Between religion and politics: Greek Egyptian identity in Ptolemaic Egypt (4th-1st centuries B.C.)

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The Hellenistic civilisation in Egypt was the result of complex relations between two symbolic universes in a constant process of update. The Hellenistic period created a new political reality by gathering together the Greek-Dominant and the Egyptian-Dominated in the same physical space. That new community would coexist during the following three centuries. Consequently, one’s perception of “Us” –and its differentiation from “Them” –become blurred. In this article, Egyptian religion gains a major focus to discuss how cultural updates are shaped by the way individuals understand, classify, and interact with the world surrounding them at a political, religious, cultural, and social levels. Hence, constant, gradual and always unpredictable transformations are in charge of redefinitions of cultural identities. The outcome of such a transformation of cultures is a new symbolic universe –in our case a Hellenistic universe –that developed a new world-view, replacing both traditional Egyptian and Hellenic.

Este artigo discute, sobretudo sob uma perspectiva grega, as interações socioculturais e religiosas entre gregos e egípcios durante o período Ptolemaico. Apesar de todo um histórico de contatos diplomáticos e comerciais, a conquista macedónica estabeleceu um novo elemento na relação entre gregos e egípcios: a polarização “Dominantes vs. Dominados”. Ao mesmo tempo, a nova realidade de aproximação e convivência entre gregos e egípcios atenuou a percepção de diferenças que caracterizam o “Outro”, originando um processo de atualização de identidades. O fenômeno de assimilação da religião egípcia pelo que se definia como um “comportamento à grega” debate a identidade cultural grega no Egito Helenístico
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-35
Number of pages28
JournalFIGURA. Studies on the Classical Tradition. Studi sulla Tradizione Classica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Identidade cultural
  • Gregos no Egito
  • Religião Egípcia
  • Egito Helenístico


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