n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - Alexander in Egypt : considering the Egyptian evidence

Supplement 5
  • ISSN : 0065-1141
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Egypt was the first of the major kingdoms of the ancient Near East to fall to Alexander. Taking control of the territory was rather different from anything he had experienced in his campaign so far, which had mainly involved dealing with city-states or small territorial states in Anatolia and the Levant. The differences are, however, not immediately apparent in the accounts of the surviving Alexander historians. They are disguised in a number of ways, some of which relate to long-established conventions of Greek historiography and traditions about the relationship between Egypt and the Greek world. Beyond this, however, the historians can be seen to have obscured the extent to which Alexander was in Egypt taking on the role of a Near Eastern, rather than a Macedonian king. In this article I will consider two much-discussed issues: the question of Alexander's coronation as Pharaoh, and his visit to the temple of Amun at Siwah. I will show how the use of evidence from Egyptian sources can offer ways of reevaluating the evidence from the Greek and Roman authors, and perhaps present a fuller picture of Alexander's time in Egypt.

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