Augustus was the founder of the rule of the Roman province in ancient Egypt. He had conquered the ancient Egyptian territory by defeating Mark Anthony and Queen Cleopatra in the battle of Actium in 31 BC. Mark Antony committed suicide after this battle. In 30 BC, Ancient Egypt Augustus formerly known as Octavian along with his army marched towards Alexandria, the capital of Egypt.
The beautiful Queen Cleopatra tried to persuade Augustus but failed in doing so. Thus, Cleopatra committed suicide in 30 BC. With the conquest of Egypt, Emperor Augustus was successful in further expanding the Roman territory. Thus, Ancient Egypt Augustus was the first Roman Emperor to rule over Egypt.
Egypt Under Roman Empire
As Egypt was now a part of Roman province, it soon became a center where Christian faith began to grow. The Coptic Christian sect is also believed to have originated in Egypt. During the reign of the Ptolemaic dynasty, Egypt was an essential Greek learning hub.
Under the Roman Rule, the Egyptian government was replaced by the Roman government. However, the language of the Roman government continued to be Greek. Apart from the Egyptians, the other people settled in Egypt were the Romans, the Greeks, and the Jews. As Christianity began to spread throughout Egypt, even Christians began to settle here.
The new ruler of Ancient Egypt Augustus had appointed a governor in Egypt for a specified time. With the employment of a governor, the political influence in Egypt came to an end and a new system began. The governor ranked at the top of the hierarchy that was followed by the administration of justice. Roman law governed the business matters. The Romans introduced the liturgic system in which it was necessary for the owner of a property to perform public service. Also, an officer was appointed to find out about the property when no one claimed ownership.
Roman Egypt Art & Trade
Egypt under the Roman Empire was a flourishing province in the first few years. Romans acquired huge sums of revenue from Egypt as Egypt was plentiful in resources. Egypt was an important source of food for the Romans so it was transported from Egypt to Rome. Besides food, Egypt produced glass, papyrus or paper which were sent to the Roman Empire. Resources like minerals, ores, and stones like granite and porphyry that were found in Egypt in abundance were exported to Rome. With these, the Romans made architectural structures and sculptures.
This period was significant as trade activities between Egypt and central Africa or India had increased during this time. Trade was not only carried out on land, as in the case of Egypt the desert but also sea routes were explored. The Romans adopted a lot of cultural aspects from the Egyptians. The Romans influenced by Egyptian religion had absorbed into their culture the cult of Isis, the Egyptian goddess. In the same manner, Egypt was also influenced by the Roman art and religion.
Both Egypt and Rome were rich in their art and culture, religion and had influenced one another in many ways. It was the Romans who had established the system of a precise government machinery to carry out the administrative functions. Egypt was under the Roman control for a long period of almost 700 years. Egypt had prospered during the Roman regime until the Romans were ousted from Egypt.