The true face of Roman Egypt to be explored in public lecture

Posted by fi17 at Oct 31, 2011 11:40 AM |
Dr Colin Adams discusses the bias in Tacitus' view of Egypt and its people
The true face of Roman Egypt to be explored in public lecture

Image of Tacitus; credit: Wikimedia Commons

Dr Adams, a former lecturer at the University, will deliver the 11th Dorothy Buchan Memorial Lecture for our School of Archaeology and Ancient History. The subject is "Tacitus' prism: the reality of Roman Egypt", and it promises to shake up some long-held ideas about Egypt's role in the Roman Empire.

Tacitus is considered one of the greatest Roman historians, and to this day his writings on Rome and its surrounding provinces are still trusted sources for modern scholars. Much of our understanding of historic Egypt is influenced by Tacitus' work, but Dr Adams suggests the great man might have been a wee bit biased. His views on Egypt were probably affected by his own cultural prejudices, so our own histories may be coloured by his depictions of a land of uncivilised animal-worshipping barbarians.

In his lecture, Dr Adams will unpick Tacitus' perspective and draw on Egyptian sources to paint a true picture of life in Roman Egypt. The lecture takes place on 1 November 2011 at 5.30pm in Ken Edwards Lecture Theatre 2 and is free and open to the public.

The Buchan Lectures commemorate Mrs Dorothy Buchan, headteacher of Leicester High School for Girls, who studied part-time in the School of Archaeology and Ancient History during her retirement and died unexpectedly at the age of 69 in the year 2000.

Dr Colin Adams, now senior lecturer at the University of Liverpool, was a Lecturer in Ancient History at the University from 2000 to 2005.