James Oakley

My thesis is a comparative study of how changes in geopolitical power affect the representation of warfare and combat in Greek and Egyptian culture, particularly literature.  I am looking at the Greek and Egyptian material periodically: two periods (one of military/political supremacy, one of weakness) for each.  In Greek the texts are from the Hellenistic and Roman periods, in the latter principally Quintus’ Posthomerica; in Egyptian the material is from the New Kingdom and the Inaros-Petubastis texts of the Ptolemaic/Roman era (The Battle for the Benefice of Amun, The Battle for the Armour of Inaros, Petechons and Serpot).  The thesis will explore ideas of war as a general concept (for example, looking at how time and space are viewed with respect to war), and of the participants, examining how gender, ethnicity, and social status are presented in war.  The ultimate aim is to use the comparison to see how the Greeks and Egyptians used representations of war to express their attitude to foreign domination.  I am also interested in Greek literature more generally, as well as Augustan poetry and Demotic and Greek papyrology.