The Info List - Egypt (Roman Province)

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The Roman province
Roman province
of Egypt
(Latin: Aegyptus, pronounced [ae̯ˈɡʏptʊs]; Greek: Αἴγυπτος Aigyptos [ɛ́ːɡyptos]) was established in 30 BC after Octavian (the future emperor Augustus) defeated his rival Mark Antony, deposed Queen Cleopatra VII, and annexed the Ptolemaic Kingdom
Ptolemaic Kingdom
of Egypt
to the Roman Empire. The province encompassed most of modern-day Egypt
except for the Sinai Peninsula
Sinai Peninsula
(which would later be conquered by Trajan). Aegyptus was bordered by the provinces of Creta et Cyrenaica to the West and Iudaea (later Arabia Petraea) to the East. The province came to serve as a major producer of grain for the empire and had a highly developed urban economy. Aegyptus was by far the wealthiest Eastern Roman province,[1][2] and by far the wealthiest Roman province
Roman province
outside of Italia.[3] In Alexandria, its capital, it possessed the largest port, and the second largest city of the Roman Empire.


1 Roman rule in Egypt 2 Roman government in Egypt 3 Economy 4 Military 5 Social structure in early Roman Egypt 6 Christian Egypt
(33 AD–4th century) 7 Later Roman Egypt
(4th–6th centuries) 8 Episcopal sees 9 Sassanian Persian invasion (619 AD) 10 Arab Islamic conquest (639–646 AD) 11 Gallery 12 References 13 Further reading 14 External links

Roman rule in Egypt[edit]

Maps of Roman Egypt

Northern Africa under Roman rule

The Roman Empire
Roman Empire
during the reign of Hadrian
(117 – 138). Two legions were deployed in the imperial province of Ægyptus (Egypt) in the year 125.

As a key province, but also the 'crown domain' where the emperors succeeded the divine Pharaohs, Egypt
was ruled by a uniquely styled Praefectus augustalis ('Augustal prefect'), instead of the traditional senatorial governor of other Roman provinces. The prefect was a man of equestrian rank and was appointed by the Emperor. The first prefect of Aegyptus, Gaius Cornelius Gallus, brought Upper Egypt
under Roman control by force of arms, and established a protectorate over the southern frontier district, which had been abandoned by the later Ptolemies. The second prefect, Aelius Gallus, made an unsuccessful expedition to conquer Arabia Petraea
Arabia Petraea
and even Arabia Felix. The Red Sea
Red Sea
coast of Aegyptus was not brought under Roman control until the reign of Claudius. The third prefect, Gaius Petronius, cleared the neglected canals for irrigation, stimulating a revival of agriculture. Petronius even led a campaign into present-day central Sudan
against the Kingdom of Kush at Meroe, whose queen Imanarenat had previously attacked Roman Egypt. Failing to acquire permanent gains, in 22 BC he razed the city of Napata
to the ground and retreated to the north. From the reign of Nero
onward, Aegyptus enjoyed an era of prosperity which lasted a century. Much trouble was caused by religious conflicts between the Greeks and the Jews, particularly in Alexandria, which after the destruction of Jerusalem
in 70 became the world centre of Jewish religion and culture. Under Trajan
a Jewish revolt occurred, resulting in the suppression of the Jews of Alexandria
and the loss of all their privileges, although they soon returned. Hadrian, who twice visited Aegyptus, founded Antinoöpolis
in memory of his drowned lover Antinous. From his reign onward buildings in the Greco-Roman style were erected throughout the country Under Antoninus Pius
Antoninus Pius
oppressive taxation led to a revolt in 139, of the native Egyptians, which was suppressed only after several years of fighting. This Bucolic War, led by one Isidorus, caused great damage to the economy and marked the beginning of Egypt's economic decline. Avidius Cassius, who led the Roman forces in the war, declared himself emperor in 175, and was acknowledged by the armies of Syria and Aegyptus. On the approach of Marcus Aurelius, Cassius was deposed and killed and the clemency of the emperor restored peace. A similar revolt broke out in 193, when Pescennius Niger
Pescennius Niger
was proclaimed emperor on the death of Pertinax. The Emperor Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus
gave a constitution to Alexandria
and the provincial capitals in 202.[clarification needed] Caracalla
(211–217) granted Roman citizenship to all Egyptians, in common with the other provincials, but this was mainly to extort more taxes, which grew increasingly onerous as the needs of the emperors for more revenue grew more desperate. There was a series of revolts, both military and civilian, through the 3rd century. Under Decius, in 250, the Christians again suffered from persecution, but their religion continued to spread. The prefect of Aegyptus in 260, Mussius Aemilianus, first supported the Macriani, usurpers during the rule of Gallienus, and later, in 261, became a usurper himself, but was defeated by Gallienus. Zenobia, queen of Palmyra, took the country away from the Romans when she conquered Aegyptus in 269, declaring herself the Queen of Egypt also. This warrior queen claimed that Egypt
was an ancestral home of hers through a familial tie to Cleopatra VII. She was well educated and familiar with the culture of Egypt, its religion, and its language. She lost it later when the Roman emperor, Aurelian, severed amicable relations between the two countries and retook Egypt
in 274. Two generals based in Aegyptus, Probus and Domitius Domitianus, led successful revolts and made themselves emperors. Diocletian
captured Alexandria
from Domitius in 298 and reorganised the whole province. His edict of 303 against the Christians began a new era of persecution. This was the last serious attempt to stem the steady growth of Christianity in Egypt, however. Roman government in Egypt[edit] Further information: List of governors of Roman Egypt As Rome
overtook the Ptolemaic system in place for areas of Egypt, they made many changes. The effect of the Roman conquest was at first to strengthen the position of the Greeks and of Hellenism against Egyptian influences. Some of the previous offices and names of offices under the Hellenistic Ptolemaic rule were kept, some were changed, and some names would have remained but the function and administration would have changed. The Romans introduced important changes in the administrative system, aimed at achieving a high level of efficiency and maximizing revenue. The duties of the prefect of Aegyptus combined responsibility for military security through command of the legions and cohorts, for the organization of finance and taxation, and for the administration of justice. The reforms of the early 4th century had established the basis for another 250 years of comparative prosperity in Aegyptus, at a cost of perhaps greater rigidity and more oppressive state control. Aegyptus was subdivided for administrative purposes into a number of smaller provinces, and separate civil and military officials were established; the praeses and the dux. The province was under the supervision of the count of the Orient (i.e. the vicar) of the diocese headquartered in Antioch in Syria. Emperor Justinian abolished the diocese of Egypt
in 538 and re-combined civil and military power in the hands of the dux with a civil deputy (the praeses) as a counterweight to the power of the church authorities. All pretense of local autonomy had by then vanished. The presence of the soldiery was more noticeable, its power and influence more pervasive in the routine of town and village life. Economy[edit]

