This article discusses identity in Roman Egypt, covering collective identities, state identity, social classes and legal categories, shifts in collective identity, gender, ethnicity and cultural-religious identity, and names as identifiers of kinship bonds and of other collectivities. Identity is about one's place in society. As under the Ptolemies, descent was crucial to belonging to an elite group, and upward mobility was possible. Through wealth, civic donations, and networking, members of the elite were candidates for social promotion. But compared with Ptolemaic times, there was a downturn for the ordinary Egyptian man, woman, and their children, whose path towards the elite groups was limited in many respects. Compartmentalization gained the upper hand. After the Constitutio Antoniniana, wealth replaced descent as the crucial criterion to belonging to the elite.
This article examines the status, history, and development of the Jewish communities in Alexandria and Egypt during the Roman period, using the evidence from literary writings of Philo and Josephus, sub-literary texts (the Acta Alexandrinorum and the Oracle of the Potter), and documentary papyri. It considers the violence in Alexandria in 38–41
Anna Lucille Boozer
Egypt’s Western Desert is located on the fringes of Egypt proper. Despite its remote location, the Western Desert inhabitants connected with people in the Nile Valley and more distant locations. These connections are visible in the form of trade, technology, and migration. In order to understand the impact of this connection with other regions upon local oasites, this article offers a critique of current theories on migration and consumption before reviewing the evidence of such connections chronologically. The available evidence suggests that the Old Kingdom, the New Kingdom, the Perisan Period, and the Roman Period may have been particularly prominent periods of connectivity for the Western Desert. This evidence also suggests strong connections to Thebes throughout most of the history of the Western Desert. Since formal research in the Western Desert is relatively recent, it is anticipated that the current image of Western Desert connections will change in future years.