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Bill Thayer

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Edwyn R. Bevan:
The House of Ptolemy
A History of Hellenistic Egypt under the Ptolemaic Dynasty

Edwyn Robert Bevan (1870‑1943) was a rarity in the academic world: a top-flight scholar whose only doctorates were honorary, conferred on him late in life in appreciation for his contributions, rather than early in his career as a sign of hope for what he might become. He started by writing mostly history, and by the end of his life devoted himself mostly to philosophy and religion.

The volume transcribed here is the later work of a pair covering the two great powers of the Hellenistic world; the earlier, The House of Seleucus, may eventually find its niche here as well.


Technical Details

Edition Used, Illustrations

The 1989 Ares Publishers, Inc. reprint, "an exact reprint of the edition: Chicago, 1968" which appears to be only a very slightly modified reprinting of the original 1927 edition. Unfortunately, in that reprint the photographic illustrations are of very poor quality, pasty and dark; for the time being therefore I haven't reproduced them, and will have to find an original edition before I do.


As almost always, I retyped the text by hand rather than scanning it — not only to minimize errors prior to proofreading, but as an opportunity for me to become intimately familiar with the work, an exercise which I heartily recommend: Qui scribit, bis legit. (Well-meaning attempts to get me to scan text, if successful, would merely turn me into some kind of machine: gambit declined.)

This transcription has been minutely proofread. I run a first proofreading pass immediately after entering each chapter; then a second proofreading, detailed and meant to be final: in the table of contents above, the chapters are shown on blue backgrounds, indicating that I believe them to be completely errorfree; any red backgrounds would mean that the chapter had not received that second final proofreading. The header bar at the top of each chapter page will remind you with the same color scheme.

The print edition was well proofread; there are few typographical errors. These few errors then, when I could fix them, I did, marking the correction each time with a bullet like this;º or when trivial, with a dotted underscore like this: as elsewhere on my site, glide your cursor over the bullet or the underscored words to read the variant. Similarly, bullets before measurements provide conversions to metric, e.g., 10 miles. Very occasionally, also, I use this blue circle to make some brief comment.

Inconsistencies or errors in punctuation are remarkably few; they have been corrected to the author's usual style, in a slightly different color — barely noticeable on the page when it's a comma for example like this one, but it shows up in the sourcecode as <SPAN CLASS="emend">. Finally, a number of odd spellings, curious turns of phrase, etc. have been marked <!‑‑ sic ‑‑> in the sourcecode, just to confirm that they were checked.

Any other mistakes, please drop me a line, of course: especially if you have the printed edition in front of you.

Pagination and Local Links

For citation purposes, the pagination is indicated by local links in the sourcecode and made apparent in the right margin of the text at the page turns (like at the end of this line p57 ). Sticklers for total accuracy will of course find the anchor at its exact place in the sourcecode.

In addition, I've inserted a number of other local anchors: whatever links might be required to accommodate the author's own cross-references, as well as a few others for my own purposes. If in turn you have a website and would like to target a link to some specific passage of the text, please let me know: I'll be glad to insert a local anchor there as well.

[image ALT: An ancient coin depicting the head of a man with curly hair and a ribbon around his head. It is a pentadrachm of Ptolemy I Soter, and serves on this website as the icon for Bevan's House of Ptolemy.]

The icon I use to indicate this subsite is the coin — a pentadrachm of Ptolemy I Soter — that appears on the cover of the Ares edition of Bevan's book.

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Site updated: 15 Apr 20