Studies in ancient Egyptian literature in translation: life in letters ADED11612

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: Short Courses
  • Credits: 0
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Summer
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

Discover a world of ancient Egyptian texts, that are read in translation and used as a window onto Egyptian life and culture, specifically focusing on the letters that have survived from pharaonic times. Each week introduces a case study, ranging from the high level diplomatic correspondence exchanged by 'brother' kings in the New Kingdom to the intensely personal letters written to dead loved ones.


Block 4

2 hours per week for 5 weeks

Weeks 1-5

Wednesdays, 18.00-20.00

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses




Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Enable students to use selected ancient Egyptian texts as a source for understanding ancient Egyptian society

■ Provide an overview of the cultural background of those texts and the genre to which they belong

■ Encourage discussion of key themes emerging from the texts studied together in class.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Apply analytical skills to understanding texts, specifically correspondence of different types, as primary sources

■ Contextualise key individual and case study groups of letters within their time period and against their cultural backdrop

■ Identify and discuss the themes that arise in letters, both formal and informal, from international politics to personal anxieties.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.