Eugene Cruz-Uribe- Roman Period Nubians & Christians

A Nubian Walks into a Christian bar in Philae and Says... 
Cultural Identity, Political Control, and Religious Affiliation in the Roman-Byzantine 

We are very sad to report that Eugene Cruz-Uribe died in a bicycling accident on March 12th. More details here. You can read his obituary hereDr. Cruz-Uribe made great contributions to Egyptology and to ARCE, was a wonderful colleague, and he will be greatly missed. 

Jacco Dieleman, a fellow specialist in the demotic language and colleague of Dr. Cruz-Euribe, has kindly agreed to give a lecture for ARCE DC on April 13th. More details here.

Dr. Eugene Cruz-Uribe 
Professor Emeritus, Department of History, Northern Arizona University 
Professor of History (retired), Indiana University East

Friday, April 13th, 2018

6:30 pm: Pre-Lecture Reception ($5.00/person)
7:00 pm: Lecture (Free)


During the Roman and Byzantine periods in Egypt, the frontier area at the south of Egypt displayed a number of interesting activities with the long term interactions between various Nubian groups (such as the Meroites, Blemmyes and Nobadae) and the Roman rulers of Egypt.  As with many frontier areas, there does not seem to have been a clear distinction of cultural identity, political control, and religious affiliation.  This often led to serious conflicts with both sides claiming legitimate control of the temples and administrative places in the Aswan area.  This was put to the test with the introduction of Christianity to Egypt and how this new religion affected the local populations.  This talk will look at these complex interactions and center them through the use of “A man walks into a bar …” scenario.  Slides of the speakers own field research in the Aswan area, especially at Philae temple will be highlighted.


Eugene Cruz-Uribe received his BA, MA and PhD in Egyptology from the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago.  His dissertation was a study of Demotic legal contracts from the Saite and Persian periods in Egypt.  He worked as a lecturer at the Field Museum in Chicago and as a curator at the Seattle Art Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art during the Treasures of Tutankhamun exhibit during the later 1970s.  He was an Assistant Professor in the Egyptology Department at Brown University before he went to Northern Arizona University where he held a number of administrative and teaching positions and is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of History at NAU.  Most recently he was Professor of History at Indiana University East from which he retired in May 2017.  He is the author of six books, over 60 articles and 40 book reviews dealing with all periods of Egyptian history and culture with an emphasis on the Demotic stage of the ancient Egyptian language, and the history and religion of the Late Period in Egypt. He has conducted a number of field research projects in Egypt, working mainly in Kharga Oasis in the western desert, but throughout the Nile Valley including a three year project to record graffiti in the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings.   His most recent field work project is the recording of unpublished Demotic graffiti found at the temple of Isis at Philae Island (Aswan) which appeared as a book in 2016.  He is now working at several additional sites recording Demotic graffiti including the quarry site of Gebel Silsila.

For the last twenty years he has been recording and translating ancient Egyptian graffiti for what they reveal about personal piety, late period religious practices and pilgrimage.  He was the recipient of a Fulbright Research Fellowship in 2007 to continue his studies in Egypt.  In July 2008 he became the editor of the Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, the principal journal for Egyptology research in the US.