Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome

An introduction to the history, societies, and cultures of the ancient Mediterranean

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Course outline

The ancient Mediterranean was a fascinating place. Its history has always captivated Western society, because of its enduring cultural legacy as well as its profound strangeness. This course explores the rise and development of three of the great civilisations in the region: Egypt, Greece and Rome. It tells the story of how, over thousands of years, Egyptian civilisation evolved from hunter/gatherers to become the superpower of the region, the looming yet alluring behemoth in the East. Toward the end of Egypt’s ancient rule, Greece arose as the ‘birthplace of Western civilisation,’ as renowned for its philosophers, historians, and writers as it was for its warriors and battles. The rise of Rome followed shortly after, spreading its military and cultural power, but also absorbing and being changed by the cultures it conquered, including those of both Greece and Egypt.

This course examines the history of these cultures, exploring how they became so powerful, and what life was like for the men and women who inhabited them. It features pharaohs and tyrants, empresses and gladiators, commoners and priests, scribes and soldiers. From their lives and stories emerge a picture of civilisations which ebb and flow, and which had many elements in common, but were also fundamentally different from one another.

Terms & Conditions

This programme gives you the opportunity to attend regular lectures in a selection of courses, alongside enrolled students as an observer. Please note that you are not eligible to attend tutorials, take part in assessments, sit for exams and will not have access to course material online.

You will be provided with a course outline to keep you up to date with the topics discussed in class every week. This is a no-stress learning opportunity.


  • 12 weeks, 6 March – 7 June, Wednesdays and Fridays 3-4pm
  • $355.00 incl. GST
  • The University of Auckland, City Campus
  • Presented by Jeremy Armstrong, Lisa Bailey, Jennifer Hellum

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