Drawing on archaeological findings and an unusual combination of Greek and Egyptian evidence, Dorothy Thompson examines the economic life and multicultural society of the ancient Egyptian city of Memphis in the era between Alexander and Augustus. Now thoroughly revised and updated, this masterful account is essential reading for anyone interested in ancient Egypt or the Hellenistic world. The relationship of the native population with the Greek-speaking immigrants is illustrated in Thompson's analysis of the position of Memphite priests within the Ptolemaic state. Egyptians continued to control mummification and the cult of the dead; the undertakers of the Memphite necropolis were barely touched by things Greek. The cult of the living Apis bull also remained primarily Egyptian; yet on death the bull, deified as Osorapis, became Sarapis for the Greeks. Within this god's sacred enclosure, the Sarapieion, is found a strange amalgam of Greek and Egyptian cultures.
List of Illustrations and Tables viii Prefaces ix Acknowledgments xv Abbreviations xvi A Note on Transliteration xix Chapter 1: The Second City 1 Chapter 2: Economic Life in Memphis 29 Chapter 3: Ethnic Minorities 76 Chapter 4: Ptolemies and Temples 99 Chapter 5: The Undertakers 144 Chapter 6: Apis and Other Cults 177 Chapter 7: Between Two Worlds: The Sarapieion 197 Chapter 8: Roman Memphis: An Epilogue 247 Appendixes A. Memphite Professions Additional to Those Recorded in the Zenon Archive 259 B. The Undertakers' Archive 260 C. A Property Settlement in 197 B.C. 262 D. Apis Bulls of the Ptolemaic Period 263 Bibliography 285 Index 319