Roman trade with India started from Aegyptus according to the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (1st century).

The economic resources that this imperial government existed to exploit had not changed since the Ptolemaic period, but the development of a much more complex and sophisticated taxation system was a hallmark of Roman rule. Taxes in both cash and kind were assessed on land, and a bewildering variety of small taxes in cash, as well as customs dues and the like, was collected by appointed officials. A massive amount of Aegyptus's grain was shipped downriver (north) both to feed the population of Alexandria
and for export to the Roman capital. There were frequent complaints of oppression and extortion from the taxpayers. The Roman government had actively encouraged the privatization of land and the increase of private enterprise in manufacture, commerce, and trade, and low tax rates favored private owners and entrepreneurs. The poorer people gained their livelihood as tenants of state-owned land or of property belonging to the emperor or to wealthy private landlords, and they were relatively much more heavily burdened by rentals, which tended to remain at a fairly high level. Overall, the degree of monetization and complexity in the economy, even at the village level, was intense. Goods were moved around and exchanged through the medium of coin on a large scale and, in the towns and the larger villages, a high level of industrial and commercial activity developed in close conjunction with the exploitation of the predominant agricultural base. The volume of trade, both internal and external, reached its peak in the 1st and 2nd centuries. By the end of the 3rd century, major problems were evident. A series of debasements of the imperial currency had undermined confidence in the coinage,[4] and even the government itself was contributing to this by demanding more and more irregular tax payments in kind, which it channeled directly to the main consumers, the army personnel. Local administration by the councils was careless, recalcitrant, and inefficient; the evident need for firm and purposeful reform had to be squarely faced in the reigns of Diocletian
and Constantine I. Military[edit] This wealthiest of provinces could be held militarily by a very small force; and the threat implicit in an embargo on the export of grain supplies, vital to the provisioning of the city of Rome
and its populace, was obvious. Internal security was guaranteed by the presence of three Roman legions (later reduced to two, then one Legio II Traiana) stationed at the grand capital Alexandria. Each of these numbered around 5000 strong, and several units of auxiliaries. In the first decade of Roman rule the spirit of Augustan imperialism looked farther afield, attempting expansion to the east and to the south. Most of the early Roman troops stationed there were Greco-Macedonians and native Egyptians
once part of the dissolved Ptolemaic army finding service for Rome. Eventually Romans or Romanized people were a majority. Social structure in early Roman Egypt[edit] See also: Fayum mummy portraits

