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Christelle Fischer-Bovet

Associate Professor of Classics and History

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 740-3683
Office: THH 256K

Personal Website
Course Information


Ph.D. Classics, Stanford, 2008
M.A. Classics, Stanford, 1/2006
B.A. Licence ès Lettres, History, Greek, French, Université de Neuchâtel, Switzerland, 10/2001

Postdoctoral Training

Post-Doctoral Fellow of the Swiss National Science Foundation, UC Berkeley, 10/01/2008-08/15/2010  

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

Christelle Fischer-Bovet specializes in the social and cultural history of the Eastern Mediterranean from Alexander the Great to the Romans (4th c. BC-1st c. AD), with a special interest in Greco-Roman Egypt. Her book Army and Society in Ptolemaic Egypt (Cambridge University Press, April 2014) combines documentary evidence (papyri, inscriptions) with social theory to examine the army in Hellenistic Egypt as a vehicle for land distribution, a provider of group solidarity, and a place of interaction between Greek and Egyptian cultures. She has also written several articles on Ptolemaic history and (forthcoming) articles on the role of ethnicity in the institutions of the new Hellenistic states. She is now preparing a new book called The Ptolemaic Empire for Oxford University Press. Her research and teaching interests focus on state formation and imperialism, military history, ethnicity and integration in multicultural societies, institutions, papyrology and Greek epigraphy, and ancient historiography.

Research Keywords

Hellenistic History, Greek & Roman Egypt, Papyrology & Epigraphy, Ancient Historiography, State Formation, Ethnicity & Colonization

Affiliations with Research Centers, Labs, and Other Institutions

Waterloo Institute for Hellenistic Studies, External Research Associate,



Fischer-Bovet, C. (2014). Army and Society in Ptolemaic Egypt. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Book Chapter

Fischer-Bovet, C. (2014). Un aspect des conséquences des réformes de l'armée lagide : Soldats, temples Egyptiens et inviolabilité (asylia). L'armée en Égypte aux époques saïte, ptolémaïque e pp. 26. Paris, EPHE, forthcoming.
Fischer-Bovet, C. (2014). Est-il facile de conquérir l’Egypte? L’invasion d’Antiochus IV et ses conséquences. Feyel, Graslin, Le projet politique d'Antichos IV pp. 43.
Fischer-Bovet, C. (2011). Counting the Greeks in Egypt: immigration in the first century of Ptolemaic rule. Demography and the Graeco-Roman World: New Insight pp. 20. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Fischer-Bovet, C. (2010). Ethnic identity and status: comparing Ptolemaic and Early Roman Egypt. Identity and Identification in Antiquity pp. 20. forthcoming: Cambridge Scholars Press.
Fischer-Bovet, C. (2009). Letter Requesting Medical Tools (PStrasbCopte inv. 563). Greek Medical Papyri II pp. 157-165. Firenze: Istituto Papyrologica "G. Vitelli".
Fischer-Bovet, C. (2007). P. Tebt. VI 1169: Copy of a Judicial Proceeding (P.Tebt. UC 1589-91). The Tebtunis Papyri VI pp. 9. forthcoming.

Encyclopedia Article

Fischer-Bovet, C. (2012). Ethnicity, Greco-Roman Egypt. (Bagnall, R. et al., Ed.). 1,000 words. Oxford, Wiley-Blackwell: Encyclopedia of Ancient History.
Fischer-Bovet, C. (2012). Katoikoi. (Bagnall, R. et al., Ed.). 1,000 words. Oxford, Wiley-Blackwell: Encyclopedia of Ancient History.
Fischer-Bovet, C. (2012). Revolts, Egyptian. (R. Bagnall et al., Ed.). 1,000 words. Oxford, Wiley-Blackwell: Encyclopedia of Ancient History.
Fischer-Bovet, C. (2012). Memnon, Colossi of. (Bagnall, R. et al., Ed.). 500 words. Oxford, Wiley-Blackwell: Encyclopedia of Ancient History.
Fischer-Bovet, C. (2011). Herwennefer and Ankhwennefer. (Gates, H. L., Akyeampong, E., Ed.). 1,000 words. Oxford University Press: The Dictionary of African Biography.

