“Eu vi um rosto com mil semblantes”: interpretar a estatuária ptolemaica mista

Translated title of the contribution: «I have seen a face with a thousand countenances»: Interpreting Ptolemies’ "mixed" statuary

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Around the time the postcolonial paradigm was establishing in the Humanities, so too was the Ptolemaic period receiving growing attention. Scholars studying this chronology, during the second half of the twentieth century, however, understood Egypt’s society and culture as a set of impermeable communities/ traditions, only coexisting with one another. This interpretation caused a radical turn in the historiography of the topic. More significantly, though, it left material culture that did not belong exclusively to neither one of the cultural sets (Greek or Egyptian) largely overlooked, and, later on, underestimated in the debates on who influenced who. The author’s Master dissertation took as a case study the Greco-Egyptian stone sculpture in the round of the male Ptolemaic rulers, looking to further understand the previously underestimated objects. They were not underestimated, however, in the sense that their existence was not acknowledged or analysed, but in the sense that the explanation put forward was not complex enough. The authors formulated their interpretation mainly from the point of view of state and elites, disconsidering thus other possible realms of agency. This article presents a part of the investigation, namely the theoretical framework adopted to suggest another interpretation for the existence of the “mixed” statuary of Ptolemaic rulers. Although today Ptolemaic Egypt is not understood as a colonial case, postcolonial studies will contribute to this alternative line of interpretation by decentralizing analysis, from the state to other groups. Nevertheless, the major contribution will come from a theory of consumption, which in turn aims to decentralize studies, from issues of power to other realms.
Translated title of the contribution«I have seen a face with a thousand countenances»: Interpreting Ptolemies’ "mixed" statuary
Original languagePortuguese
Pages (from-to)3-14
Number of pages10
JournalRevista do Museu de Arqueologia e Etnologia
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventMigration and Colonization in the Mediterranean during the First Millennium BC - NOVA FCSH, Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 22 Nov 201823 Nov 2018


  • Ptolemaic Egypt
  • Royal Ptolemaic stone sculpture in the round
  • Greco-Egyptian statues
  • Culture contact
  • Consumption studies


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