Citizen of Roman Egypt
(Fayum mummy portrait)

Bust of Roman Nobleman, c. 30 BC–50 AD, Brooklyn Museum

Possible depiction of the province of Egypt
from the Hadrianeum in Rome

The social structure in Aegyptus under the Romans was both unique and complicated. On the one hand, the Romans continued to use many of the same organizational tactics that were in place under the leaders of the Ptolemaic period. At the same time, the Romans saw the Greeks in Aegyptus as “Egyptians”, an idea that both the native Egyptians and Greeks would have rejected.[5] To further compound the whole situation, Jews, who themselves were very Hellenized overall, had their own communities, separate from both Greeks and native Egyptians.[5] The Romans began a system of social hierarchy that revolved around ethnicity and place of residence. Other than Roman citizens, a Greek citizen of one of the Greek cities had the highest status, and a rural Egyptian would be in the lowest class.[6] In between those classes was the metropolite, who was almost certainly of Hellenic origin. Gaining citizenship and moving up in ranks was very difficult and there were not many available options for ascendancy.[7] One of the routes that many followed to ascend to another caste was through enlistment in the army. Although only Roman citizens could serve in the legions, many Greeks found their way in. The native Egyptians
could join the auxiliary forces and attain citizenship upon discharge.[8] The different groups had different rates of taxation based on their social class. The Greeks were exempt from the poll tax, while Hellenized inhabitants of the nome capitals were taxed at a lower rate than the native Egyptians, who could not enter the army, and paid the full poll tax.[9] The social structure in Aegyptus is very closely linked to the governing administration. Elements of centralized rule that were derived from the Ptolemaic period
Ptolemaic period
lasted into the 4th century. One element in particular was the appointment of strategoi to govern the ‘nomes’, the traditional administrative divisions of Egypt. Boulai, or town councils, in Egypt
were only formally constituted by Septimius Severus. It was only under Diocletian
later in the 3rd century that these boulai and their officers acquired important administrative responsibilities for their nomes. The Augustan takeover introduced a system of compulsory public service, which was based on poros (property or income qualification), which was wholly based on social status and power. The Romans also introduced the poll tax which was similar to tax rates that the Ptolemies levied, but the Romans gave special low rates to citizens of metropolises.[10] The city of Oxyrhynchus
had many papyri remains that contain much information on the subject of social structure in these cities. This city, along with Alexandria, shows the diverse set-up of various institutions that the Romans continued to use after their takeover of Egypt. Just as under the Ptolemies, Alexandria
and its citizens had their own special designations. The capital city enjoyed a higher status and more privileges than the rest of Egypt. Just as it was under the Ptolemies, the primary way of becoming a citizen of Roman Alexandria was through showing when registering for a deme that both parents were Alexandrian citizens. Alexandrians were the only Egyptians
that could obtain Roman citizenship.[11] If a common Egyptian wanted to become a Roman citizen he would first have to become an Alexandrian citizen. The Augustan period in Egypt saw the creation of urban communities with “Hellenic” landowning elites. These landowning elites were put in a position of privilege and power and had more self-administration than the Egyptian population. Within the citizenry, there were gymnasiums that Greek citizens could enter if they showed that both parents were members of the gymnasium based on a list that was compiled by the government in 4–5 AD.[12] The candidate for the gymnasium would then be let into the ephebus. There was also the council of elders known as the gerousia. This council of elders did not have a boulai to answer to. All of this Greek organization was a vital part of the metropolis and the Greek institutions provided an elite group of citizens. The Romans looked to these elites to provide municipal officers and well-educated administrators.[12] These elites also paid lower poll-taxes than the local native Egyptians, fellahin. It is well documented that Alexandrians in particular were able to enjoy lower tax-rates on land.[13] These privileges even extended to corporal punishments. Romans were protected from this type of punishment while native Egyptians
were whipped. Alexandrians, on the other hand, had the privilege of merely being beaten with a rod.[14] Although Alexandria
enjoyed the greatest status of the Greek cities in Egypt, it is clear that the other Greek cities, such as Antinoopolis, enjoyed privileges very similar to the ones seen in Alexandria.[15] All of these changes amounted to the Greeks being treated as an ally in Egypt
and the native Egyptians
were treated as a conquered race. The Gnomon of the Idios Logos shows the connection between law and status. It lays out the revenues it deals with, mainly fines and confiscation of property, to which only a few groups were apt. The Gnomon also confirms that a freed slave takes his former master’s social status. The Gnomon demonstrates the social controls that the Romans had in place through monetary means based on status and property. Christian Egypt
(33 AD–4th century)[edit]

