This unit deals with the period in which Egyptian culture underwent a number of cultural and religious transformations, between the arrival of Alexander the Great (332 B.C.) and the Arab conquest (640 A.D.). What can archaeology tell us about continuity and discontinuity in everyday life, especially when it comes to religion and popular beliefs?

Unit code: AH8409A

Unit status: Archived (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: History

Delivery Mode: Online

Proposing College: St Athanasius College

Show when this unit is running

Learning outcomes


Describe how Egypt functioned as a diverse multiethnic and multilingual society in this period


Explain the religious and social transformations that took place in Egypt in the wake of the arrival of Christianity and the centuries to follow, until the advent of Islam.


Analyse the cultural seedbed (Pharaonic/Greek/Roman) in which Egyptian Christianity developed in Late Antiquity


Critically evaluate the interaction between cultural continuity and religious transformation


Analyse the legal and political framework of Egypt in this period


Online delivery will include articles and lecture notes, video lectures and online discussion forums.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Bagnall, Roger S. Reading Papyri, Writing Ancient History. Taylor and Francis: London, 1995.
  • Bagnall, Roger S. and Dominic W. Rathbone. Egypt from Alexander to the Early Christians. London: British Museum Press, 2004.
  • Bagnall, Roger S. (ed.), Egypt in the Byzantine World, 300-700, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2007
  • Bowman, Alan. Egypt after the Pharaohs, Los Angeles: University of California Press 1986.
  • Johnson, Janet H. ed. Life in a Multi-Cultural Society: Egypt from Cambyses to Constantine and Beyond. Chicago: Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 1992.
  • Goudriaan, Koen. Ethnicity in Ptolemaic Egypt. Amsterdam: J. C. Gieben, 1988.
  • Bilde, Per., ed. Ethnicity in Hellenistic Egypt. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 1992.
  • Hölbl, Gunther. A History of the Ptolemaic Empire. London: Routledge, 2001
  • Lewis, Naphtali. Life in Egypt under Roman Rule. Canton: American Society of Papryologists, 1999
  • Lewis, Naphtali. Greeks in Ptolemaic Egypt. Canton: American Society of Papryologists, 2001.
  • Parsons, Peter. The City of the Sharp-Nosed Fish: Greek Lives in Roman Egypt. London: Hachette, 2012
  • Riggs, Christina (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Roman Egypt, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012
  • Rowlandson, Jane. Women and Society in Greek and Roman Egypt: A Sourcebook. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Essay (3500 words)

0 60.0

Discussion forum posts (equivalent to 2500 words) (Online)

0 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 1 Nov, 2017

Unit record last updated: 2022-10-11 12:14:54 +1100