Law in Greco-Roman Egypt: Hellenization, Fusion, Romanization

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The Ptolemaic kings of Egypt ruled a variety of ethnic groups that were diverse in language, culture, religion, and legal practices. The main themes were tolerance and even the protection of particular legal traditions. By the beginning of the Roman period, changes were under way. The autonomous courts of law had by then ceased to exist. The second century ce witnessed the abandonment of demotic script in legal documents and the emergence of a new law, “the law of the Egyptian”, which was applied by the entire population and consisted of Greek and Egyptian elements alike. In the late third century bce, agoranomeia were established in the throughout Egypt to allow the state to monitor foreclosure on assets placed as security for debts. In the Roman empire, Roman citizens in Egypt followed major elements of the Roman law of succession, family, and personal status.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford handbook of papyrology
EditorsRoger S. Bagnall
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780195178388, 0195178386, 9780199843695
StatePublished - 2009

Publication series

NameOxford handbooks


  • Hellenization
  • Romanization
  • Demotic
  • Ptolemaic kings
  • Autonomous law courts
  • Roman Empire
  • Agoranomeia


Dive into the research topics of 'Law in Greco-Roman Egypt: Hellenization, Fusion, Romanization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this