according to Egyptian beliefs, the dead were threatened with being cut into pieces;[202] and, in a court of law, they had to confess their deeds and omissions. Such "negative confessions" became an oath which the priests of Isis swore at their initiation. In the new context, the negative confession was mixed with promises of what the new priest would not do.[203] Our lock has already sworn by the queen

[201] 73: nec si me infestis discerpent sidera dictis .

[202] Zandee, Death , esp. 16f.

[203] PGM 2. XXXVII (Greek Magical Papyri , p. 278; M. Totti, Ausgewählte Texte der Isisund Sarapisreligion , Subsidia Epigraphica 12 [Hildesheim, 1985], no. 10) and R. Merkelbach, "Ein ägyptischer Priestereid," ZPE 2 (1968): 7-30 (reedited as P. Wash. Univ . II.71 by K. Maresch and Z. M. Packman, also Totti no. 9); further see Merkelbach, "Fragment eines satirischen Romans: Aufforderung zur Beichte," ZPE 11 (1973): 81-87 (edited as P Oxy . 42.3010 by P. Parsons). J. Quaegebeur considers whether the initiation oath discussed here is a fragment of the hieratikos nomos Semnuthi (i.e., the dm'-ntr[*] or "holy book"; cf. Merkelbach, "Priestereid," 11f.), a collection of laws which were of importance for priests ("'Loi sacrée' dans l'Égypte gréco-romaine," AncSoc 11/12 [1980/81]: 227-240, esp. 235f.). The motif was taken up by Roman poets; see L. Koenen, "Egyptian Influences in Tibullus," ICS 1 (1976): 127-159, esp. 129, and "Die Unschuldsbeteuerungen des Priestereides und die römische Elegie" ZPE 2 (1968): 31-38; W. D. Lebek, "Drei lateinische Hexameterinschriften," ZPE 20 (1976): 167-177, esp. 174ff.; O. Raith, "Unschuldsbeteuerung und Sündenbekenntnis im Gebet des Enkolp an Priap," StudClass 13 (1971): 109-125. An echo of the negative confessions of the oath of the Isis priests also survived among Egyptian monks: Hist. monach . 11.6 Festugière (see Merkelbach, "Altägyptische Vorstellungen," 339-342 and above, n. 42). Cf. n. 217.


that he did not commit a sin: invita . . . cessi, invita (38f.). He has now taken his position among the constellations of Virgo, Leo, and Callisto, and before Boötes.[204] In Hellenistic times, all these stars were connected with Isis and her myths. The constellation of Virgo was identified with her; and this constellation was also called Dike or Iustitia .[205] In short, appearing at his new place, the lock addresses the heavenly Virgin or Nemesis/Isis (alias Aphrodite) and, in accordance with Egyptian ideas, promises: "I will not be silent," "I will not enjoy my new life," both confessions contrary to what should be expected from the pious, but reflecting the locks anger and anticipating his destructive mood (see below). But the next confession turns back to his past: "I have not drunk the lush ointments (the perfumes) of married women." At the beginning of his new life as star, our lock behaves according to the Egyptian ideas of initiation, but in his emotional turmoil he turns part of them upside down. This is certainly funny, but in the overall context of this poem Kallimachos should not be misunderstood as taking a low shot at Egyptian ideas.

There is one more aspect to the lock's confession. He did not receive lush ointments when Berenike was not yet married. In the fifth Hymn Kallimachos presents Athene as an athlete running the double course like the Lacedaemonian stars (the Dioskouroi) and "rubbing in plain olive oil."[206] The crucial word for "plain," inline image, is again rather prosaic

[204] See the map in Marinone, Berenice , 41.

