Egypt’s History and Monuments: From Empire to Subordination, 7.5 hp

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The present course provides an introduction to ancient Egypt’s cultural and political history during the last one-and-half millennia BC from the beginning of the so-called New Kingdom to the beginning of the Graeco-Roman Period. You will be build up an understanding of the events and historical processes of the era as well as the material available for their study.

Simultaneously, you will take a close look at the art and monumental architecture of the period and become familiar with trends and developments in both. At the end of the course, you will have built an understanding of the history and cultural dynamics of the Pharaonic state and society between their most expansive and self-assertive period until their integration to the wider Hellenistic world order.

The course runs at 100% over weeks 41–44 of the fall semester, and there are normally three lectures a week. After an introduction to the sources and chronology relevant to the period studied and in general, you will be taking a detailed look at history, art, and monuments of the so-called New Kingdom (ca. 1550–1050). This is a period when Egypt built, and ultimately lost, an Empire in the Near East and was ruled by some of the most famous pharaohs in world history that included the boy-king Tutankhamun, the religious revolutionary Akhenaten, and the female Pharaoh Hatshepsut. You will then take a closer look at the following complex era of extreme fragmentation of political power and of foreign invasions known as the Third Intermediate Period (ca. 1050–665 BC) and the following Late Period when Egypt gradually became more and more part of a wider Mediterranean cultural complex. You will follow the struggle that this entailed to its end, marked by the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great in 332 BC. The course concludes with an overview of the so-called Ptolemaic Period (332–30 BC), when the country was ruled by monarchs of Greek origin such as the famous Queen Cleopatra, and which closed when Egypt became part of the Roman Empire.