North Africa

Egypt History – Roman Age Part IV

According to thenailmythology.com, Septimius Severus visited Egypt in the eighth year of his reign (200) coming from Palestine by the way of Pelusio. In Alexandria he visited the tomb of Alexander the Great and had a collection of manuscripts with a mystical content enclosed in the glass sarcophagus, which Ptolemy X had substituted for the gold one. He also built a temple of Cybele, a gymnasium and a pantheon. As a political act of considerable significance, the return to Alexandria of the elected council (βουλή) and the concession made to all the metropolises of the districts (202) should be remembered. Caracalla, who had accompanied his father on this journey, returned to Egypt 15 years later. The visit was characterized by a massacre of young Alexandrians who had ridiculed him, and by the expulsion of all immigrants from within, that they were not traders or were not there for plausible and well-specified purposes. With the Constitutio Antoniniana also the Greeks of Egypt had Roman citizenship. New troubles occurred during the struggles between Macrino and Elagabalo. Alexander Severus, though mocked with the nickname “Syriac high priest”, did not take revenge on the insolent incorrigible and visited the city without leaving painful memories.

Meanwhile, Christianity (of its origins in Egypt and for almost two centuries nothing is known with certainty) which had acquired a certain land among the Greeks, but had spread much more than appears on the surface, among the Egyptians of the internal, helped to transform the appearance of the country with an action that, in the following centuries up to the seventh, became more and more extensive and profound. In fact, it had to adapt to the language of the new proselytes and present the sacred books in Egyptian, transcribing them with the signs of the Greek alphabet, the demotic script having died. In truth, Coptic script and language matured in the translation of Christian works and they owe everything to Christianity. Undoubtedly, in front of Coptic Christianity stands Greek Christianity, stands the Alexandrian Church, which is all under the influence of Greek science and philosophy. Two currents manifested themselves thereafter in the Church of Egypt, the Greek and the Egyptian, which flow side by side, extraneous and inseparable and very often in open warfare, a war that is a reflection of the incurable political conflict. Gradually the country, whose appearance could already be characterized as Greek, began to become and appear Coptic, that is, Egyptian. But long before this happened, already at the end of the century. II and at the beginning of the III, the new religion gave such signs of activity as to appear as a not negligible threat. After attracting the hostile attention of Septimius Severus, he suffered persecution from Maximin and his successors.persecutions). The first escapes into the desert date from this time by Christians who went there to live as anchorites. (For more details on the Egyptian church, see the articles alessandria ; hermits ; ary ; atanasio ; Cyril, Clement of Alexandria, Coptic ; Christology ; dioscuro ; Eutiche ; Gnosticism ; monasticism ; Monophysites).

During the reign of Gallienus, the prefect Emilian had the soldier proclaim himself emperor, and, although other ambitious ones imitated his example, he was able to prevail over them and enjoy power for two years. Finally Theodotus, legate of Gallienus, defeated the usurper and had him strangled in prison. To the causes of desolation was added, between 250-262, a terrible and prolonged plague. Taking advantage of the attempt to usurp the imperial title made by Macriano, who had associated his two sons Macriano and Quieto, and urged by the Egyptian nationalist Timagene, Zenobia, queen of Palmyra, made an army of 70,000 men invade the Nile valley under the command of Zabdas. Zenobia was able to dominate Egypt for three years, until it was driven out under Aurelian in 272. The following year, a rich Alexandrian merchant, originally from Syria, Firmo, organized, in agreement with the Palmyrenes and the Blemmîs, a new insurrection. Aureliano soon put down the revolt and, rushed to Alexandria, forced Firmo and his followers to surrender, barricaded themselves in the Bruchion. The Bruchion, the Sema d’Alessandro and the tombs of the Tolomei were on that occasion set on fire and almost totally destroyed. Aureliano left Egypt, entrusting Probus with the task of repelling the Blemmîs, but, before the latter had accomplished the enterprise, he was proclaimed emperor by his own soldiers and recognized by the senate. The usurpation of Saturnino forced Probus to intervene once again in the Nile valley. entrusting Probus with the task of repelling the Blemmîs, but, before the latter had accomplished the enterprise, he was proclaimed emperor by his own soldiers and recognized by the senate. The usurpation of Saturnino forced Probus to intervene once again in the Nile valley. entrusting Probus with the task of repelling the Blemmîs, but, before the latter had accomplished the enterprise, he was proclaimed emperor by his own soldiers and recognized by the senate. The usurpation of Saturnino forced Probus to intervene once again in the Nile valley.

Egypt History - Roman Age 4