A village, its people, and their texts: Euhemeria and the beginning of Roman rule in Egypt

  • William Mundy

Student thesis: Phd


The village Euhemeria, located in the Fayum region of Egypt, preserved a corpus of documents on papyri and ostraca from the first century of Roman rule. This thesis studies those documents as a group for the first time, and uses them to examine the question of how this small, rural settlement responded to the arrival of the Roman Empire. The question of how the Euhemerian documents made their way from Egypt to collections around the world is addressed, and the interrelations between the texts are explored. New groups of texts within the evidence, based around individuals and families, are identified and used to underpin an analysis of various aspects of life in Euhemeria. The documents are a particularly rich source of information about agriculture, the local economy, and social relations between the villagers. They also show the emergence of a prosperous new socio-economic group within the village, who seized the opportunities offered by the change of regime from Ptolemaic kingdom to Roman province. Overall, the thesis concludes that, while the village itself was typical of its time and place, the collection of documents that it left to posteriority is unique. A detailed examination of that evidence therefore provides a valuable complementary perspective to previous studies on early Roman Egypt.
Date of Award1 Aug 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorPeter Pormann (Supervisor) & Mazza (Supervisor)


  • ancient history
  • papyrology
  • Roman Egypt
  • village studies

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