Rome’s conquest of Egypt culminated in 30 BC, but the relationship between the two powers had been evolving for years before this event. World History Edu provides a brief overview...
Tagged: Roman Pharaohs
The term “Roman pharaohs” might seem unusual, as we typically associate pharaohs with ancient Egypt and not with Rome.
However, the term can be applied to the Roman emperors who ruled Egypt after the defeat of the Ptolemaic queen Cleopatra VII in 30 BC.
Once Egypt became a province of the Roman Empire, its rulers effectively became the successors of the pharaohs, even if they didn’t adopt the title of “pharaoh” themselves.
Augustus (Octavian): After defeating Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BCE, Augustus annexed Egypt and made it a Roman province. It became the personal estate of the Roman emperor, with its vast wealth directly fueling the imperial coffers.
Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, and other Julio-Claudians: These emperors maintained control over Egypt, recognizing its vital importance due to its grain supplies that fed the city of Rome.
The Flavian Emperors and Antonines: Emperors from these dynasties continued the tradition of Roman control over Egypt, maintaining stability and ensuring the continued flow of grain.
Later Emperors: Emperors like Trajan, Hadrian, and others left their mark on Egypt, with many of them visiting the province and commissioning various construction projects.
During Roman rule, the Egyptian religious system, culture, and way of life continued, but there were integrations of Roman administrative systems, legal traditions, and other cultural elements. The Roman emperors were often depicted in Egyptian art and temples with traditional pharaonic motifs, wearing traditional Egyptian crowns, showcasing the blend of cultures.
End of their rule
The Roman presence in Egypt lasted for several centuries until the Muslim conquest in the 7th century AD. Throughout this time, while Egypt remained distinctly Egyptian, it was also heavily Romanized, especially in cities like Alexandria.