Monash University

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The rose in Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt

posted on 2017-01-10, 05:22 authored by Ogdin, Amy
This thesis is an exploration of the various uses of the rose in Egypt in the Ptolemaic and Roman periods based on literary, archaeological and archaeobotanical evidence. The content is not restricted to the practices observed in Egypt, but rather, the cultural significances of the rose in Greek and Roman society are also investigated in order to assess the impact that these customs may have had on Egyptian practice. An investigation of the possible motivations behind the inital introduction of rose cultivation into Egypt in the Ptolemaic Period is undertaken, as is a focussed discussion of the potential sources of influence that led to the popular use of the rose specifically in funerary contexts throughout Roman Egypt. The association between the rose and mortuary tradition is argued to have had its origins in the Roman world. It is demonstrated that the widespread celebration of mortuary rose festivals throughout the Roman world was likely a primary motivational factor in the adoption of the use of the rose in funerary contexts in Roman Egypt.


Principal supervisor

Colin Hope

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Archaeology and Ancient History

Additional Institution or Organisation

School of Historical Studies


Master of Philosophy

Degree Type


Campus location



Faculty of Arts