Temples in Decline? The Egyptian Priesthood under Roman Rule


I argue here against the narrative that the Egyptian priesthood «suffered» under Roman rule and, in consequence, «declined markedly» in the 3rd century A.D. In contrast, I point out that Romans were keen to protect priestly privileges, and that the economic condition of temples is difficult to reconstruct. A closer look at the body of evidence further shows that a general «decline» of the Egyptian priesthood under Roman rule cannot be stated, as our material is primarily limited to just few temples at the edges of the Fayyum.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i99788883051760p905

Keywords: Egyptian priesthood; Roman Fayyum; temple economy

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