Politeumata and Ethnicity in Ptolemaic Egypt

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Perdrizet's contention that the term polites was directly linked with the politeumata was challenged by many scholars. M. Launey, and later G. Lüderitz and C. Zuckerman, among others, argued that the word politai in the Sidonian inscriptions referred to the common citizenship of these fellow soldiers in their city of origin. Conversely, the view tha tthe term politai referred to the citizenship of a politeuma was endorsed by Mary Smallwood, and, from a slightly different perspective, A. Kasher. The latter advocated the view that the 'citizenship' of the politeuma was potentially equal in status to a civic politeia. An archive of twnty papyri which offer substantial new evidence about the inner life of a politeuma was recently published. The papyri reveal the administrative and judicial competence of the poltarches and archontes of a 'politeuma of the Jews in Heracleopolis' under Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-102
Number of pages42
JournalAncient Society
StatePublished - 2003


  • Archives
  • Ethnicity
  • Fortresses
  • Jewish culture
  • Jewish peoples
  • Jurisdiction
  • Legal practice
  • Papyrus
  • Ptolemaic Kingdom
  • Soldiers


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