‘Hellenization’ and ‘Romanization’ in Ptolemaic Egypt, Central & Western Asia and Greece

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The globalizing Hellenistic world lends itself par excellence for the study of cultures in contact and the processes that govern the results of such contacts. The concept of anchoring may be helpful in deepening our insight into these processes, which are relevant also in our modern world. Local societies are confronted with and deeply affected by new powers structures. Often these clashes result in a form of creative friction. There may be significant power differentials in different areas of mutual importance, which necessitates some form of cultural understanding and (the creation of) common ground (see WP 10). Globalization scholars typically study how local and global structures mutually respond to each other in a feedback loop. This WP focuses on three multi-cultural contexts in the Hellenistic world, in Egypt, Central & Western Asia and Greece (Roman colonization), and investigates how global diversity was embedded and with what kind of results. The Roman project anticipates the topic of WP 9, the chronological sequel of WP 8. Where WP 8 focusses on the historical contexts and its changes in their own right; the focus of WP 9 will be more specifically on cultural translation processes (as visible in objects, texts and ideas) that mediate these changes and are the result thereof.

Research Questions

How do local and global structures interact in anchoring change in contexts of culture contact? Specifically, this will be studied in three different areas:
-Ptolemaic (Hellenistic) Egypt: what is the relationship between temple culture and the Hellenistic rulers? How were Greek practices anchored in the Egyptian world? E.g. how did the arrival of Greek-speaking immigrants affect existing burial practices in Egypt? How was Greek urban culture anchored in Egyptian society? And what role does anchoring play in the monetization of Egypt?
-Central Asia: What kind of anchoring processes are visible in Central Asia and what does that tell us about the (global) network of which this region was part, by which it was affected, and to which it contributed?
‘Hellenization’ and ‘Romanization’ in Ptolemaic Egypt, Central & Western Asia and Greece-Western Asia & Greece: What are the anchoring processes for Roman colonies in Greece and Asia minor?