The history of the patriarchates in the conciliar period of church history offers interesting parallels to that of the kingdoms and republics which had occupied the same territory in Hellenistic days. Like the Seleucid Empire, Antioch began with a leading position, which it gradually lost by secessions and internal divisions. The Patriarchate of Jerusalem revolted from Antioch in the fifth century A.D. as the Jews had under the Maccabees seven centuries before, although for less serious reasons. As the Hellenistic rulers of Asia Minor and Greece gradually lost out to Macedon and Rome, so the ecclesiastical jurisdictions of the same area were ultimately absorbed in the Patriarchates of Rome and Constantinople. But the closest parallel of all is in Egypt. As the Ptolemies built their power on a closely knit and almost impregnable kingdom, from which they ventured forth to take their part in the high politics of the Hellenistic world, so the patriarchs of Alexandria, backed by the united support of the Egyptian Church, took a leading part in the affairs of the great church for two centuries. After generations of splendor, the ecclesiastical, like the civil dynasty, was subject to internal divisions and harassed by external interference, and ended its career in war and catastrophe. The major aspects of this story are a familiar topic in church history, but it may repay another survey from the special point of view of the relation of church and state in Egypt.