To Die

Death in the ancient world – as in all pre-industrial societies with a high degree of mortality – was part of everyday life. Death is perhaps the most universal of all human experiences, and the process of coming to terms with our own death and coping with the death of others stands at the centre of much of religion, philosophy, and culture since time immemorial. This course offers an exploration of central myths, beliefs, practices, questions, fears, and hopes associated with death in antiquity, and ranges across different times and places, from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia through Greece and Rome to early Judaism and Christianity. The purpose of this course is to be acquainted with some of the most interesting and influential ideas on death in the history of human civilization while developing a historical and contextual perspective on those ideas.


People buried under from prehistory to Middle Ages mounds appear to have been perceived by their own communities as members of an exclusive group. Depending on the scope...

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We study different types of evidence – archaeological, textual, and visual – in order to reconstruct the mortuary rites, and focus on monumentality, funerals, gender- and status differences,...

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