This article discusses the Ptolemaic legacy and Egyptian independence; the annexation of Egypt; and the first Roman prefects in Egypt. In contrast to earlier changes of ruler, the annexation of Egypt by Octavian represents a particularly lasting break in the country's history. Octavian was quickly able to stabilize Roman authority in the newly created province. As in the other provinces of the empire, a new, well-designed, and effective administration was speedily introduced. It was headed by the prefect, the direct representative of the emperor. To secure his rule, Octavian-Augustus also sought engagement with the priests, the elite of the country. This is evident in the numerous temples that were built, particularly in areas of strategic and economic importance.
This article discusses government, taxation, and law in Roman Egypt. The most striking feature of the Egyptian provincial government remains its overall structure, in particular the geographically defined division into many smaller, relatively independent, but nevertheless tightly run administrative units, and above all the strict hierarchy of offices with a proper chain of appeal and the prefect at the top. In the area of taxation, there was a plethora of varieties in Egypt itself. This is why it is by no means easy to determine which structural features (if any) may also be observed in other regions of the Roman empire. In the field of jurisdiction, the Romans apparently refrained from intervening too rigidly in the law and customs of the population.
This article concentrates on the characteristics specific to the Roman army in Egypt, providing an overview of the subject and emphasizing the developing insights of scholarship. The first element specific to the province of Aegyptus, as was also the case in every province of the empire, was the composition of the garrison, and in particular the units stationed there and their military engagements. Also specific to the exercitus Aegyptiacus (the Latin designation for the 'army of Egypt') were a few institutional regulations dating from Octavian's conquest and the form he gave to the province's administration. Finally, two kinds of source, namely the papyri and ostraca, are specific to the province.
This article discusses Roman status and citizenship. Fiscal interests were mainly at stake in the rigid status policy of the Romans, with its division of the population into cives Romani, citizens of a polis, and noncitizens. These thoroughly self-serving intentions, apart from producing all the paperwork that epitomizes Roman Egypt, set in train an overall restructuring of society in Augustan times, where the legal implications gave the local elite a new consciousness of their status. This proved fundamental for all the ensuing developments, as this consciousness was the leavening for a gradual process of municipalization, which came to an interim conclusion with the introduction of town councils in the nome capitals in 200
The Theban region refers to a portion of the Nile Valley north and south of the site of Thebes (modern Luxor), in Upper Egypt. This article describes the Theban region in both Ptolemaic and Roman times. It begins with a historical background followed by discussions of temples and towns; population; religion; burial practices; and tourists.