Egyptology: From Alexander to Cleopatra - An Exploration of Ptolemaic Egypt

Ref: C3741176

Ptolemaic Egypt can be suggested to be a country of two cultures, of Greeks in Egypt manifested as Egyptian Pharaohs. Taught from an Egyptological perspective we will examine this fusion of two worlds and the at times uneasy fusion of two worlds. Considering the period from the arrival of Alexander the Great in 332 BCE until the demise of Cleopatra VII's administration in 30 BCE we will study the internal turmoil of the Ptolemaic dynasty over these three centuries. It is a period in which Egyptian religion and representation lives on providing us the opportunity to consider temples such as Edfu as well as texts, art and artefacts from the period to build a broad history of the society beyond the general historical outline.

Course aim

This course aims to cover the three centuries known as Ptolemaic Egypt, introducing the history, culture, art, texts and buildings of Egypt from Alexander the Great until Cleopatra VII.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify three rulers of the Ptolemaic Dynasty
  • Describe the contents of the Famine Stela
  • Discuss a Ptolemaic scene from an Egyptian temple
  • Itemize three buildings in Alexandria

How will I be taught?

  • The sessions will be based around well illustrated and interactive presentations with occasional readings of texts. Students will have the option (but not requirement) to prepare a short presentation to the class on a relevant topic.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • Informal feedback with no exams or tests

What else do I need to know?

  • A pen and paper for notes

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre-study is required but especially for those new to the subject reading a general introduction to Egypt may be beneficial, a full but optional reading list will be provided on week 1.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Progression to lectures from groups such as the Thames Valley Ancient Egypt Society or online study for a certificate or diploma in Egyptology.

Download full course outline

Egyptology: From Alexander to Cleopatra - An Exploration of Ptolemaic Egypt Course Outline


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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