Although the Demotic documents we have do not represent all parts of Egypt, yet they uncover many aspect of social, religious and economic life in the greatest Ancient Egyptian city and in its neighboring villages. In fact, we now have among these documents what tells us about rental and selling of land and houses. We have also obtained documents about mortgages, wills, dispute cases, tax receipts, offerings, jobs, marriage and divorce documents and documents about establishing religious entities as well as insurance documents for real estate and individuals.

These documents have indirectly revealed to us the crafts, clergy and government jobs present in Ancient Egypt at that time. We have been able to reach such information through what we came to know about the owners of these documents ant their jobs. In addition to this, proper names present in these documents were all intermixed with names of gods which enabled us to know which gods had been prominently worshipped in these cities.


Egypt in this era kept sliding towards chaos due to revolts made by Egyptian people. Matters kept getting worse till the Romans came and easily grabbed control of the Egyptian land.

That was from the political Hellenic side. As from the side of the Egyptian people themselves, except for the revolting group, they had been living a harsh life working all day in the fields, at their work or serving the occupiers doing low class jobs for them. No wonder then that all artifacts found for them do not indicate any participation in the matters of the government neither the interior nor the foreign ones. All what Egyptians have left us from written artifacts in this period are a group of Demotic documents that provide us with a clear idea about dealings that had been taking place between Egyptians and themselves and some times between Egyptians and members of the occupying Hellenics, all of which were confined to local social matters. Unfortunately, such documents have not been found at several places across the Egyptian land, rather most of them were found in specific known locations, especially at Thebes which is considered the main source of Demotic document sin the Ptolemaic age. It is worth noticing that no Demotic documents from this age have been found in the North of Egypt till now. The reason behind this may have been that the weather there is not suitable for preserving such documents due to its high level of humidity. In Fayoum, a large number of papyrus papers have been also found which have revealed important facts about this period of the Ptolemaic rule.


It is astonishing that despite the immoral lifestyle of Ptolemy IV he had good traits that cannot be ignored. After his return from the Syrian land, we find him giving a lot to the clergy and the Egyptian temples. He also kept erecting temples all over the country in a noticeable way to please the Egyptians. We also find that he glamorized the worship of the god Dionysus specially that on one side he was the god of wine and on the other he approximated the god Osiris for Egyptians. In addition to this, during his reign, the power of the clergy kept increasing to the extent that they mandated the use of the Egyptian language in writing official documents and translating them into Greek, something which had never been done before in the official documents of the Greeek. Finally, we find that Ptolemy IV annually recruited clergy for worshiping Ptolemy I and made him an official god as well as his wife Berenice in a similar fashion to what was being done for Ptolemy II and his wife Arsinoe II. Moreover, Ptolemy IV was a writer and poet. He has written fiction and poetry which he dedicated to Homer, the father of Greek poets. In any case, history stands puzzled towards the conflicting stories that have reached us about this ruler. In conclusion, he has combined an immoral lifestyle together with one full of religion, science and art.

In any case, his age is considered to be a turning point in the history of Egypt. For it was in his age that patriotic emotions came to life in the souls of the Egyptian people whom rejected being controlled all along their history except in cases of falling under extreme pressure.


Nevertheless, the victory that the Egyptians have accomplished in the battlefield inspired feelings of patriotic dignity in them and gave them confidence in themselves, specially when we know that all the power and control had been in the hands of foreigners and that the Egyptians had no say or control. They were hard workers working hard in order for the fruits of their hard labor to be reaped by foreigners who have proved to be cowards in the battlefield. Due to all this, Egyptians started rebelling against the Ptolemaic rule and declaring their disobedience. This first started at the Delta were there were still some decedents of past pharaohs whom circumstances have forced to stay in the shades. Those are the ones that led the disobedience and established a government for themselves in the heart of the Delta. The war of rebellion continued between the Egyptians and the Ptolemies with unfading flames. The rebellion then spread to Upper Egypt. We will see later on how the Egyptians have made kings for themselves who were Egyptians and how they held titles of kings and wore the clothes of pharaohs. During that time, Ptolemy IV and his close circle were powerless before such rebellion. Nevertheless, he did not cease to indulge in his sensual pleasures in an unprecedented manner as we have mentioned earlier. He continued wasting himself on such forbidden sensual pleasures until his death in the arms of his concubines. What made matters worse was that his wife Arsinoe III who lived all her life distanced from him and from the throne was assassinated as a result of conspiracy by Agathoclea the first concubine of the king. Her assassination left bitterness and sorrow in the hearts of the people of Alexandria whom avenged her death as we shall see later on.