[205] Merkelbach, "Erigone," esp. 483; see also L. Koenen, "Der brennende Horusknabe," CE 37 (1962): 167-174.


and in literature a latecomer.[207] This fact makes the use of the word even more significant. Thus Berenike, for as long as she is not married, seems to behave like Athene; now, as a married woman, she is rather like Aphrodite. On one level, this is an urbane and surely welcome compliment on her chastity;[208] on another level, the comparison of Berenike's behavior with that of the deities may constitute, from the Greek point of view, a claim for Berenike's deification; both before and after her marriage, she has done, and continues to do, what a goddess has done. But this also supports his claim to worship according to the Egyptian point of view: she plays the role of the goddesses.[209]

There remains an ambiguity. The phrase "I had not the pleasure of the lush ointments of married women" may refer either to the time when Berenike was unmarried or to the time after the marriage.[210] If the sentence is taken in the latter sense, the queen will only have changed her way of life and turned to lush ointments after her husband had returned from the war. Admittedly, during her husband's absence in the war she would not have had any use for myrrh. But not even the wedding would have given the lock an opportunity to taste real perfume.[211] The lock can hardly mean this. Hence, we return to the other interpretation: The lock complains that he received plenty of plain oil but no myrrh when Berenike was unmarried. He chooses not to speak about the time between the queens wedding and her husband's return from war, when the lock was sacrificed. In terms of historical time, this is a period of one and a half years; and her husband was probably at home during the first half

[208] For the sexual connotations of the use of myrrh, in contrast to the virgin's use of plain olive oil, see now L. Holmes, "Myrrh and Unguents in the Coma Berenices," CPh 87 (1992): 47-50. Also cf. n. 163.

[209] The argument presumes that the Lock of Berenike was written after the fifth Hymn , and this would date the hymn before 245 BC . The similarity between the two passages seems to establish some relationship between the two poems. I do not see much point in having the hymn refer to the Lock ; but it is possible that the idea of young athletic women using plain oil had caught Kallimachos' attention and he mentioned it in two places without intending to create an allusion. Athletes, of course, used plain oil, but they were men. For the date of the fifth Hymn see Bulloch, Fifth Hymn , 38-43 (Bulloch does not discuss the passage, but he notes the parallel).

[210] On the ambiguity of this passage see Herter, "Haaröle."

[211] H. Herter was worried about this problem but acquiesced by having Berenike just behaving like this. "Aber seit wir das Original haben, müssen wir uns damit zufrieden geben, dass die schöne Königin sich im Brautstande doch nicht gleich zu zahmeren Sitten bekehrt hatte. Oder sollte die Locke dem Hofpoeten falsch berichtet haben?" ("Haarö1e," 68; repr., 206).


of the year. The lock surely had a rhetorical interest in not mentioning the few happy months, when he experienced the myrrh on the queen's head among his sister hairs. But what interest did Kallimachos have in the lock's oblivion?

Greeks performed the sacrifice of hair both as a pledge and as a nuptial rite.[212] Arsinoe III is celebrated in an epigram by Damagetos as having sacrificed a lock at her wedding to Philopator.[213] In our lock's mind the two events, wedding and pledge, are merged (see above). There may be, just may be, a further merger. Hellenistic Egyptians cut their hair also in the mourning for Isis, as did Erigone in her mourning for Ikarios, presumably in Eratosthenes' Erigone .[214] This ritual of mourning is, of course, different from a votive sacrifice of locks,[215] but the fact that Kallimachos sees the sacrifice under the metaphor of death may indicate that he blurs the distinctions. A terracotta piece, originally part of a vessel, seems to show Isis pulling out her hair. It has reasonably been argued that this Isis figure should be explained in the tradition of the royal oinochoai . Thus, it would most likely represent Isis as enacted either by Arsinoe III or Kleopatra I.[216] Berenike may have done just the same. Her "mother" Arsinoe was worshiped as Isis.

The claim (and at the same time confession—see above) that the lock never had the pleasure of real ointments may be carried one step further. The longing of the sister hairs for the lock and of the lock for perfumes may have a sexual connotation too. As long as the lock was on the queen's head and neither he nor his sister hairs received perfumes, he had no opportunity to enjoy sex.[217] But if we are indeed expected to perceive a flash of such connotations in the lock's claim, then they remain in the background, more in the reader's fantasy than in what the lock tells us.

[212] See Nachtergael, "Bérénice II."

[214] Merkelbach, "Erigone."

