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Ancient Near Eastern Studies


Ancient Near Eastern Texts: the 1st Millennium A

Course identification: 04-AO-AOT1A
Class hours per week: 4
ECTS points: 15
Duration: 1 semester
Course offering: winter semester, every other year
Level: MA

Seminar: Ancient Near Eastern Texts: the 1st Millennium A

The module is dedicated to reading non-literary ancient Near Eastern texts of the 1st millennium BC, especially letters, legal documents, administrative documents, royal inscriptions and historiographical texts, but also ancient Near Eastern scientific texts (medical, mathematical, etc.) or ritual texts from the context of the temple cult. Emphasis is placed upon reading Akkadian cuneiform texts from the various regions of the ancient Near East in the 1st millennium BC (especially Babylonia and Assyria); it can also be arranged to read texts of the 1st millennium BC in other ancient Near Eastern languages (e.g. hieroglyphic Luwian, old Aramaic or old Persion inscriptions). The linguistic form and the historical background of the texts read, including questions concerning the history of law, society, science and ideas, will be explained and discussed in class.

Learning objectives:
The student will acquire a comprehensive overview of the tradition of ancient Near Eastern documental texts of the 1st millennium BC. He/she will gain deeper knowledge of selected text groups and their historical background, including questions about the history of law, society, sciences and ideas. The student will have a good reading knowledge of the major dialects of Akkadian in the 1st millennium BC. Optionally, knowledge of non-Akkadian texts of the 1st millennium BC may also be acquired. He/she will be capable of transliterating and translating the texts assigned or read in class, and of commenting on both their content and form. He/she will possess the ability to transliterate, translate and classify (with regard to content) more difficult Akkadian texts of the 1st millennium BC beyond the class curriculum with the help of dictionaries and sign lists.

Written test (90 minutes).