Page 183

We should refer also to the statues of two Egyptian high priests, Petobastis and Psenptah (Fig. 41). Those high officials, worked as advisors of Ptolemies, preserving tight relations throughout the Hellenistic period. Priests of Memphis contributed considerably to the formation and development of the Ptolemaic ideology, while they were serving as advisors at the royal court.20 Later during Ptolemaic period, it was the priesthood of Memphis that supported the recovery of the Alexandrian authority in Thebais after the rebellions of the second half of the 2nd century, while there must even have been also intermarriage with members of the royal court.21


Fig. 41. Statue of priest Petobastis

Later, in the Roman period, major renovations and alternations occurred in the site. In fact, Sarapeion seems to open again, after a period of collapse, from the reign of Ptolemy IV until the end of the Hellenistic period22. Hadrian added a red granite portico and dedicated a basalt statue of Apis-Bull, who was introduced

for a first in Alexandrian Sarapeion in his traditional Egyptian form

(fig. 42). Hadrian visited the capital of Egypt in 130 AD, where he attempted to restore the city both physically and in spirit. Concerning the latter, Hadrian founded a new library in the Caesareum, discussed philosophy at the Museum, and started a campaign to attract sophists such as Dionysius of Miletus and Polemon of Laodicea. This brought a minor second century revival in Alexandrian 20

For these ties, see Thompson, 1988, 138–146. HÜlbl. 2001, 222. 22 All the Hellenistic material evidence of Sarapeion dates from the early 3rd century BC until the reign of Ptolemy IV. After this period, there is a complete silence to the site, which corresponds to the gradual decline of the Ptolemaic dynasty, implying the tight relation between Sarapeion and Sarapis with the Hellenistic rulers of Egypt. 21

Final study of CulMe-WeOnCT project  
Final study of CulMe-WeOnCT project