God-Kings, Dictators, and Revolutions: Real vs. Imaginary "Pharaohs."

The tomb of Tutankhamun, the golden boy, mesmerizes modern audiences with its tantalizing glimpse into one of the world's oldest and longest lasting civilizations. More than a king or pope, a pharaoh in ancient Egypt was not only the religious leader of his country but also a half-human, half-divine representative of deity on earth, charged with pleasing the gods, maintaining the social order, and creating economic stability. In return, the gods granted the pharaoh the right to rule and assumed the pharaoh into their pantheon upon his death. In this talk, Robert Ritner will discuss how ancient artifacts reveal the critical religious dimension of the title "pharaoh."

Members of the Chicago Society, Harper Society, or Phoenix Society are welcome to attend free of charge, along with one guest, when registering in advance. To take advantage of this benefit or request more information, please e-mail harperlectures@uchicago.edu with your name, the name of your guest, and your contact information.


Houston, Texas

Event Details

This lecture is part of the Harper Lecture series offered to the University community across the country and around the world by the University of Chicago Alumni Association. Named for the University's first president, William Rainey Harper, the series carries on his vision of broadly accessible and innovative education. For more information about educational opportunities (including study trips, online resources, and more), visit the alumni education resources page on the Alumni and Friends website.


$20/person general admission

$10/person for young alumni (Young alumni are College graduates of the past 10 years and professional school graduates of the past 5 years.)

Includes program and reception


Register Online

Register By Email
Register By Phone: 773.702.7788

Deadline: 4/29/2012


Harper Lectures 


Other Information

Robert K. Ritner is professor of Egyptology in the department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the Oriental Institute. He is the author of The Mechanics of Ancient Egyptian Magical Practice and has published more than 100 books and articles on Egyptian religion, magic, medicine, language and literature, as well as social and political history. In association with the Field Museum of Chicago, he was an academic advisor to two recent British Museum exhibits, "Cleopatra of Egypt: From History or Myth," and "Eternal Egypt."