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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Temple Festivals of the Ptolemaic and Roman Periods


Egyptian temples of the Ptolemaic and Roman periods provided the setting for the dramatic performance of various cultic activities, such as festivals. This overview describes the nature, distribution (national; regional; local), and setting (within the temple; within the precinct; outside the temple domain) of these festivals, as well as our main sources of information (reliefs; inscriptions; current research) relating to them. A few representative examples, including the national feast of the “Opening of the Year,” the regional “Beautiful Feast of Behdet,” involving Dendara and Edfu, and the local celebration of the “Coronation of the Sacred Falcon” in Edfu, are covered here in greater detail to exemplify the nature and proceedings of the festivals.

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