Abstract: Egypt as Metaphor: Decoration and the Afterlife in the Monumental Tombs of Ancient Alexandria

Lecturer: Marjorie Venit

Egyptian Alexandria was founded as a Greek city yet, from their inception, its monumental tombs incorporated Egyptian architectural elements into their hellenically based fabric. Shortly thereafter, these Egyptian elements were expanded to embrace decorative, figurative, and architectural motifs. In succeeding centuries, these Egyptianized components became more complex and more nauanced, complying with an increasing Alexandrian awareness of the Egypt with which the city was geographically associated.

This talk explores the intersection of Egyptian and Greek (or Roman) decorative elements and motifs in Alexandrian monumental tombs and the eschatological climate that permitted and encouraged the convergence. It argues that Greeks adopted and adapted Egyptian modes of expression in order to fill a void in their own visual repertoire at a time when visualizing the road to the afterlife became more acutely essential.

Featured Lecturer

Kathlyn (Kara) Cooney is Associate Professor of Egyptian Art and Architecture at the University of California, Los Angeles, whose research involves the reuse of Egyptian coffins during economic... Read More

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