Christelle Fischer-Bovet

Associate Professor of Classics, History and Middle East Studies
Christelle Fischer-Bovet
Email Office PED 130Q Office Phone (213) 740-3683

Research & Practice Areas

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

Center, Institute & Lab Affiliations

  • Groupe d’étude des mondes hellénistiques,
  • The American Historical Association,
  • The American Research Center in Egypt,
  • The American Society of Papyrologists,
  • The Association of Ancient Historians,
  • The International Association of Papyrologists,
  • The Society of Classical Studies,
  • Waterloo Institute for Hellenistic Studies, External Research Associate


  • 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
    • Post-Doctoral Fellow of the Swiss National Science Foundation, UC Berkeley, 10/01/2008-08/15/2010
  • 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, 2014; paperback 2019) 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 political and economic history and articles on the role of ethnicity in the institutions of the new Hellenistic states. She is the co-editor, with Sitta von Reden, of Comparing the Ptolemaic and Seleucid Empires Integration, Communication, and Resistance (Cambridge University Press, 2021) and is preparing a monograph 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 Specialties

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

  • Book

    • Fischer-Bovet, C., von Reden, S. (2021). Comparing the Ptolemaic and Seleucid Empires: Interaction, Communication and Resistance. 2022 Paperback edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: Paperback edition 2023.
    • Fischer-Bovet, C. (2014). Army and Society in Ptolemaic Egypt. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019 Paperback edition.

    Book Chapters

    • Fischer-Bovet, C. (2022). “The economy of Egypt and the Ptolemaic Empire”, in S. von Reden (ed.) Cambridge Companion to the Greek Economy, 124–138.
    • Fischer-Bovet, C. (2022). “Ptolemaic mercenaries and local populations in Egypt and Cyprus: Trust, social capital and dedicatory inscriptions”, in P. Sänger and S. Scheuble-Reiter (eds), Söldner und Berufssoldaten in der griechischen Welt: Soziale und politische Gestaltungsräume, Historia-Einzelschriften, Stuttgart, Franz Steiner Verlag, p. 175–196.
    • Fischer-Bovet, C. (2022). “Hellenistic Warfare and Egyptian Society”, in D. Candelora, N. Ben-Marzouk, K. Cooney (eds), Ancient Egyptian Society: Challenging Assumptions, Exploring Approaches, New York, Routledge, 182–194.
    • Fischer-Bovet, C. (2021). “Reassessing Hellenistic Settlement Policies: The Seleucid Far East, Ptolemaic Red Sea Basin and Egypt.Part 2B. Reassessing Ptolemaic Settlement Policies: Another Look at the Poleis. Comparing the Ptolemaic and Seleucid Empires: Inte pp. 64–85. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    • Fischer-Bovet, C. (2021). The Ptolemies and Judea in the second century BC. The Middle Maccabees Archaeology, History, and the Atlanta: SBL Press.
    • Fischer-Bovet, C. (2020). Hellenistic Empires: The Dynasties of the Ptolemies and the Seleucids. The Oxford World History of Empire, Volume 2, The pp. 167–197. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    • Fischer-Bovet, C. (2020). Soldiers in the Epigraphy of Ptolemaic Egypt. TheEpigraphy of Ptolemaic Egypt pp. 127–158. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    • Fischer-Bovet, C., Lorber, C. (2020). Getting paid in Ptolemaic Egypt in the 2nd and 1st centuries BC – with C. Lorber. Money rules! The monetary economy of Egypt, from P pp. 169–202. Cairo: IFAO.
    • Fischer-Bovet, C. (2020). Ptolemaic Officials and Officers in Search of Fame. Celebrity, Fame, and Infamy in the Hellenistic Wor pp. 111–134. Toronto: Toronto University Press.
    • Fischer-Bovet, C. (2019). Security and border policy. Army and police. I. Ptolemaic Egypt. Blackwell Companion. Greco-Roman and Late antique pp. 163–170. Oxford: Wiley.
    • Fischer-Bovet, C. (2016). Towards a translocal elite culture in the Ptolemaic empire. 103–128 in Lavan, M., Payne, R. and Weisweiler, J. (eds), Cosmopolitanism and Empire: Universal Rulers, Local Elites and Cultural Integration in the Ancient Near East Mediterranean.
    • Fischer-Bovet, C. (2016). Les Égyptiens dans les forces armées de terre et de mer sous les trois premiers Lagides. pp. 1,669-1678.. ” in Derda, T., Lajtar, A., Urbanik, J. (eds.), Proceedings of the 27th International Congress of Papyrology,.
    • Fischer-Bovet, C. (2015). The Ptolemaic Army. Oxford Handbooks Online
    • Fischer-Bovet, C. (2014). Un aspect des conséquences des réformes de l’armée lagide : Soldats, temples Egyptiens et inviolabilité (asylia). in Véïsse, A.-E., Wackenier, S. (eds.), L’armée en pp. 137–170. EPHE, Genève, Droz.
    • 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. (2023). “Cleopatra, 69–30 BC,” in Oxford Classical Dictionary,Oxford University Press, 2015 — Article published December 22, 2015; last modified, May 24, 2023.:
    • Fischer-Bovet, C. (2016). Egypt, Ptolemaic. in McKenzie, J., Charney, M., Doumanis, N. (eds), The Encyclopedia of Empire, Wiley-Blackwel.
    • 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.

