2
THE POPULATION, ITS ORGANIZATION AND COMPOSITION

I

THE population of Alexandria in its early period may be divided constitutionally into seven main categories, most of which survived in different degrees until the end of the Ptolemaic period. These groups are: first, the Greek population consisting of (i) the citizen-body (πολι + ̑ται), (ii) partial and probationary citizens, whose exact status is problematical and obscure, (iii) Greeks with no particular civil status, and (iv) Greeks with external ethnics (Κυρηναι + ̑οι, 'Ρόδιοι, Σάμιοι and so on); and secondly the non-Greek population consisting originally of (v) the native Egyptian population, (vi) foreign, non-Greek immigrants (Jews, Syrians, and others), and (vii) slaves. In this section we shall examine the ways in which these groups were formally organized within the community as a whole, and in the following section (pp. 60 ff.) attempt to discover some indications of their composition, and of the gradual changes which occurred in them, both constitutionally and racially; and also to describe the relationship of the racial groups to each other, in particular the changing relationship of the Greek to Egyptian. It is natural to begin this study by asking whence the original population of Alexandria came. This difficult problem can however be more profitably discussed when we have laid down the constitutional background against which it must be considered.

Alexandria had no ancient roots as a Greek city, and its population possessed no common racial or tribal stock, the original families and tribal groups of which were available to form the basis of the gentilitial organization of the city. We shall see that in fact almost nothing can be conjectured as to the original citizen population, but it is evident that any over-all division on a truly gentilitial basis could only be fictitious. There is, however, abundant evidence that a system based on the tribe and phratry nevertheless existed.

The main problem concerning any over-all division of a Greek citizen- body is whether it was wholly territorial, or wholly gentilitial (as in pre-Cleisthenic Athens); or a mixture of both (as in post-Cleisthenic Athens).1 For Alexandria we have to rely largely on conjecture, but we have two general considerations to guide us: first, demes, wherever they

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Ptolemaic Alexandria
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Publisher's Note (1984) vi
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • Abbreviations xiii
  • Corrigenda xvi
  • Part I - The Frame Work 1
  • 1 - Foundation and Topography 3
  • 2 - The Population, its Organization and Composition 38
  • 3 - City and Sovereign 93
  • 4 - Industry and Trade 132
  • 5 - Religious Life 189
  • Part II - The Achievement 303
  • 6 - Ptolemaic Patronage: the Mouseion and Library 305
  • 7 - Alexandrian Science 336
  • 8 - Alexandrian Scholarship 447
  • 9 - Alexandrian Philosophy: the Main Phases 480
  • 10 - Aspects of Alexandrian Literature 495
  • 11 - The Horizon of Callimachus 717
  • Epilogue 794
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