In any case, Ptolemy IV died leaving the throne to his young child whom Arsinoe had gave birth to not long before her death.


Indeed, it appears that peace negotiations between the two parties had failed because Egypt had rejected all the demands of Antiochus and hence he kept preparing for invading Egypt which in turn secretly prepared for fighting its enemy. Egypt was training an Egyptian army in Alexandria at that time.

Antiochus actually did go forward with his troops till the Egyptian border camping near Rafah where the Egyptian army was on high alert ready to fight a decisive battle. it was of good fortune for Ptolemy IV that his minister had made soldiers of a group of brave Egyptians training them on the best systems available to fight in this war. He did so after realizing that the mercenary soldiers cannot be depended upon in a war such as this one. He did so while it had been forbidden that Egyptian soldiers be joining the army because the Polemics did not trust them nor did the Egyptians trust them. Despite of that, they were recruited and trained out of necessity in order to defend their homeland regardless of any concerns. The Egyptian soldiers showed great bravery and courage in the battlefield during the battle of Rafah which took place between the two parties bringing victory to the Polemic army in 217 BC. This decisive battle resulted in the recapture of Ptolemy IV for Empty Syria and other lands on the Syrian shores. After his victory, Ptolemy occupied Syria itself and was welcomed by its people. He then returned back to Egypt brining back with him all the statues of gods which the enemies had put their hand on in the past during their wars, by this he pleased the group of clergy.



Unfortunately, the king that came after Ptolemy III was not capable of taking charge of this great empire that was at the top of its power and welfare. Ptolemy IV (221 - 205 BC) who became king after his father Ptolemy III was from the beginning of his rule a weak king. He was a clear example in leading a corrupt lifestyle full of unethical behavior. At the first years of his rule, the bad circle of people around him were those who encouraged him on such corrupt lifestyle. By doing so, they managed to get him on their side and dominate him and they led him and the country into chaos at the end. The first of his ill deeds was came as his minister Sosibius advised him to kill his uncle, his brother and his mother. He also advised him to kill king of Asberta whom his father had let stay in Alexandria together with his mercenary soldiers. What made matters worse was that Agathocles, his minister and adviser, and his sister Agathoclea, his concubine, led by their mother have taken charge of the country. Corruption started spreading in all sectors of the country till its neighbours wanted to take its territories specially Antiochus III king of Syria and Babylon. He laid his hands on Egypt's territory in Syria then marched with his army till he reached the gates of the Egyptian border and was about to conquer it as well but the Egyptians defended it and it ended up by signing a truce in preparation for a full peace treaty. Yet Egypt did not agree on the terms of the peace treaty and prepared for war once again in order to regain Empty Syria which had been a constant cause of fight between the Ptolemies and the Seleucids since the start of the Ptolemaic rule.


Last, but not least, on the walls of the Edfu temple were engraved details of great feasts celebrated yearly namely: the feast of crowning the holy eagle; the feast of victory and finally the feast of marriage which is the feast of the marriage of the god Horus, god of Edfu, with the goddess Hathor, goddess of the Dendera temple. These feasts were celebrated yearly. It is astonishing that the public did not participate in such prayers and feasts which were done exclusively by a special type of clergy.

Activity of Ptolemy III extended to the Fayoum area where he reclaimed its land and introduced new crops for cultivation. He also made it home for the mercenary soldiers who had fought with him in Asia. He established a new system on the lands of Fayoum by giving each soldier a piece of land to own himself and for his children after him as long as they worked in the army. By doing so, he guaranteed their remaining in Egypt under his command in case any war takes place. At that period of time, Greeks and Macedonians started marring from among the Egyptian women but on a limited scale. Their siblings sometimes had both Egyptian and Greek names at the same time.

In any case, the period of reign of Ptolemy III is considered to be the best period in the history of Ptolemaic rule in general, specially when we know that his empire had expanded deep into Asia and the Greek islands. He also became powerful and feared among the Hellenic kingdoms present at his time. The reason behind this was that the Ptolemaic kings in general preferred peace over war in many occasions.