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The Last Pharaohs: Egypt Under the Ptolemies, 305-30 BC Paperback – October 7, 2012
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"Manning has produced a deep and meaningful study of the social and political relationships inherent in the Ptolemaic economy."--Timothy Howe, Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"Following his study of land tenure and use in Hellenistic Egypt, Manning presents a well-supported analysis of the formation of the Ptolemaic state in the fourth and third centuries BCE."--Choice
"Integrating the latest research on archaeology, papyrology, theories of the state, and legal history, as well as Hellenistic and Egyptian history, The Last Pharaohs draws a dramatic picture of Egypt's last ancient state."--Heritage Key
"This book, using latest archaeological technique combined with analysis of Ptolemaic documents, sets into a clear yet far ranging perspective the reality of Egypt in a 300 year span from the ancient to the Roman world."--Stephen Cox Trust
"The Last Pharaohs has a place alongside [the works of] Gunther Holbl and Werner Huss."--Paul McKechnie, Ancient West and East
From the Back Cover
"This fascinating book has broad views that should appeal to many people who are neither specialists on ancient Egypt nor the ancient Greek world. J. G. Manning has a perfect knowledge of his subject."--Alain Bresson, University of Chicago
"Most scholars who study Ptolemaic Egypt are specialists in either Greek or Egyptian demotic papyrology, work below the level of large-scale narrative, and write technical studies that are not always accessible to historians. And the evidence from Ptolemaic Egypt is often considered parochial since Egypt is thought of as unique in the ancient world. J. G. Manning's book answers all these problems. Leaving the niche of technical papyrology and showing convincingly why Ptolemaic Egypt is important for the study of state formation and the ancient economy, he approaches the period as a real historian and puts his subject in the context of current international scholarly debate. The Last Pharaohs will impress ancient historians in general, and should make the Ptolemaic state an important case study in the literature on authoritarian states and state formation."--Katelijn Vandorpe, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunately, this book is not written for generalists, does not provide any kind of linear timeline of the events and accomplishments of the dynasty, and does not allow the members of Egypt's last dynasty of leaders to emerge as individuals. Instead, this book is written as a discussion of the structures of Ptolemaic society, government, and economy. The author is clearly an expert and is engaged in an academic debate about the nature of the Ptolemaic state with other experts both living and dead. Some of his commentary on the nature of authoritarian regimes will strike the students of modern autocracies as useful. However, the book in general is inaccessible to neophytes like me who cannot tell Ptolemy V from Ptolemy X at the outset.
I cannot comment on the extent to which a student of archeology, classics, or Egyptology would enjoy this book, as I am none of these things. What I can say is that anyone looking for a basic survey of one of the key dynasties of Egyptian history should look elsewhere.