On Human Bondage in Ancient Egypt

Ellen Morris ’91

human bondage in ancient egypt

Around 1500 B.C.E., the subjects of this lecture first appear in the tombs of Egyptian nobles. Just a half-century prior, the Egyptian Delta had been dominated by rulers from the north, but the Egyptians had since conquered their conquerors and exerted sway as far as the Euphrates River. The sudden appearance, activities, and gradual disappearance of a specific subset of people—who Professor Morris argues were prisoners-of-war captured from Egypt’s most exotic and formidable contemporary foe—reveal much about the effects of imperialism on Egypt’s economy and sense of self.

Ellen Morris ’91 joined Barnard’s faculty this year as an Assistant Professor of Classics. Her scholarship is on ancient Egyptian social history and has focused on issues of divine kingship, sexuality and performance, state formation, and human sacrifice, along with life during periods of societal disruption. She is currently finishing her second book, Ancient Egyptian Imperialism, for Blackwell Publishing. In this lecture, she will discuss her latest research on the politics of slavery in an imperial context.

This event is free and open to the public. Venue is wheelchair accessible.