The Rosetta Stone, and Much More

The Rosetta Stone, and Much More
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The First Ptolemies
The Greek kings known as the Ptolemies ran Egypt like a business. Taxes were heavy; government was oppressive. There are two great Hellenistic achievements, however: the Pharos Lighthouse and the famed Library of Alexandria.
The Middle Ptolemies - The Decline
A TV show about the Middle Ptolemies might be called "Lifestyles of the Rich and Murderous." With few exceptions, the members of this dysfunctional dynasty were violent, debauched, and generally neglectful of the country they ruled. The Egyptians hated them and frequently rebelled, forcing some to flee for their lives.…
Animal Mummies
The Ptolemies had a fascination with mummies, especially animal mummies. We will take an in-depth look at the practice of animal mummification, which became a major industry during the Ptolemaic period.
Cleopatra's Family
For a Ptolemy, dodging assassination by one's own kin was often the hardest part of ruling. Learn how Cleopatra's father managed this task, and trace the course of Egypt's growing - and ultimately fatal - interaction with the rising power of Rome.
Cleopatra - The Last Ptolemy
Although Cleopatra is one of the most famous women who ever lived, she remains an enigma - we don't even know her mother's name. History is written by the victors, and Cleopatra lost. Can ancient records help fill out her story?
The Grand Finale
This last lecture crowns the course by briefly summarizing 3,000 years of Egyptian history; outlining Egypt's legacy to us; surveying images of Egypt in film and literature; and listing ways you can pursue your interest in this remarkable civilization. Your learning needn't stop here!
Introduction
What makes ancient Egypt so interesting? How do we know what we know about it? What can you, as a student, expect from these lectures?
Prehistoric Egypt
In this lesson, we will see just how old "old" is. The basic divisions of prehistory will be discussed, and each category will be defined and its specific characteristics delineated. Once these categories are clear, we will discuss the difficulties of studying a prehistoric civilization.
Ancient Egyptian Thought
What distinguishes mythology, religion, and philosophy from one another? What role did each play in the lives of the ancient Egyptians?
Napoleon and the Beginnings of Egyptology
Why does modern Egyptology begin with Napoleon? How was Egypt studied before he and his army arrived with 150 scientists in tow in 1798? How did the monumental "Description de l'Egypte" that Bonaparte's savants produced become the benchmark for all future publications in the field?
The First Nation in History
How did Egypt become history's first nation? Once King Narmer unified Upper and Lower Egypt, it took only a few hundred years to build a power that would dominate the Near East for millennia. Learn why the political structure of ancient Egypt made this possible and how the "Narmer Palette"…
The Rise of the Old Kingdom
As Egypt becomes a great nation led by a single all-powerful ruler, traditions arise that will last for millennia: a capital city, separate burial places (and eventually mighty pyramids) for the kings, solar boats for the trip to the next world, and more.