Cover image for A history of the Ptolemaic empire
A history of the Ptolemaic empire
Hölbl, Günther.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Geschichte des Ptolemäerreiches. English
Publication Information:
London ; New York : Routledge, [2001]

Physical Description:
xxxvi, 373 : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DT92 .H6513 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



This compelling narrative provides the only comprehensive guide in English to the rise and decline of Ptolemaic rule in Egypt over three centuries - from the death of Alexander in 323 BC to the tragic deaths of Antony and Cleopatra in 30 BC.
The skilful integration of material from a vast array of sources allows the reader to trace the political and religious development of one of the most powerful empires of the ancient eastern Mediterranean. It shows how the success of the Ptolemies was due in part to their adoption of many features of the Egyptian Pharaohs who preceded them - their deification and funding of cults and temples throughout Egypt.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

The Ptolemaic kingdom of Egypt was the most successful and longest surviving of the successor states of Alexander the Great's empire. It has been almost 75 years, however, since the publication of the last comprehensive history of Ptolemaic Egypt in English, Edwyn Bevan's A History of Egypt under the Ptolemaic Dynasty (1927). This excellent translation of Holbl's 1994 Geschichte des Ptolemaerreiches is, therefore, welcome. In nine clearly written and well-documented chapters Holbl traces the history of Ptolemaic Egypt from Alexander's conquest in 332 BCE to the suicide of Cleopatra VII in 30 BCE. A full bibliography, detailed chronology, and three appendixes devoted to the genealogy of the Ptolemaic dynasty and its complex marriage relationships complete the work. Although political history forms the core of the book, Holbl devotes significant attention to the cultural history of Ptolemaic Egypt. Especially welcome is his extensive use of Egyptian evidence--particularly the surviving royal and priestly decrees in hieroglyphic script--to explicate the character of Macedonian and Egyptian ideologies of kingship and their interaction. This is a valuable work that belongs in the library of every college and university that offers instruction in ancient history. S. M. Burstein California State University, Los Angeles