Postgraduate taught 

Classics & Ancient History MSc

Heroes and heretics: a cultural archaeology of kingship in 18th dynasty Egypt CLASSIC5095

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Taught Wholly by Distance Learning: Yes

Short Description

The 18th dynasty was a key period in Egyptian history, considered simultaneously as a high point of cultural achievement and a time of the greatest heresies. Our focus is on exploring the reigns and material achievements of six pharaohs, whose actions in many ways characterise the period. We will look at the monuments and artefacts produced in their reigns, from the massive to the miniature, as well as the textual sources that shed light on them.

Crucial background to each session's topic will be delivered via online lectures, available at the beginning of each week. Students will then follow up on these topics either by completing an online exercise (e.g. contributing to a class debate, annotating monument plans, starting/responding to a discussion thread) or attending a seminar discussion (6 of these will happen in conjunction with our key topics).


Weekly online lectures supporting a mix of online exercises or follow-on seminar discussion sessions. This is an Honours/PGT option in Classics, and so may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Excluded Courses

Heroes and heretics Honours (CLASSIC4090)




Contribution to online exercises (including starting a thread in online class debates): 20%

Portfolio consisting of 2 object/text analyses, 2 character sketches of kings and one key development debate outline, prefaced with an introduction (total 4000 words): 80%

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Historically contextualise the highs and lows of the 18th dynasty

■ Explore the material achievements of six key kings of this period, focusing particularly on the legitimation of their kingship through material culture and texts

■ Compare diachronically the successes of the various strategies employed by kings, measured against the legacy of their reigns within the period.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Identify the highs and lows of the 18th dynasty, explaining significant developments against the backdrop of the reigns in which they happened

■ Analyse the material outputs of six key kings during the time, with a particular focus on the ways in which these were used by kings for legitimation

■ Assess the significance of monuments and artefacts within the cultural context of their production as primary sources, alongside key texts of the time

■ Construct clear arguments and reasoned analysis both orally and in writing, engaging with and critically analysing both primary and secondary sources

■ Contribute to discussions both online and in front of an audience of peers.

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.