|Publisher||Titles Distributed by Oxford University Press (Aus|
|Publication Date||August 1, 1983|
The 25,000 perfectly preserved papyri unearthed from the dry sands of Egypt in the past 100 years yield insights into the life of ancient Egypt that are unequalled for any other ancient civilization. Piecing together the stories and historical information contained in these documents, Naphtali Lewis has written a rich, descriptive social history of Egypt, 30 B.C. to A.D. 285. Replete with stories of individuals--such as Kronion, the 2nd-century farmer whose late life was disrupted by debt, domestic strife, and divorce--this book describes the class structure, means of livelihood, and ways of doing business in Roman Egypt. Here is the fascinating story of how the middle and lower classes lived in the towns and peasant villages, of their religion, their personal affairs, their laws, their allegiances. Lewis explores the Egyptians' growing discontent with Roman rule and the ways they voiced their discontent. In many cases, he lets them speak for themselves, in choice quotes from the papyri. To provide a context for reading Life in Egypt Under Roman Rule, Lewis includes a brief history of Roman-Egyptian relations before occupation as well as notes on the spelling of names and Roman imperial titles. Unique among the histories of the ancient world, this book describes everyday life in Roman-Egypt--and the thoughts and fears of the people who lived there.