Part of a series on the

History of Egypt

Prehistoric Egypt pre–3150 BC

Ancient Egypt

Early Dynastic Period 3150–2686 BC

Old Kingdom 2686–2181 BC

1st Intermediate Period 2181–2055 BC

Middle Kingdom 2055–1650 BC

2nd Intermediate Period 1650–1550 BC

New Kingdom 1550–1069 BC

3rd Intermediate Period 1069–744 BC

Kushite Egypt 744–656 BC

Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt 664–525 BC

Classical antiquity

Achaemenid Egypt 525–404 BC

Twenty-eighth Dynasty of Egypt 404–398 BC

Twenty-ninth Dynasty of Egypt 398–380 BC

Thirtieth Dynasty of Egypt 380–343 BC

Achaemenid Egypt 343–332 BC

Macedonian and Ptolemaic Egypt 332–30 BC

Roman and Byzantine Egypt 30 BC–641 AD

Sasanian Egypt 619–629

Middle Ages

Rashidun Egypt 641–661

Umayyad Egypt 661–750

Abbasid Egypt 750–935

Tulunid Egypt 868–905

Ikhshidid Egypt 935–969

Fatimid Egypt 969–1171

Ayyubid Egypt 1171–1250

Mamluk Egypt 1250–1517

Early modern

Ottoman Egypt 1517–1867

French occupation 1798–1801

under Muhammad
Ali 1805–1882

Khedivate of Egypt 1867–1914

Modern Egypt

British occupation 1882–1922

Sultanate of Egypt 1914–1922

Kingdom of Egypt 1922–1953

Republic 1953–present


v t e

The Patriarchate of Alexandria
is held to be founded by Mark the Evangelist around 42. The ancient religion of Egypt
put up surprisingly little resistance to the spread of Christianity. Possibly its long history of collaboration with the Greek and Roman rulers of Egypt
had robbed its religious leaders of authority. Alternatively, the life-affirming native religion may have begun to lose its appeal among the lower classes as a burden of taxation and liturgical services instituted by the Roman emperors reduced the quality of life. In a religious system which views earthly life as eternal, when earthly life becomes strained and miserable, the desire for such an everlasting life loses its appeal. Thus, the focus on poverty and meekness found a vacuum among the Egyptian population. In addition, many Christian tenets such as the concept of the trinity, a resurrection of deity and union with the deity after death had close similarities with the native religion of ancient Egypt.[citation needed] Or it may simply have been because branches of the native religion and Christianity had converged to a point where their similarities made the change a minor one. By 200 it is clear that Alexandria
was one of the great Christian centres. The Christian apologists Clement of Alexandria
and Origen both lived part or all of their lives in that city, where they wrote, taught, and debated. With the Edict of Milan
Edict of Milan
in 313, Constantine I
Constantine I
ended the persecution of Christians. Over the course of the 5th century, paganism was suppressed and lost its following, as the poet Palladius bitterly noted. It lingered underground for many decades: the final edict against paganism was issued in 435, but graffiti at Philae
in Upper Egypt
proves worship of Isis
persisted at its temples into the 6th century. Many Egyptian Jews also became Christians, but many others refused to do so, leaving them as the only sizable religious minority in a Christian country. No sooner had the Egyptian Church achieved freedom and supremacy than it became subject to a schism and prolonged conflict which at times descended into civil war. Alexandria
became the centre of the first great split in the Christian world, between the Arians, named for the Alexandrian priest Arius, and their opponents, represented by Athanasius, who became Archbishop of Alexandria
in 326 after the First Council of Nicaea rejected Arius's views. The Arian controversy caused years of riots and rebellions throughout most of the 4th century. In the course of one of these, the great temple of Serapis, the stronghold of paganism, was destroyed. Athanasius
was alternately expelled from Alexandria
and reinstated as its Archbishop between five and seven times. Egypt
had an ancient tradition of religious speculation, enabling a variety of controversial religious views to thrive there. Not only did Arianism
flourish, but other doctrines, such as Gnosticism
and Manichaeism, either native or imported, found many followers. Another religious development in Egypt
was the monasticism of the Desert Fathers, who renounced the material world in order to live a life of poverty in devotion to the Church. Egyptian Christians took up monasticism with such enthusiasm that the Emperor Valens
had to restrict the number of men who could become monks. Egypt
exported monasticism to the rest of the Christian world. Another development of this period was the development of Coptic, a form of the Ancient Egyptian language
Egyptian language
written with the Greek alphabet supplemented by several signs to represent sounds present in Egyptian which were not present in Greek. It was invented to ensure the correct pronunciation of magical words and names in pagan texts, the so-called Greek Magical Papyri. Coptic was soon adopted by early Christians to spread the word of the gospel to native Egyptians
and it became the liturgical language of Egyptian Christianity and remains so to this day. Christianity was quickly accepted by the people who were oppressed in first-century Roman Egypt. Christianity eventually spread out west to the Berbers. The Coptic Church was established in Egypt. Donatist Christianity blended with local African religious practices and beliefs. Donatus and some other African bishops stepped out of line according to the Romans and the Romans persecuted the Christians in Northern Africa. Since Christianity blended it with local traditions it never truly united the people against Arabian forces in the seventh and eight centuries. Later on in the seventh and eighth centuries, Christianity spread out to Nubia. [16] Later Roman Egypt
(4th–6th centuries)[edit]

