Seminars and Events 2022
Petrie Oration 2021 (delayed)
Talking sense about Akhenaten


Emeritus Professor Ron Ridley FSA FAHA FRHS

University of Melbourne

The Subject: Akhenaten is, apart from his (probable) son, Tutankhamun, the best-known ruler of the Eighteenth Dynasty, but he has been a real figure for only the past century or so. He was brought to life by the Amarna Letters, Norman de Garis Davies' brilliant copies of the Amarna tomb illustrations, and the German and English excavations (on-going) at Amarna. Parallel historical research, however, has recently taken a sinister turn, with many contributors revealing an antipathy towards the pharaoh which has resulted in total fantasy. The two main reasons seem to be his position as the first monotheist, and the conventions of Amarnan art which many misunderstand; he is also accused of having lost the Egyptian 'empire'. Drawing on his recent book, Akhenaten: A Historian's View, Professor Ridley will try to sort out some of these things – and give some indication of what happened after his death.


The Lecturer:­ The citation for his honorary Doctor of Letters from Macquarie University in 2017, described Professor Ridley as ‘Australia's most active, productive, and internationally connected researcher in the field of Ancient History’. He graduated from the University of Sydney, where he was foundation Teaching Fellow in Ancient History 1962-1964. He was then appointed researcher and lecturer at the University of Melbourne 1965-2005. He has over twenty monographs and more than one hundred published chapters and articles. He has written on ancient Egypt, classical Greece, the Roman Republic, Late Antiquity, historiography and archaeology in early modern Europe, and the history of Melbourne and its past ancient historians.

When:         3.00 pm  Thursday 24 February, 2022

In Person:    Australian Institute of Archaeology, Terrace Way, Macleod

                   La Trobe University, Building TER 11 (Melways 873-4)
                   Please book with:  Christopher Davey 0421 595 966

                   Zoom Register (La Trobe University) at:

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