Ancient Worlds

AD79: Life and Death in the Shadow of Vesuvius

In AD79 Pompeii and Herculaneum were Roman towns on the Bay of Naples. The daily life of these towns, and others in their hinterland, were suddenly extinguished by the eruption of long-dormant Vesuvius. Three linked lectures reconstruct the lives and violent deaths of the inhabitants of Pompeii, Herculaneum, together with neighbouring villas and farmsteads. The lectures, which draw on the latest research, consider the history of the sites, before, during and after the eruption, as well as exploring the ways in which these fascinating sites continue to excite popular imagination. With Dr Georgina Muskett, 3 meetings from Wednesday 21 April, 10:30am - 12:30pm. We are no longer taking enrolments for this course.

Reading Ancient Egyptian Literature: The Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor

For those who have learnt how to read Egyptian Hieroglyphs, this course will study a famous piece of Middle Kingdom Egyptian Literature, ‘The Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor’. This is an epic tale of a sailor on a voyage for the king, who loses his crew and his ship in a storm. He becomes stranded on a mysterious desert island which is inhabited by an enormous snake who has his own tragic tale to tell… We will be studying extracts from the text itself using a transcription of the original hieroglyphs. As we read the text we will encounter and familiarise ourselves with several grammatical forms, and learn how to transliterate and translate a narrative text. This will enable us to understand how the Ancient Egyptians used different techniques to express themselves through their literature. With Dr Katherine Slinger, 3 meetings from Tuesday 1 June, 6-8pm.

Romans in the North West: from Merseyside to Cumbria

Romans in the North West of England is a neglected subject in the study of Romano-British history and archaeology. This course will consider civilian and military life in Merseyside, Manchester, Lancashire and up to the Lake District during the Roman period. The final meeting will feature a virtual tour of Chester so that you can see, first hand, the evidence of this important outpost. With Dr Joanne Ball, 5 meetings from Tuesday 20 April, 2-4pm. We are no longer taking enrolments for this course.

Reading the New Testament – The Epistle to the Hebrews

The Letter to the Hebrews is a very distinct piece of writing in the New Testament. It is anonymous, and has a unique theological perspective on the meaning of the life of Christ. It reflects the philosophical outlook of the Hellenistic times but also sees Jesus against the backdrop of the Old Testament sacrificial system. It deserves to be better known and better understood. With Michael Tunnicliffe, 5 meetings from Monday 19 April, 1:30-3:30pm. We are no longer taking enrolments for this course.

Rome and its Enemies: Fall

The Roman Empire was re-united under Constantine by 324 but the cracks of the previous century still remained. By the end of the 4th century the empire had split for good into east and west, and both halves would face incursions from barbarian groups. In 410 Alaric the Goth sacked Rome and the writing was on the wall for the western empire. This course examines how and why the empire was heading towards disaster. With Michael Tunnicliffe, 5 weekly meetings from Monday 19 April, 10am-12pm. We are no longer taking enrolments for this course.

Ancient Artefacts: Bringing Museums to you

Do you miss strolling around museums and gazing on objects made by ancient cultures? This course will bring the museum experience to you! Dr Spedding is a trained archaeo-scientist who will use 3D computer generated images to introduce you to a range of artefacts in museums around the world. She'll explain how they can tell us about ancient trade, ideas, and people. With Dr Juliet Spedding, 10 meetings from 22 April, 10:30am-12:30pm. We are no longer taking enrolments for this course.

Discover the Treasures of Ancient Egypt

The treasures of ancient Egypt fill museums throughout the world. This course will consider how those collections were established and examine key pieces. Each lecture will focus on a different museum, both national and international. The archaeological context of the artefacts will be discussed in order to understand the importance of the objects both in art historical terms and also in the history of ancient Egypt. With Dr Joanne Backhouse, from Wednesday 21 April, 10:30am. We are no longer taking enrolments for this course .