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Document Details :
Title: Ptolemy V and the Rosetta Decree
Subtitle: The Egyptianization of the Ptolemaic Kingship
Author(s): JOHNSON, C.G.
Journal: Ancient Society
Volume: 26 Date: 1995
Understanding the relation between native Egyptian and Greek culture in Ptolemaic Egypt is crucial to our perception of Ptolemaic history. Two views of this relationship have been influential since the time of Droysen. The first holds that there was a synthesis of Egyptian and Greek forms, ideas and institutions which created a distinct and new culture, Greco-Egyptian, and that Greek forms underwent an ‘Egyptianization’, whereby they became Egyptian in character. The second view holds that, for the most part, Egyptian and Greek culture remained isolated from one another, and that any influence upon one another was superficial. The nature and character of Ptolemaic kingship has not been immune to such an analysis. It has been argued repeatedly that the Ptolemies, and in particular Ptolemy V, adopted Pharaonic titulature and customs in an effort to win the sympathies of native Egyptians. This article intends to challenge this thesis by examining royal titulature formulae found in contemporary papyri, inscriptions and coins, and will show that this Egyptianization of the Greek monarchy was only superficial.