Undergraduate Honors Thesis


Orientalism in the Field of Classics: Cultural Entanglement and Visual Hybridity between Greeks and Egyptians, ca. 625-525 BCE Public Deposited

  • Abstract:

    Cultural hybridization involves the encounter of one culture with another and often results in the mixing of languages and religion, as well as the production of new images and objects. This thesis takes a new approach. It investigates the cultural entanglement and visual hybridity that characterized Graeco-Egyptian interactions between 625 and 525 BCE and demonstrates it was the intellectual and creative environment shared by Greeks and Egyptians that enabled the developments in architecture, sculpture, and sanctuary construction of the Aegean. A brief overview of scholarly literature in Chapter 2 summarizes the ways in which Orientalist bias hindered previous scholars’ recognition of the contribution Egypt made to Greek artistic and architectural developments in the Archaic period. Chapter 3 offers a detailed description of the Greek trade city of Naukratis, on the Nile, as it looked during the Archaic period; the contact between Greeks and Egyptians at Naukratis offers the context of cultural entanglement that allowed for production of a new hybrid visual culture. Chapters 4 and 5 investigate this phenomenon in several case studies of Greek temple architecture and life-sized marble statuary. As the Conclusion makes clear, it is only through understanding Graeco-Egyptian interactions at Naukratis and beyond that the cultural expressions of the Archaic period in Greece can be understood.

Date Awarded
  • 2023-04-10
Academic Affiliation
Committee Member
Granting Institution
Last Modified
  • 2023-04-18
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