Current Research Postgraduates
Mrs Heba Abd-El-Gawad
(email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Self-presentation of Ptolemy II-Philadelphus
Throughout ancient Egyptian history, various foreign rulers attempted to seize power over Egypt. However, among all these conquerors the Ptolemies were the most successful. Unlike all other conquerors, the Ptolemies governed an empire that had Egypt at its core. They were far more positively acceptable to Egyptian people than their Persian predecessors, and were active in promoting their interest in Egyptian traditional culture, notably through their extensive building projects.
The focus of this study is Ptolemy II-Philadelphus, king of Egypt from 282 BC to 246 BC, the second in the long line of the Ptolemaic royal house. Philadelphus had a direct impact on the Ptolemaic royal ideology and gained most from accommodating the Egyptian royal traditions through his numerous building projects. Historians consider that Egypt reached its peak politically and economically during his reign.
From a survey of the literature about Ptolemy II, it has become clear while some aspects of his reign have been explored in depth by scholars-for example his war record, his economic achievements and the foundation of the library and museum some questions remain: How and why did Ptolemy II present himself to his various audiences? Was he an Egyptian Pharaoh or a Greek Basileus? How successful was he in promoting his desired image? Did he simply follow his father’s path or do we find innovations and new beginnings during his reign?
Through a multi-disciplinary approach towards his self-presentation, this study aims to achieve a clearer understanding of Ptolemy II’s royal ideology and its cultural identity. The primary focus is his visual and written presentations, examined from a number of perspectives including epigraphic, iconographic, historical and theological.