[215] To this extent I agree with G. Nachtergael, "Bérénice II," also idem, "La chevelure d'Isis," AC 50 (1981): 584-606.

[216] D. B. Thompson in Eikones (dedicated to H. Jucker), ed. R. A. Stucky, I. Jucker, and T. Gelzer, Antike Kunst, Beiheft 12 (Bern, 1980), 181-184.


The lock proceeds to request his share when Berenike worships her "mother" Aphrodite-Arsinoe (diva Venus ) on her festivals. These include the Arsinoeia. He asks for "libations" of myrrh. Since this request is an aition , we may conclude that offerings of myrrh played a part in the real world of the festivals of Aphrodite-Arsinoe. In technical terminology, "libations" of myrrh or ointments fall under the broad category of "offerings of oil" inline image. The little that is known about libations of oil in Greek cults seems to indicate that these offerings were connected not only with the cults of deities but also with those of the dead. Libations of wine to the dead, specifically to the deified queens, are known to have been part of the Alexandrian cults, including the Arsinoeia.[218] The offering of myrrh by Berenike to her deified mother, the new Aphrodite, fits this mold, and so would the same offerings to the constellation of inline image if, indeed, such a cult was established. The lock, too, is deceased and resurrected, and thus entitled to a hero's offerings. But, of course, the rather somber background disappears both in the joyful celebration of the real festivals and in the hilarious situation in Kallimachos' poem, in which a simple lock, cut from the head of his queen, asks for the stuff that he missed most in his lifetime, and in which a queen offers the myrrh to what once was her own curl! Kallimachos felt that myrrh was the appropriate gift for the lock. Once again, his banter entertains his royal reader as well as his general audience.

The partly hopeful and serene, and partly entertaining, image of the queen raising her eyes to the stars while also giving libations of oil to her lock is abruptly ended by the lock's final outburst: may the stars perish, and may Aquarius and Orion—two constellations far apart from each other—shine beside each other, that is, may the starry sky collapse, if only he could reside on the head of the queen.[219] Such feelings are genu-


inely connected with mourning. "If the beloved person dies, then the world can go to hell."[220] In the inline image, Kallimachos' poem on the death of Arsinoe II, the queen is snatched away by the Dioskouroi and brought to heaven.[221] Philotera, Arsinoe's sister, who has recently died, and presently is visiting Lemnos, sees the fire and is terrified as she does not know yet that the fire comes from her sister's pyre. She sends Charis to the top of Mount Athos to report what she sees: "Which city was destroyed and is ablaze? I am frightened! . . . Is Libya struck by evil?" The mourning is such that a whole city, an entire country seems to be afire.[222] In the inline image Kallimachos plays with such feelings. In a way, the lock is mourning himself.

The emotional wish that heaven be destroyed if he has to live separated from his queen is an effective end of the poem. Again, from the point of view of the lock, the emotions are justified; and yet in an objective measure they seem to be exaggerated and therefore comic. The ambiguity of serious and comic remains unresolved till the end of the poem.

The Greek papyrus containing the pre-Aitia version of the poem (see reminder [2] above) adds one more distich. All that is recognizable is "Hail to you, dear to your children" inline image. Iuxta lacunam we will not change inline image to inline image. If Berenike had given birth, or was with child, at the time, the lock would surely have told us so. Hence it is not she who is addressed by this sign-off formula. Moreover, inline image fulfils a function similar to the inline image invocation at the end of the epilogue: "All hail, Zeus, also to you, and preserve the entire house of the lords" (above, n. 160). Such closings are characteristic of hymns (above, n. 156), and such a prayer can reasonably be directed only to Arsinoe, who has just shown her divine power in the catasterism

[220] K. Meuli, "Èntstehung und Sinn der Trauersitten," Schweiz. Arch. f. Volkskunde 43 (1946): 91-109; repr. in Gesammelte Schriften , ed. T. Gelzer (Basel, 1975) 1:333-351.

