Aegyptus Aeterna

Ever since I was a boy, ancient Egypt has been a great fascination of mine. How could I not be? When the ancient Greeks and Romans were around, Egyptian civilization was already several thousand years old. In school, ancient Egypt is said to have ended in 30 BCE with the defeat and death of Cleopatra VII, the last of the pharaohs. Yet for the people and priesthood of Egypt, the victorious Augustus was recognized as pharaoh and Egyptian culture continued for centuries more. Almost a century later, Vespasian was hailed as pharaoh in Alexandria and proclaimed the son of the creator-god Amun. Succeeding emperors were similarly given acknowledgment and the emperors in turn built new temples in honor of the Egyptian gods. The last Roman emperor regarded as pharaoh by the Egyptians was Maximinus Daza, reigning several centuries into the common era although there is a cartouche dated to the era of Constantius II. The last known Egyptian hieroglyphs date to the late fourth century AD. The last ancient Egyptian temple was closed down during the reign of Justinian, almost six centuries after Cleopatra.

So Aegyptus Aeterna is about me depicting some of Egypt’s post-antiquity rulers in my best imitation of the ancient Egyptian visual language.