A map of the Near East in 565, showing Byzantine Egypt
and its neighbors.

Further information: Diocese of Egypt The reign of Constantine also saw the founding of Constantinople
as a new capital for the Roman Empire, and in the course of the 4th century the Empire was divided in two, with Egypt
finding itself in the Eastern Empire with its capital at Constantinople. Latin, never well established in Egypt, would play a declining role with Greek continuing to be the dominant language of government and scholarship. During the 5th and 6th centuries the Eastern Roman Empire, today known as the Byzantine Empire, gradually transformed itself into a thoroughly Christian state whose culture differed significantly from its pagan past. The fall of the Western Empire in the 5th century further isolated the Egyptian Romans from Rome's culture and hastened the growth of Christianity. The triumph of Christianity led to a virtual abandonment of pharaonic traditions: with the disappearance of the Egyptian priests and priestesses who officiated at the temples, no-one could read the hieroglyphs of Pharaonic Egypt, and its temples were converted to churches or abandoned to the desert. The Eastern Empire became increasingly "oriental" in style as its links with the old Græco-Roman world faded. The Greek system of local government by citizens had now entirely disappeared. Offices, with new Byzantine names, were almost hereditary in the wealthy land-owning families. Alexandria, the second city of the empire, continued to be a centre of religious controversy and violence. Cyril, the patriarch of Alexandria, convinced the city's governor to expel the Jews from the city in 415 with the aid of the mob, in response to the Jews' alleged nighttime massacre of many Christians.[citation needed] The murder of the philosopher Hypatia
in March 415 marked the final end of classical Hellenic culture in Egypt.[citation needed] Another schism in the Church produced a prolonged civil war and alienated Egypt
from the Empire. The new religious controversy was over the nature of Jesus of Nazareth. The issue was whether he had two natures, human and divine, or a combined one (hypostatic union from His humanity and divinity). This may seem an arcane distinction, but in an intensely religious age it was enough to divide an empire. The Miaphysite
controversy arose after the First Council of Constantinople
in 381 and continued until the Council of Chalcedon
Council of Chalcedon
in 451, which ruled in favour of the position that Jesus was "In two natures" due to confusing Miaphytism (combined) with Monophystism (single). The Monophysite belief was not held by the miaphysites as they stated that Jesus was out of two natures in one nature called, the "Incarnate Logos of God". Many of the miaphysites claimed that they were misunderstood, that there was really no difference between their position and the Chalcedonian position, and that the Council of Chalcedon ruled against them because of political motivations alone. The Church of Alexandria
split from the Churches of Rome
and Constantinople
over this issue, creating what would become the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, which remains a major force in Egyptian religious life today.[17] Egypt
and Syria remained hotbeds of Miaphysite
sentiment, and organised resistance to the Chalcedonian view was not suppressed until the 570s. Egypt
nevertheless continued to be an important economic center for the Empire supplying much of its agriculture and manufacturing needs as well as continuing to be an important center of scholarship. It would supply the needs of the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
and the Mediterranean as a whole. The reign of Justinian (527–565) saw the Empire recapture Rome
and much of Italy
from the barbarians, but these successes left the empire's eastern flank exposed. The Empire's "bread basket" now lacked for protection. Episcopal sees[edit] Ancient episcopal sees of the Roman province
Roman province
of Aegyptus Primus (I) listed in the Annuario Pontificio
Annuario Pontificio
as titular sees, [18] suffragans of the Patriarchate of Alexandria :

