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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 fulfill the entry requirements, please, contact the instructor.


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.

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.

Time table

Please consult the Classics and Ancient Civilizations website.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Course Load

Total course load 10 EC x 28 hours = 280 hours;

  • seminars: 12 × 4 hours = 48 hours;

  • Preparation time for seminars: 175 hours;

  • Preparation exam: 55 hours;

  • Exam: 2 hours.

Assessment method

  • Assignments;

  • Take home examination;

  • Oral examination.


The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average:

  • Assignments: 40%;

  • Take home examination: 30%;

  • Oral examination: 30%.

Additional requirement: students in the Research MA Classics and Ancient Civilizations are required to read a longer text in the final oral examination.


Should the overall mark be unsatisfactory, the oral exam and/or the take home exam can be repeated.

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used for distributing additional reading material.

Reading list

  • Christian Leitz, Quellentexte zur ägyptischen Religion I: Die Tempelinschriften der griechisch-römischen Zeit, 3rd ed., Berlin 2009. In stock at Atleest bookshop, Leiden.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about registration in uSis is available in English and Dutch.

Exchange and Study Abroad students: please see the Study Abroad/Exchange website for information on how to register.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dhr. Prof. dr. O.E. (Olaf) Kaper