Religion and Art of Ancient Egypt
Monday 3rd October 2016 - Friday 3rd March 2017
(with a 2 week break for Christmas)
Delivery: Distance Learning (Online)
This course explores how the distinctive style of Egyptian art developed, and the reasons why it lasted with apparently little change for over three thousand years.
Egyptian art is intimately bound to religion and we will look at this relationship in detail, by studying the vast array of gods and their functions alongside the purposes and principles of Egyptian religion.
Deadline for Registrations: Wednesday 28th September 2016
Week 1: Art, Religion and the Environment
Week 2: Terms and Names
Week 3: Approaches to Egyptian Art and Architecture
Week 4: Egyptian Architecture
Week 5: Egyptian Architecture: Temples
Week 6: Designing the Image
Week 7: Constructing Scenes
Week 8: Statues
Week 9: Introduction to Egyptian Religion
Week 10: The Cosmos
Week 11: The ‘Duat’: The Underworld
Week 12: Funerary Religion
Week 13: The Gods
Week 14: Priests and Hierarchy
Week 15: The King
Week 16: Royal Festivals
Week 17: Daily Rites and Festivals of the Gods
Week 18: Private Religion in Ancient Egypt
Week 19: Akhenaten and the “Amarna Period”
Week 20: Religion and Art in the Late, Ptolemaic and Roman Periods
Learning / Teaching Methods
This course is delivered via the internet using an online system called ELE: the Exeter Learning Environment. Students will be given a username and password to log in to the course. A 'unit' of course material will be released every week for students to work through and class discussions on this material will take place in the online forum.
Class discussions are asynchronous - i.e. students do not need to be online at a 'set' time - they can leave and collect messages from the online discussion environment at a time suitable for them.
Throughout the course students will be given questions to respond to in the online discussion area; these are optional and there are no assignments in terms of essays or other marked work.
As this course is non-credit-bearing there are no exams or assessments.
This course will help students to acquire:
- An understanding of how the Egyptians' religion was a response to their world, and how it affected their world
- Knowledge of the principles of Egyptian art and the ability to recognise differences in style between different periods
- An awareness of the influence of Egyptian art and religion on the other Eastern Mediterranean civilisations
- Familiarity with relevant terminology
- An awareness of different theoretical approaches to the subject matter
Suggested background reading
Gahlin, L. (2001) Egypt: gods, myths and religion, Lorenz Books
Parkinson, R. (2008) The Painted Tomb-Chapel of Nebamun, The British Museum Press.
Pinch, G. (2002) Egyptian Mythology, A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses and Traditions of Ancient Egypt, Oxford University Press
Robins, G. (1997) The Art of Ancient Egypt. London: British Museum Press.
Wilkinson, R.H. (2003) The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt, Thames & Hudson.
There are no required texts for this course.
Our online courses use a system called ELE: The Exeter Learning Environment. ELE works on both PCs and Macs. Students will be given their own username and password to access it.
All students are reminded that to safeguard your own work and out of courtesy to others, it is sensible to ensure that the computer you will be using has anti-virus software installed and that this is regularly updated. Likewise, mac users who use Microsoft Word should ensure that they have enabled macro virus protection (this setting is found as a tick box in Word under 'preferences').
Preparatory study is not expected.
Students who register before the deadline may be given access to the discussion environment prior to the course start. In this case, students are welcome to log in and introduce themselves to each other and to the tutor - perhaps giving a little detail about their reasons for choosing this subject - before the official start date.