Agnus Andropolis (Kherbeta) Butus (near Desuq? Com-Casir?) Cleopatris (Sersina) Coprithis (Cabrit, Cobrit) Hermopolis Parva Letopolis Phatanus (El-Batanu, El-Batnu) Mariotes
(Lake Mariout) Menelaite (Idku) Metelis (Kom el-Ghoraf) Naucratis Nicius (Ibshadi) Onuphis (Menouf) Petra in Aegypto (Hagar-En-Nauatiyeh) Sais Taua (Thaouah? near Ebiar?) Terenuthis Thois (Tideh)

Ancient episcopal sees of the Roman province
Roman province
of Aegyptus Secundus (II) listed in the Annuario Pontificio
Annuario Pontificio
as titular sees :[18]

Busiris (Abu-Sir) Cabasa
(Chahbas-Esch-Choada) Cynopolis in Aegypto
Cynopolis in Aegypto
(Banâm Benâ) *Diospolis Inferior (*Tell el-Balamun) Pachnemunis (Kom el-Khanziri) Phragonis (Tell-El-Faraïn, Côm-Faraïn) Schedia Sebennytus
(Sebennytos) Xois

Sassanian Persian invasion (619 AD)[edit]

The Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
in 629 after Heraclius
had reconquered Syria, Palestine and Egypt
from the Sassanid Empire.

Main articles: Roman–Persian Wars
Roman–Persian Wars
and Sasanian Egypt The Persian conquest of Egypt, beginning in AD 619 or 618, was one of the last Sassanid triumphs in the Roman-Persian Wars against Byzantium. From 619 - 628, they incorporated Egypt
once again within their territories, the previous (much longer) time being under the Achaemenids. Khosrow II
Khosrow II
Parvêz had begun this war in retaliation for the assassination of Emperor Maurice (582–602) and had achieved a series of early successes, culminating in the conquests of Jerusalem (614) and Alexandria
(619). A Byzantine counteroffensive launched by Emperor Heraclius
in the spring of 622 shifted the advantage, and the war was brought to an end by the fall of Khosrow on 25 February 628 (Frye, pp. 167–70). The Egyptians
had no love of the emperor in Constantinople
and put up little resistance. Khosrow's son and successor, Kavadh II
Kavadh II
Šêrôe (Šêrôy), who reigned until September, concluded a peace treaty returning territories conquered by the Sassanids to the Eastern Roman Empire. The Persian conquest allowed Miaphysitism
to resurface in the open in Egypt, and when imperial rule was restored by Emperor Heraclius
in 629, the Miaphysites were persecuted and their patriarch expelled. Egypt
was thus in a state of both religious and political alienation from the Empire when a new invader appeared. Arab Islamic conquest (639–646 AD)[edit]

The Mediterranean world in 650, after the Arabs
had conquered Egypt and Syria from the Byzantines.

Main article: Muslim conquest of Egypt An army of 4,000 Arabs
led by Amr Ibn Al-Aas
Amr Ibn Al-Aas
was sent by the Caliph Umar, successor to Muhammad, to spread Islamic rule to the west. Arabs crossed into Egypt
from Palestine in December 639, and advanced rapidly into the Nile Delta. The Imperial garrisons retreated into the walled towns, where they successfully held out for a year or more. The Arabs
sent for reinforcements, and in April 641 they besieged and captured Alexandria. The Byzantines assembled a fleet with the aim of recapturing Egypt, and won back Alexandria
in 645. The Muslims retook the city in 646, completing the Muslim conquest of Egypt. 40,000 civilians were evacuated to Constantinople
with the imperial fleet. Thus ended 975 years of Græco-Roman rule over Egypt. Gallery[edit]

Mummy Mask of a Man, early 1st century AD, 72.57, Brooklyn Museum

Funerary masks uncovered in Fayoum, 1st century.

coin celebrating Ægyptus Province, struck c. 135. In the obverse, Egypt
is personified as a reclining woman holding the sistrum of Hathor. Her left elbow rests on a basket of grain, while an ibis stands on the column at her feet.

coin reporting her title as queen of Egypt
(Augusta), and showing her diademed and draped bust on a crescent. The obverse shows a standing figure of Ivno Regina (Juno) holding a patera in her right hand and a sceptre in her left hand, with a peacock at her feet and a brilliant star on the left.