[222] F 228, esp. 49ff.; cf. Fraser, Ptolemaic Alexandria 1:668f. How real and destructive the mourning could become is illustrated by the events at Caesar's death, when veterans, matrons, and others not only threw weapons, clothes, and jewelry into the pyre but also set fire to the houses of Caesar's murderers. There was a plan to set the Capitoline Temple ablaze. A similar outbreak of chaos occurred at the pyre of P. Clodius. In both cases the circumstances were responsible for the charged emotions which called for revenge. Yet the ritual of the mourning itself provided the frame in which the natural emotions broke all restraints of the ritual. For the events on Caesar's and Clodius' deaths see A. Alföldi, Studien über Caesars Monarchie , Bull. de la Soc. Royale des Lettres de Lund (Lund, 1953), esp. 65-69. Alföldi refers to the "sakralen Anstrich" of these "anarchistisch-wütenden Brandstiftungen" (68).


of the lock and, by this very deed, demonstrated her concern for her "children," Berenike and Euergetes.[223]

There remains a further question: Why did the poet delete the final inline image when he arranged the Lock of Berenike as the last poem of the Aitia ? We may recall what was said earlier about the structure of the Aitia (reminder [l] above). The first two books were originally framed by Arsinoe, and the unity of the structure rested on the presentation of the Aitia as a dialogue between Kallimachos and the Muses. The unity of the third and fourth books was achieved through framing them with poems closely connected with Berenike. Thus, having the last poem end with Arsinoe would have seriously interfered with the structure of books 3 and 4. Furthermore, we just resorted again to the epilogue which followed the inline image and ended with a double inline image to Apollo and Zeus (above, n. 160). Kallimachos plays again with the formula adapted from the style of the hymns. A preceding inline image at the end of the Lock would have produced an unwelcome duplication; and thus it would have stolen the surprise from the end of the Aitia . In sum, Kallimachos had good reasons for dropping the last distich with the inline image when he inserted the Lock into the larger work.

We have postponed the last question: Who speaks the hymnic sign-off greeting to Arsinoe?[224] Since we have recognized that the address is to Arsinoe, it is hard to believe that this final "hail" is spoken by the lock. At the most, he might have directed a final farewell to Berenike, his queen—which is not possible, as we saw. After his last "Heaven may go to hell," the lock has nothing to add. Hence, it must be the voice of the poet—silent up to this point—who intervenes at the end in a hymnic address to Arsinoe. Her catasterism of the lock anticipated the future elevation of the Theoi Euergetai. In this act she has demonstrated her love for "daughter and son." She is beloved by her children and answers with her love for them. As we saw before, "love" was a central element in the ideology of Ptolemaic kingship, the love between the reigning couple as well as the love between them and their predecessors (section II. 1.d). Arsinoe's love for her brother and husband manifested itself in the love for, and from, her children. Thus, "dear to your children" expresses precisely the ideology that later led the Euergetai to call their

[223] R. Pfeiffer in the addenda, 2:116; idem, History of Classical Scholarship (Oxford, 1968), 123 n. 2; Fraser, Ptolemaic Alexandria 2: 1026; Marinone, Berenice , 67 with n. 34; Gelzer, "Kallimachos," 22f. On this point I am particularly indebted to the latter, who discussed the passage with me after my lecture and caused me to change my view.

[224] The same problem occurs in other poems by Kallimachos, for example, in the second Hymn .


son Philopator and that finally was expressed by the name of Philometor. But while the love of the ruling couple was a dynastic theme, it also suited the poet's genre.

The concept of divine kingship with a reigning couple as "brother and sister" and with "love" as a constitutive element of this ideology is wrapped in lighthearted wit. Kallimachos plays with institutions which, in part, were of Egyptian origin but generally accepted by the Greeks at the time. A good example was the oath sworn in the name of the king. Moreover, the poet seems to have included allusions that went beyond the Greek cults. If we understand him correctly, he uses the symbolism of the obelisk and its connection with the cult of the sun-god to mark territorial claims and plays with the Egyptian ideas of afterlife and the cult of Isis. But, I admit, these allusions are perhaps less crucial for the interpretation of the Lock of Berenike than the Egyptian Oracle of the Potter is, for example, for the Hymn to Delos . Since the time of that hymn, the ideas of kingship had become less strange; they were almost totally Hellenized.

