Ancient Empires Summer School

AE 2014 v1

6 – 19 July 2014
Programme Director: Dr Justin Meggitt

The Ancient Empires Summer School offers a rich selection of courses on a range of past cultures and civilisations taught by leading experts within their disciplines. Whether you are drawn by history or architecture, archaeology or literature, warfare or medicine, the programme allows you an unrivalled change to immerse yourself in the latest thinking on antiquity.

Who can apply?

Programmes are open to university students, professionals and those with other life experience; gap-year students preparing for university may also apply (students must be accompanied by a parent/guardian if under 18 when the programme commences). Participants must also meet our language requirements.

How to apply

To apply for this programme, first select the courses you wish to study from the list below.

Please download an application form and submit by fax or post. Online booking is now closed.

For more information about other Summer School programmes please visit:

Academic programme

  • Four special subject courses
    (two per week)
  • Plenary course AE0:
    Power and Persuasion
  • Evening lectures

Special subject courses

You choose two courses per week, each has five sessions. Courses are led by recognised experts from the University of Cambridge and other British universities.

Week 1 (6 – 12 July)
Group Aa: 11.00am – 12.30pm

Aa1 Archaeology in the crucible of civilisation: the rise and fall of the Assyrian Empire
Aa2 Athens and Sparta: rivals for Greek domination
Aa3 The Ancient Egyptian Empire: treasures, treaties and conquests
Aa4 Religion in the Graeco-Roman worlds

Group Ea: 2.00pm – 3.30pm

Ea1 Ancient Greek philosophers: the Pre-Socratics and Socrates
Ea2 Rome and China
Ea3 'Ra has placed the king on his throne forever': Ancient Egyptian religion
Ea4 The Ancient Egyptian language, from Pharaonic to Christian times - Cancelled

Week 2 (13 – 19 July)
Group Ab: 11.00am – 12.30pm

Ab1 Knowing the world through (ancient) mathematics
Ab2 Philip, Alexander and the Macedonian superpower
Ab3 Imperial building in the ancient world
Ab4 Medicine and miracles in the Roman Empire

Group Eb: 2.00pm – 3.30pm

Eb1 Ancient Greek philosophers: Plato and Aristotle
Eb2 Inca and Aztec
Eb3 Magic, demons and ghosts in the Greek and Roman worlds
Eb4 An introduction to Coptic Egyptian - Cancelled

Plenary lectures

All participants attend the series of daily plenary lectures. Course directors and leading specialists associated with the University give lectures on subjects such as the origins of democracy, power in early China, and the limits of Roman rule. Contributors include Professors Paul Cartledge, Almut Hintze, David Sedley, and Roel Sterckx. These talks offer a unique opportunity to hear from recognised experts from this University and beyond and focus this year on Power and Persuasion.

Evening lectures

Invited speakers and members of the University will give a varied evening lecture programme, covering a wide range of subjects.


Accommodation is available for participants who want to stay in a Cambridge College. Please see the accommodation options available for this programme.

Non-residential attendance is also available if participants prefer to find their own lodgings.

Programme fees

Programme fees include tuition, bed, breakfast and evening meals unless otherwise indicated.

Click here to see the options available.

Pre-enrolment information

Booking terms and conditions


2014 brochure as a PDF (5.31MB)
Application form as a PDF (113KB)

Contact us

University of Cambridge
International Programmes
Institute of Continuing Education
Madingley Hall
United Kingdom
CB23 8AQ

Tel: +44 (0) 1223 760850
Fax: +44 (0) 1223 760848


Teaching and assessment is in English. Students for whom English is not their first language should refer to the Competence in the English Language Policy for further guidance.

Printable versions of our brochures are available to download from the Summer Schools brochure download page.