Workshop: Diplomacy in Ancient Times: the Figure of Udjahorresnet. Close readings from across the ancient world (Munich, 12–15 Sept. 2018)

The publication workshop on Diplomacy in Ancient Times: the Figure of Udjahorresnet will be organised by the Centre of Excellence in Ancient Near Eastern Empires (Dr Melanie Wasmuth) and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (Dr Alexander Schütze, Egyptology, and Prof. Dr Andreas Schwab, Greek Philology).

6th c. BCE Egypt spawned a key figure of ancient cross-regional diplomacy. The Egyptian politician and physician Udjahorresnet held high innerpolitical functions in the former Egyptian kingship realm and became an important figure in transforming Egypt into a regional centre within the first ‘global’ and exceedingly culturally diverse empire of the Achaemenians. Though the ‘autobiographic’ inscription on his statue in the Musei Vaticani has been discussed in various aspects from an Egyptological perspective, the potential of a cross-regional close reading has not been taken up until now. Similarly, a discussion of the person and function of Udjahorresnet as a diplomat based on the cross-regional contemporary evidence throughout the Achaemenid empire is still missing. The workshop aims at a detailed cross-disciplinary commentary on one of the key sources on early Achaemenid expansion politics. This close reading of a specific primary source for ancient diplomacy in a phase of highly increasing globalisation will be embedded into a set of contributions concerning Udjahorresnet’s personal life and his professional functions as well as on Udjahorrenet as diplomatic figure and as historical mediator. 

Venue: Institut für Ägyptologie und Koptologie, Katharina-von-Bora-Str. 10, D-80333 München


Wednesday, 12 Sept. 2018

Musei Vaticani 22690 from an epigraphic perspective

13:30–14:00  welcome reception

14:00–14:45  “The statues of Udjahorresnet as archaeological artefacts” (Melanie Wasmuth, Helsinki)

14:45–16:00  small group session: reading the inscription

16:00–16:30  coffee break 

16:30–17:00  plenary discussion of the epigraphic evidence

17:00–18:00  plenary session on key workshop issues

19:00              joint dinner


Thursday, 13 Sept. 2018

Udjahorresnet as historical mediator 

09:00–09:45 “The Inscription of Udjahorresnet and Herodotus on Cambyses in Egypt” (Andreas Schwab, Munich)

09:45–10:30  small group discussion on historical mediation

10:30–11:00  plenary discussion of preliminary results

11:00–12:30  visit to the Egyptian Museum

12:30–14:00  joint lunch

14:00–14:30  plenary discussion on the secondary place of erection


Udjahorresnet’s professional functions 

14:30–16:00  “The functional context of Udjahorresnet’s offices” (Alexander Schütze, Munich)
“The reforms of the ‘House of Life’ as consequence of medical failure” (Francesco Lopez, Pisa)

16:00–16:30  coffee break 

16:30–17:30  small group discussion on the professional functions

17:30–18:00  plenary discussion of preliminary results

19:00            joint dinner


Friday, 14 Sept. 2018

Udjahorresnet as diplomatic figure

09:00–10:30  “The Udjahorresnet inscription from a political science perspective” (Alex Aissaoui, Helsinki)
“Udjahorresnet from an Old Testament perspective – links with Esra and Nehemia” (Bernd Schipper, Berlin)

10:30–11:00  coffee break 

11:00–12:00  small group discussion on Udjahorresnet as diplomat I

12:00–12:30  plenary discussion of preliminary results

12:30–14:00  joint lunch

14:00–15:30  “The situation in Babylonia under the reign of Cambyses” (Francis Joannès, Paris)
“The political events of Udjahorresnet’s lifetime and the question of agency from a Greek perspective” (Reinhold Bichler, Innsbruck)

15:30–16:00  coffee break 

16:00–17:00  small group discussion on Udjahorresnet as diplomat II

17:00–17:30  plenary discussion of preliminary results

17:30–18:00  plenary session on the publication design

19:00            joint dinner


Saturday, 15 Sept. 2018

Udjahorresnet’s personal life

09:00–10:30  “Udjahorresnet’s family and social background” (Nenad Markovic, Praha)
“Udjahorresnet’s second career” (Damien Agut-Labordère, Paris/Nanterre)

10:30–11:00  coffee break 

11:00–12:00  plenary discussion on the Egyptian social setting

12:00–12:30  plenary session on future collaboration 

12:30–14:00  joint lunch and departure


Colleagues and students interested in joining us are welcome. Please contact us via or