^ Publishing, Britannica Educational (2010-04-01). Ancient Egypt: From Prehistory to the Islamic Conquest. Britannica Educational Publishing. ISBN 9781615302109.  ^ Wickham, Chris (2009-01-29). The Inheritance of Rome: A History of Europe from 400 to 1000. Penguin UK. ISBN 9780141908533.  ^ Maddison, Angus (2007), Contours of the World Economy, 1–2030 AD: Essays in Macro-Economic History, p. 55, table 1.14, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-922721-1 ^ Christiansen, Erik (2004). Coinage in Roman Egypt: The Hoard Evidence. Aarhus University Press.  ^ a b Turner, E. G. (1975). " Oxyrhynchus
and Rome". Harvard Studies in Classical Philology. 79: 1–24 [p. 3]. JSTOR 311126.  ^ Alston, Richard (1997). "Philo's In Flaccum: Ethnicity and Social Space in Roman Alexandria". Greece and Rome. Second Series. 44 (2): 165–175 [p. 166]. doi:10.1093/gr/44.2.165.  ^ Lewis, Naphtali (1995). "Greco-Roman Egypt: Fact or Fiction?". On Government and Law in Roman Egypt. Atlanta: Scholars Press. p. 145.  ^ Bell, Idris H. (1922). "Hellenic Culture in Egypt". Journal of Egyptian Archaeology. 8 (3/4): 139–155 [p. 148]. JSTOR 3853691.  ^ Bell, p.148 ^ Lewis, p.141 ^ Sherwin-White, A. N. (1973). The Roman Citizenship. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 391.  ^ a b Turner, E. G. "Roman Oxyrhynchus". Journal of Egyptian Archaeology. 38: 78–93 [p. 84]. JSTOR 3855498.  ^ Delia, Diana (1991). Alexandrian Citizenship During the Roman Principate. Atlanta: Scholars Press. p. 31.  ^ Delia, pp.31–32 ^ Delia, p.32 ^ History of Africa written by Kevin Shillington ^ "Egypt". Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. Retrieved 2011-12-14.  See drop-down essay on "Islamic Conquest and the Ottoman Empire" ^ a b Annuario Pontificio
Annuario Pontificio
2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), "Sedi titolari", pp. 819-1013

Further reading[edit]

Angold, Michael. 2001. Byzantium : the bridge from antiquity to the Middle Ages. 1st US Edition. New York : St. Martin's Press Bowman, Alan Keir. 1996. Egypt
After the Pharaohs: 332 BC–AD 642; From Alexander to the Arab Conquest. 2nd ed. Berkeley: University of California Press Bowman, Alan K. and Dominic Rathbone. “Cities and Administration in Roman Egypt.” The Journal of Roman Studies 82 (1992): 107-127. Database on-line. JSTOR, GALILEO; accessed October 27, 2008 Chauveau, Michel. 2000. Egypt
in the Age of Cleopatra: History and Society under the Ptolemies. Translated by David Lorton. Ithaca: Cornell University Press El-Abbadi, M.A.H. “The Gerousia
in Roman Egypt.” The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 50 (December 1964): 164-169. Database on-line. JSTOR, GALILEO; accessed October 27, 2008. Ellis, Simon P. 1992. Graeco-Roman Egypt. Shire Egyptology
17, ser. ed. Barbara G. Adams. Aylesbury: Shire Publications Ltd. Hill, John E. 2003. "Annotated Translation of the Chapter on the Western Regions according to the Hou Hanshu." 2nd Draft Edition. [1] Hill, John E. 2004. The Peoples of the West from the Weilue 魏略 by Yu Huan 魚豢: A Third Century Chinese Account Composed between 239 and 265 CE Draft annotated English translation. [2] Hölbl, Günther. 2001. A History of the Ptolemaic Empire. Translated by Tina Saavedra. London: Routledge Ltd. Lloyd, Alan Brian. 2000. "The Ptolemaic Period (332–30 BC)". In The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, edited by Ian Shaw. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. 395–421 Peacock, David. 2000. "The Roman Period (30 BC–AD 311)". In The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, edited by Ian Shaw. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. 422–445 Riggs, Christina, ed. (2012). The Oxford Handbook of Roman Egypt. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-957145-1.

External links[edit]

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Detailed Map of Aegyptus

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Ancient Egypt

Outline Index Major topics Glossary of artifacts

Agriculture Architecture (Egyptian Revival architecture) Art Astronomy Chronology Cities (list) Clothing Cuisine Dynasties Funerary practices Geography Great Royal Wives History Language Literature Mathematics Medicine Military Music Mythology People Pharaohs (list) Philosophy Religion Sites Technology Trade Writing

Egyptology Egyptologists Museums

Book Category Ancient Egypt
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Provinces of the early Roman Empire
Roman Empire
(117 AD)

Achaea Aegyptus Africa proconsularis Alpes Cottiae Alpes Maritimae Alpes Poeninae Arabia Petraea Armenia Asia Assyria Bithynia
and Pontus Britannia Cappadocia Cilicia Corsica
and Sardinia Crete and Cyrenaica Cyprus Dacia Dalmatia Epirus Galatia Gallia Aquitania Gallia Belgica Gallia Lugdunensis Gallia Narbonensis Germania Inferior Germania Superior Hispania Baetica Hispania Tarraconensis Italia † Iudaea Lusitania Lycia
et Pamphylia Macedonia Mauretania Caesariensis Mauretania Tingitana Mesopotamia Moesia
Inferior Moesia
Superior Noricum Pannonia Inferior Pannonia Superior Raetia Sicilia Syria Thracia

was never constituted as a province, instead retaining a special juridical status until Diocletian's reforms.

