chapter  12
12 Pages

THE PTOLEMAIC ROYAL IMAGE AND THE EGYPTIAN TRADITION

This chapter attempts to gather the relevant evidence to investigate the possibility that similarities between the royal imageries were a deliberate attempt by the later rulers to associate themselves with their predecessors. One of the most striking similarities to occur in Ptolemaic royal sculpture is that between the portraits of the early Ptolemaic rulers and the thirtieth Dynasty kings. A similar pattern emerges when the so-called sculptors' models are considered, in that the majority of examples date stylistically to the thirtieth and early Ptolemaic Dynasties. The evidence dating to the reign of Ptolemy II suggests that the completion of earlier building programmes was a policy rather than merely a coincidence. Under Ptolemy II there was a consistent scheme of reviving and completing building programmes that had been interrupted by the Persian occupation. The reversion to earlier portrait types accords with nationalistic papyri of the second century BC.