Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2015

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Art History

First Advisor

Brenda Longfellow


This dissertation explores interchanges and connections between Rome and Egypt that occurred during the four decades immediately following Egypt’s annexation into the Roman Empire in 30 B.C.E. The dissertation focuses on five temple precincts that were expanded under the first Roman emperor, Augustus (27 B.C.E.–14 C.E.), who as new ruler of Egypt, continued the venerable practice of building cult temples. In order to gauge the level of imperial support and analyze how local and imperial precedents were combined at temple sites, the dissertation compares the built space at sacred sites in three regions. The comparison reveals programmatic emphasis on areas where public worship occurred over inaccessible areas reserved for the gods, and that the combination of local and imperial elements strengthened cultic connections to each region’s center. Five chapters demonstrate temples in the Augustan period were created to encourage continued public use and worship by forming space where public veneration could be carried out, and by integrating pharaonic and imperial elements appropriate for the temple precincts’ transcultural local and visiting audience. This analysis indicates that temples in Augustan Egypt, like those in other areas of the Roman world, were tied to the existing traditions of the local community, engaged with new imperial elements, and were designed to encourage public involvement and continued use. Through encouragement by Augustus and his advisors, religion and culture mediated change as Egypt was annexed as a Roman province.


Augustus, Religion, Roman Egypt, Temples


xl, 459 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 430-459).


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Copyright © 2015 Erin A. Peters