Essay Translation

Fischer-Bovet, C. (2003). Cadmos et les Labdacides (4.1-5.9). (Schubert, Paul, Ed.). pp. 133-143. Vevey. Editions de l'Aire.
Fischer-Bovet, C. (2000). Translation of Papyri (no 21, 25, 58, 59, 68). (Schubert, Paul, Ed.). pp. 15. Vevey. Editions de l'Aire.

Journal Article

Fischer-Bovet, C., Clarysse, W. (2013). Greek Papyri of the Classics Department at Stanford" (P. Stan. Class.). Part I". The Journal of Juristic Papyrology. Vol. 42 (2012), pp. 31-88.
Fischer-Bovet, C. (2013). Egyptian warriors: the machimoi of Herodotus and the Ptolemaic army. Classical Quarterly. Vol. 63, pp. 209-236.
Fischer-Bovet, C., Clarysse, W. (2012). Silver and bronze standards and the date of P.Heid. VI 383. Archiv für Papyrusforschung und verwandte Gebiete. Vol. 58, pp. 36-42.
Fischer-Bovet, C., Clarysse, W. (2012). A military reform before the battle of Raphia?. Archiv für Papyrusforschung und verwandte Gebiete. Vol. 58, pp. 26-35.
Fischer-Bovet, C. (2006). Retour sur SB XX 14070 : les affaires de la famille d’un vétéran dans le nome arsinoïte. Zeitschrift fur Papyrologie und Epigraphik. Vol. 155, pp. 200-206.

New Courses Developed

CLAS 338-HIST-Warfare, State, and Society in the Ancient World, Classics-History, The purpose of this course is to explore the connections between warfare and political institutions, social organization, and cultural developments. Based on a survey of literary, documentary, and archaeological evidence, this class introduces students to warfare in the ancient world and its correlation with state formation. It explores the changing relationship between warrior class and citizen body as well as the image of the ideal warrior, the memory of war, and the anxieties associated with warfare. In our discussions, we will at times compare ancient and modern warfare and imperialism., Fall 2013   
CLAS 378-HIST-MESP Ptolemaic and Early Roman Egypt. An introduction to papyrology, Classics-History-MESP, This course combines historical investigation with the acquisition of the necessary skills to use papyrological documentation and diverse tools developed by papyrologists for editing Greek papyri. We assess the relationships between political and economic history of Egypt after Alexander’s conquest on the one hand and social and cultural developments on the other hand. In other words, what impact did Alexander’s conquest and then Roman annexation have on the Egyptian state and its society? For doing so, the connecting threads of the course are state formation and the investigation of social and cultural developments, at times assessing how social theory and anthropology can shed a new the interactions between the different social and ethnic groups, their legal and fiscal statuses, marriage patterns, and the co-existence of Greek and Egyptian religions and cultures. Meetings alternate discussion of secondary literature and analysis/translation/deciphering of Greek papyri., Fall 2012   
CLAS 499 - From Alexander to Cleopatra: state and society in Ptolemaic Egypt (323-30 BCE), Classics, Alexander the Great’s conquest transformed the geo-politics of the eastern Mediterranean at the end of the fourth century BC. This new era is commonly called the Hellenistic period (323-30 BC). What impact did this conquest have on the Egyptian state and its society? The purpose of this class is to introduce students to the history and culture of what is called Ptolemaic Egypt after the name of Alexander’s general, Ptolemy, who secured Egypt for himself and his descendants (305-30 BC) until the death of Cleopatra VII and the annexation of Egypt by the Roman emperor-to-be, Augustus (30 BC). The course will explore the multi-faceted policies of the Ptolemies by approaching them as both successors of the Pharaohs and successors of Alexander, balancing continuities and changes. Using papyri and inscriptions in translation, we will investigate themes such as state formation and warfare, laws, religion, literacy, and the interactions between the different social and ethnic groups., Spring 2011   
HIST 101, The Ancient World, History, This course fulfills the General Education requirement in Category I, Western Cultures and Traditions, and introduces students to the history and culture of the ancient world from the beginning of humankind until the fragmentation of the Mediterranean world around 500 CE. It provides them with a global historical perspective and teaches students to think historically by connecting past and present and by asking questions of the past for a better understanding of the present. We alternate between a comparative world approach and more in-depth investigations of the political, socio-economic and cultural developments occurring in the Mediterranean basin. Our unifying analytical framework allows us to examine how human beings in different cultural areas responded differently to common problems and how this variety of responses shaped the society, economy, and polity over time., Fall 2010   
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