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Late Roman provinces
Roman provinces
(4th–7th centuries AD)


As found in the Notitia Dignitatum. Provincial administration reformed and dioceses established by Diocletian, c. 293. Permanent praetorian prefectures established after the death of Constantine I. Empire permanently partitioned after 395. Exarchates of Ravenna and Africa established after 584. After massive territorial losses in the 7th century, the remaining provinces were superseded by the theme system in c. 640–660, although in Asia Minor and parts of Greece they survived under the themes until the early 9th century.

Western Empire (395–476)

Praetorian Prefecture of Gaul

Diocese of Gaul

Alpes Poeninae
Alpes Poeninae
et Graiae Belgica I Belgica II Germania I Germania II Lugdunensis I Lugdunensis II Lugdunensis III Lugdunensis IV Maxima Sequanorum

Diocese of Vienne1

Alpes Maritimae Aquitanica I Aquitanica II Narbonensis I Narbonensis II Novempopulania Viennensis

Diocese of Spain

Baetica Balearica Carthaginensis Gallaecia Lusitania Mauretania Tingitana Tarraconensis

Diocese of the Britains

Britannia I Britannia II Flavia Caesariensis Maxima Caesariensis Valentia (?)

Praetorian Prefecture of Italy

Diocese of Suburbicarian Italy

Apulia et Calabria Campania Corsica Lucania et Bruttii Picenum
Suburbicarium Samnium Sardinia Sicilia Tuscia et Umbria Valeria

Diocese of Annonarian Italy

Alpes Cottiae Flaminia et Picenum
Annonarium Liguria et Aemilia Raetia
I Raetia
II Venetia et Istria

Diocese of Africa2

Africa proconsularis (Zeugitana) Byzacena Mauretania Caesariensis Mauretania Sitifensis Numidia Cirtensis Numidia Militiana Tripolitania

Diocese of Pannonia3

Dalmatia Noricum
mediterraneum Noricum
ripense Pannonia I Pannonia II Savia Valeria ripensis

Eastern Empire (395–c. 640)

Praetorian prefecture of Illyricum

Diocese of Dacia

Dacia Mediterranea Dacia Ripensis Dardania Moesia
I Praevalitana

Diocese of Macedonia

Achaea Creta Epirus
Nova Epirus
Vetus Macedonia Prima Macedonia II Salutaris Thessalia

Praetorian Prefecture of the East

Diocese of Thrace5

Europa Haemimontus Moesia
II4 Rhodope Scythia4 Thracia

Diocese of Asia5

Asia Caria4 Hellespontus Insulae4 Lycaonia
(370) Lycia Lydia Pamphylia Pisidia Phrygia Pacatiana Phrygia Salutaris

Diocese of Pontus5

Armenia I5 Armenia II5 Armenia Maior5 Armenian Satrapies5 Armenia III
Armenia III
(536) Armenia IV
Armenia IV
(536) Bithynia Cappadocia I5 Cappadocia II5 Galatia I5 Galatia II Salutaris5 Helenopontus5 Honorias5 Paphlagonia5 Pontus Polemoniacus5

Diocese of the East5

Arabia Cilicia I Cilicia II Cyprus4 Euphratensis Isauria Mesopotamia Osroene Palaestina I Palaestina II Palaestina III Salutaris Phoenice I Phoenice II Libanensis Syria I Syria II Salutaris Theodorias (528)

Diocese of Egypt5

Aegyptus I Aegyptus II Arcadia Augustamnica I Augustamnica II Libya Superior Libya Inferior Thebais Superior Thebais Inferior

Other territories

Taurica Quaestura exercitus (536) Spania

1 Later the Septem Provinciae 2 Re-established after reconquest by the Eastern Empire in 534 as the separate Prefecture of Africa 3 Later the Diocese of Illyricum 4 Placed under the Quaestura exercitus in 536 5 Affected (i.e. boundaries modified, abolished or renamed) by Justinian I's administrative reorganiz