Beyond Cleopatra: Roman Egypt Explored

Ref: C3744278

How did ancient Egyptian independence end? What happened to Egypt under the Roman yoke? With the death of Cleopatra VII the once great civilization of Egypt became a province of Rome and famously the breadbasket of Rome. Taught from the perspective of an Egyptologist rather than a Romanist this course will explore developments in Egypt leading up to and during the Roman period. We will examine case studies such as the temples of Dendara, Philae and Kom Ombo. These perhaps mask for some time the impact of Christianity on ancient Egyptian Religion. We will discuss cultural fusion not only in religion but also in administration, art, religion and burial practices brought almost to life by the Faiyum mummy portraits with depictions of the deceased. We consider important bodies of texts which shed light on Romano-Egyptian life such as those from Oxyrinchus as well as lesser known letters such as Coptic texts from the South Asasif.

Course aim

The aim of this course is to explore Egyptian history leading up to and during the Roman period. We will study monuments which present Roman emperors as Pharaohs and consider cultural fusion in administration, art, religion and burial practices.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is for improvers
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • Discuss the transition from Ptolemaic Egypt to Roman rule
  • Outline the main features of a Graeco-Roman temple in Egypt.
  • Identify at least three Egyptian Graeco-Roman artefacts.
  • Describe the contents of a Egyptian Graeco-Roman text or letter
  • Debate the extent of cultural fusion in Graeco-Roman Egypt

How will I be taught?

  • Classes will primarily consist of well-illustrated tutor presentations combined with ongoing group interaction. There will be an opportunity (but absolutely not a requirement) to give a short presentation. There is no necessity to carry out work outside of class but it is helpful.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • Informal with no tests or exams.

What else do I need to know?

  • Pen and Paper is useful.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • For those new to the subject if time allows any introductory text such as Kathryn's Bard's An Introduction to Egyptian Archaeology will be useful and any background knowledge of Roman history may also be helpful but is absolutely not required.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Lectures at the Thames Valley Ancient Egypt Society

Download full course information sheet

Beyond Cleopatra: Roman Egypt Explored

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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