    Journal Article

    • Fischer-Bovet, C. (2021). Greek papyri of the Classics Department at Stanford (P. Stan. Class.) – Part II – with W. Clarysse. The Journal of Juristic Papyrology 50, 2020.
    • Fischer-Bovet, C. (2018). Ethnicity and official identity: comparing Ptolemaic and Early Roman Egypt. Journal of Egyptian History 11. pp. 208–242.
    • Fischer-Bovet, C. (2016). A challenge to the concept of decline for understanding Hellenistic Egypt. From Polybius to the twenty- first century. Topoi. Orient – Occident. Vol. 20, pp. 209–237.
    • Fischer-Bovet, C. (2015). Social unrest and ethnic coexistence in Ptolemaic Egypt and the Seleucid Empire. Past & Present. pp. 3–45.
    • Fischer-Bovet, C., Clarysse, W. (2013). Greek Papyri of the Classics Department at Stanford” (P. Stan. Class.). Part I” – with W. Clarysse. 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.

    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.
    • CLAS 338-HIST-Warfare, State, and Society in the Ancient World, Classics-History, Fall 2013
    • CLAS 378-HIST-MESP Ptolemaic and Early Roman Egypt. An introduction to papyrology, Classics-History-MESP, Fall 2012
    • CLAS 499 – From Alexander to Cleopatra: state and society in Ptolemaic Egypt (323-30 BCE), Classics, Spring 2011
    • HIST 101, The Ancient World, History, Fall 2010
    • Loeb Classical Library Foundation Award, Harvard University, 2022-2023
    • Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship Recipient, Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers, University of Freiburg-im-Breisgau (Germany)., 2016-2017
    • Solmsen Fellowship, Institute for Research in the Humanities, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2014-2015
    • Post-Doctoral Fellow of the Swiss National Science Foundation at the University of California, Berkeley, 2008/10/01-2010/07/15
    • Geballe Dissertation Prize Fellowship, Stanford Humanities Center, 2007-2008
  • Conferences Organized

    • Co-organizer with J. Glenn (History), S. Rebegianni (Classics), C. Moatti (Classics), Pre-Modern Mediterranean Seminar of USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute , USC Campus, 09/01/2016 –
    • Co-organizer with C. Moatti (Classics & paris 8), Ariela Gross (USC Gould School of Law), Life in Mobility: Between Precariousness and Trust, USC Campus, 01/19/2018 – 01/20/2018
    • Organizer with S. von Reden, Comparing the Ptolemaic and Seleucid Empires: The Role of the Local Elites and Populations, Freiburg-i.-Breisgau, Germany, 06/30/2016 – 07/02/2017
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