Egypt and the Limits of Hellenism
In a series of studies, Ian Moyer explores the ancient history and modern historiography of relations between Egypt and Greece from the fifth century BCE to the early Roman empire. Beginning with Herodotus, he analyzes key encounters between Greeks and Egyptian priests, the bearers of Egypt’s ancient traditions. Four moments unfold as rich micro-histories of cross-cultural interaction: Herodotus’ interviews with priests at Thebes; Manetho’s composition of an Egyptian history in Greek; the struggles of Egyptian priests on Delos; and a Greek physician’s quest for magic in Egypt. In writing these histories, the author moves beyond Orientalizing representations of the Other and colonial metanarratives of the civilizing process to reveal interactions between Greeks and Egyptians as transactional processes in which the traditions, discourses and pragmatic interests of both sides shaped the outcome. The result is a dialogical history of cultural and intellectual exchanges between the great civilizations of Greece and Egypt.