The Crown of Arsinoë II: The Creation of an Image of Authority [Paperback]

Maria Nilsson (Author)

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ISBN: 9781842174920 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Year of Publication: 2012 | Language: English 272p, b/w & colour illus

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The Crown of Arsinoë II


The Crown of Arsinoë II is a detailed study of a unique crown that was created for the Ptolemaic Egyptian Queen Arsinoë II which has important conclusions for ancient Egyptian history. Images of Arsinoë are represented in a broad spectrum of iconographic media, depicting this historical figure in a Greek as well as Egyptian cultural setting, and as queen and goddess alike, though her tomb has never been found. Based on detailed examination of reliefs, the aim is to identify and understand the symbolism that is embedded in each pictorial detail that together form the crown, as well as all contextual aspects of the relief scenes, and how this reflects the wearer's socio-political and religious positions. The results of this study suggest that the crown of Arsinoë was created for the living queen and reflected three main cultural positions: her royal position as King of Lower Egypt, her cultic role as high priestess, and her religious aspect as thea Philadelphos . It indicates that she was proclaimed female pharaoh during her lifetime and should be included in the official pharaonic king list as Ptolemy II's co-regent: her royal authority should be considered equivalent to Hatshepsut, Tawosret and Amenirdis II, as one of the most important royal women in Egyptian history. Arsinoë's complex persona were embedded in a very unique attribute her crown and that this remained a symbol of authority throughout the last centuries of the ancient Egyptian period.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction and historical background
2. Methods and theory
3. The elements of the crown
4. The complete crown
5. The crown of Arsinoë in context
6. Religious ritual
7. Size, position and time
8. Hieroglyphic titles of Arsinoë
9. The eradication of visual representations
10. Arsinoë and royalty – a female pharaoh?
11. Arsinoë and piety – priestess and goddess
12. The crown of Arsinoë as a symbol of authority
13. Conclusion

Catalogue of material

I Summarising contextual structure of the material
II Translated hieroglyphic titles
III Arsinoë’s cartouches
IV The Ptolemaic Dynasty
V Pharaonic dynasties
VI Word list

Reviews & Quotes

"...the author argues that Arsinoë II should be included in the official pharaonic king list as Ptolemy II's co-regent, and that her royal authority, as powerful as that of Hatshepsut, Tausret and Amenirdis II, makes her one of the most important women in Egyptian history."
Ancient Egypt Magazine
Ancient Egypt Magazine

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