The rising power of women Essay

1967 Words 8 Pages
The queens in the Ptolemaic period of Egypt, demonstrate a level of power and influence in royal women that has not been seen before the Hellenistic Age (323 BCE – 30 BCE). The power of Ptolemaic queens reached level of reverence on par with the pharaoh of Egypt, and the queens not only maintained the direction of the Hellenistic Period, but set the fashion for upper-class Alexandrian women (Pomeroy, 1984, 40). The cult worship of these queens begins with Arsinoe II, and is continued with later queens that adopt the trappings of pharaonic power until the death of Cleopatra VII (30 BCE); these ruler-cults are direct results of the influence of women in this age, and the dynasties need to use royal ideology to legitimize their rule as foreign …show more content…
He states that the poetry “[emphasizes] Arsinoe’s Egyptian identity while depicting her in terms of semi-divine female hosts” (Andrews, 1974, 136). The poet in his Idylls compares Arsinoe to great beauties such as Helen of Troy and she is commonly associated with the goddess Aphrodite; these associations present her as a benevolent figure who will bring good fortune. Arsinoe in this poetry is also paralleled to Circe in the Odyssey, doing this reflects her role as a Greco-Macedonian queen as well as an Egyptian consort who walks the lines of the divine (138; Theoc. Id. XV, 72-3; Od. 10.221-3). this imagery presents Arsinoe as a protector and supporter of her husband, and is similar to the nurturing relationship between an Egyptian king and a goddess. The Egyptianization of foreign rulers is a concept we see recurring in Egyptian history, with examples that include the Hyksos and the Theban rulers of the twenty-fifth dynasty.
Ptolemaic rulers were legitimized through royal ideology in a number of ways. “Living-gods” were considered blasphemous in Greek culture, so initially Ptolemaic rulers were associated with already existing gods or goddesses. This led to a gradual progression of increasing divinity with the adoption of Egyptian customs, especially in queens of the Ptolemaic period. From the time of Ptolemy II there was an increased link between the…

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