The poet himself steps back. Almost the entire poem is spoken by the lock, and this fact gives the poem distance as well as humorous flair. The lock is overexcited, but the reader readily forgives a lock. The poet steps in only at the last moment, turning the lock's speech almost into a hymn and thus playing with the genre. A hymn should have started by naming the deity at the very beginning; but there we have a reference to Konon, who is addressed in almost hymnic style. It begins with an aition of some sort: the astronomer has found a new constellation. Only at the end the reader finds out that the poem is in lieu of a hymn almost furtively directed to Arsinoe.[225]

This paper began with the two different faces of the Ptolemaic king, one Greek and the other Egyptian, both two images of the same thing. In the course of the discussion, I hope, the two faces appeared dearly related to each other and less independent of each other than we tend to believe.[226] The forms in which the ideology of pharaonic kingship was

[226] Elsewhere ("Adaption," 144) I have illustrated the relationship between the two cultures by the model of two overlapping circles. The overlapping portions of the circles illustrate the area of overlap of the cultures and their reciprocal influence upon each other; everything outside the overlap indicates the areas of coexistence of separate cultures. Both models, that of mixed cultures and that of cultures coexisting without influencing each other, are insufficient. But the model of overlapping circles is insufficient, too. It is too static and, as an image, reflects only the surface.


presented to the Greeks were different from the traditional images and rituals in which the pharaoh continued to be seen by the Egyptian population; but the ideas of pharaonic kingship were translated into Greek forms. The kings created Greek cults which, against a Greek background, expressed the ideas of a divine kingship according to which the deeds of the king were equivalent to the deeds of the gods; the king and the line of his ancestors appeared as the gods on earth. For the Egyptians the indigenous temples mediated between the Greek kings and their own traditions, and again, the king and his ancestors appeared as the descendants of the gods. The temples created cults which, within their own tradition, translated Greek royal cults into Egyptian forms of worship. But the kings also addressed both parts of the population directly by measures such as the philanthropa decrees. When ideology was expressed in the form of tax reductions, remissions of debts, protection from officials, and amnesties, few Greeks or Egyptians found fault with it.[227]

Egyptian kingship was based on mythical thinking, which was a thing of the past for educated Greeks. It was a long time ago that the heroes had left this world, because the city-states had not much room for them. But the world of myth and mythical thinking had survived in poetry and reappeared in the tales of Hellenistic poets, in their imagery and the elusive art of allusion. The hero of old was the thing closest to a divine king on earth. This fact made poets like Kallimachos so valuable for Philadelphos and Euergetes. He presented central ideas of the Egyptian kingship so that they sounded serious and playful at the same time; and he was able to capture the foreign ideas in a web of literary allusions so that they seemed part and parcel of the Greeks' own past. Homer, Hesiod, and Pindar were most useful for this purpose. The kingship that was a political reality appeared tolerable through the viewing glass of his poetry. It was this poetry that enabled Kallimachos and his fellow intellectuals to live in the new country and even to enjoy its strange beliefs and customs with dignity.

We began with representations of Ptolemaic kingship in art; we will end with a metaphor. As we saw earlier, it was the duty of the Egyptian king to "unify the Two Countries" at his coronation and in a series of

[227] On the philanthropa (see n. 100) as emanating from the ideology of kingship see Samuel, Shifting Sands 78f.; L. Koenen, Eine ptolemäische Königsurkunde (P. Kroll) , Klass. Phil. Studien 19 (Wiesbaden, 1957), 1.


ritual and historic acts. "The Two Countries" was interpreted in various ways: Upper and Lower Egypt, the two banks of the river Nile, the north and south of the earth. Under the Ptolemies it became the king's prerogative to unify Greek and Egyptian thought in the symbolism and reality of his office and person.


The Ptolemaic King as a Religious Figure

Preferred Citation: Bulloch, Anthony W., Erich S. Gruen, A.A. Long, and Andrew Stewart, editors Images and Ideologies: Self-definition in the Hellenistic World. Berkeley:  University of California Press,  c1993 1993.