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Egyptian Temple Inscriptions of the Graeco-Roman Period


Admission Requirements

BA degree and sufficient level of knowledge of Middle Egyptian. If you are interested in taking this course, but are not sure whether you fulfil the entry requirements, please, contact the instructor, Prof. Dr. O.E. Kaper.


Instruction in the interpretation of temple inscriptions from the Graeco-Roman Period (circa 300 BCE – 250 CE), also known as ‘Ptolemaic hieroglyphs’, and their relation to architecture and the surrounding scenes, known as the ‘grammaire du temple’. The textual tradition of the temple scriptorium and the intellectual climate of the priestly milieu are discussed through reading a variety of inscriptions. The course will also introduce the specialized literature on this topic and present an overview of the current state of the scholarly debate and on the different genres represented in the temple inscriptions.
After an intensive introduction to the characteristics of the script and grammar, the classes focus on the reading of inscriptions from the textbook (Leitz) supplemented by other texts. The course starts with an intensive course on the Ptolemaic script over three days.

Course objectives

The course aims at enabling the students to read and interpret the complicated texts of the late temples with the help of the standard research tools.


Method of Instruction

Literature seminar.

Course load

10 ec (= 280 hours), consisting of

  • preparation time for and participation in the classes: 112 hrs

  • preparation for the exam: 168 hrs.

Assessment method

  • Active participation in class (## %)

  • Oral examination about a ritual text (unseen) with the aid of dictionary and sign list, after a short period of independent preparation (## %).


Not applicable

Reading list

Christian Leitz, Quellentexte zur ägyptischen Religion I: Die Tempelinschriften der griechisch-römischen Zeit, 3rd ed., Berlin 2009


Registration for this course is compulsory

Contact information

Contact the lecturer prof.dr. O.E.Kaper

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable