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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Egypt under the Ptolemies (PGHC11185)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe Ptolemies were the longest-reigning Hellenistic dynasty and ruled over Egypt from the 4th cent. BC to 30 BC, when the last Queen, Cleopatra VII, had to admit defeat by Octavian and Egypt became a Roman province. This course mobilises Egypt's unparalleled first-hand papyrological evidence for a detailed study of the country's administration, economy, society, culture, and daily life under the Ptolemies.
Course description In this course, students will explore the complex and fascinating history of the multicultural society of Ptolemaic Egypt as evinced by the unique amount of evidence offered by the papyri and will learn to analyse the role of Egypt within the broader context of the Hellenistic world. Students will approach topics that include the administration, economy, society, religion, and culture of Ptolemaic Egypt, as well as questions of gender, cultural diversity, social mobility, status, and complex identities. In addition to documentary sources, the course will mobilise topographical aspects, archaeological sources, and material culture, to anchor the past in its physical context and facilitate a fuller understanding of ancient realities. Students will also learn to develop a sensitivity towards documents' physical features, be encouraged to engage with the rudiments of ancient palaeography, and be guided to make full critical use of papyrological sources and online tools.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Hellenistic Egypt: Society, Economy and Culture (332BC - 31BC) (ANHI10051)
Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  15
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
4,000 word essay (100%)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Evidence a detailed and critical command of the body of knowledge concerning Ptolemaic Egypt
  2. Analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship concerning the nature of Ptolemaic Egypt and its place in the Hellenistic World and upon primary source materials concerning the period
  3. Understand and apply specialised research or professional skills, techniques and practices considered in the course including textual and cultural criticisms
  4. Develop and sustain original scholarly arguments by independently formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence considered in the course
  5. Demonstrate originality and independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others; and a considerable degree of autonomy
Reading List
Bagnall, R.S. (ed.) 2009. The Oxford Handbook of Papyrology. Oxford.

Clarysse, W. and Thompson, D. J. 2006. Counting the People in Hellenistic Egypt. Cambridge.

Cribiore, R. 2001. Gymnastics of the Mind. Greek education in Hellenistic and Roman Egypt. Princeton.

Fisher-Bovet, Ch. 2014. Army and Society in Ptolemaic Egypt. Cambridge.

Fraser, P.J. 1975. Ptolemaic Alexandria. Oxford.

Keenan, J., Manning J., and Yiftach-Firanko, U. (eds.) 2014. Law and Legal Practice in Egypt from Alexander to the Arab Conquest. Cambridge.

Lewis, N. 1986. Greeks in Ptolemaic Egypt. Oxford.

Manning, J.G. 2009. The Last Pharaohs: Egypt under the Ptolemies. Princeton.

Parca, M. 2012. 'The women of Ptolemaic Egypt: the view from papyrology'. In James and Dillon (eds.), A Companion to Women in the Ancient World. Oxford: 316-28.

Rowlandson, J. 2005. 'Town and country in Ptolemaic Egypt'. In Erskine (ed.), A Companion to the Hellenistic World. Oxford: 249-63.

Thompson, D. J. 2012. Memphis under the Ptolemies. 2nd ed. Princeton.

Vandorpe K. (ed.) 2019. A Companion to Greco-Roman and Late Antique Egypt. Oxford.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Mario C. D. Paganini
Course secretaryMr Rob Hutchinson
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