Ancient Near Eastern Texts: the 3rd Millennium
Course identification: 04-AO-AOT3
Class hours per week: 4
ECTS points: 15
Duration: 1 semester
Course offering: winter semester, every other year
Seminar: Ancient Near Eastern Texts: the 3rd Millennium
The module is dedicated to reading ancient Near Eastern texts of the 3rd millennium BC, encompassing both literary and non-literary texts. Emphasis is normally placed, on the one hand, upon Old Akkadian texts of various genres and, on the other, upon the Sumerian tradition of the 3rd millennium, especially the Old Sumerian period (Early Dynastic IIIb) and the Ur III period. The cuneiform tradition of the late 4th and early 3rd millennia up to the Fāra-period can be integrated into the curriculum. The linguistic form and the historical background of the texts read, including questions concerning the history of law, society, religion, sciences and ideas, will be explained and discussed in class. Individual text groups, especially archaic and proto-cuneiform texts, can be addressed in individual student presentations.
The student will acquire a comprehensive overview of the tradition of ancient Near Eastern texts of the 3rd millennium BC. He/she will gain deeper knowledge of selected text groups and their historical background, including questions about the history of law, society, religion, sciences and ideas. The student will have a good reading knowledge of Old Akkadian and of selected language forms of Sumerian in the 3rd millennium BC. He/she will be capable of transliterating and translating the texts assigned or read in class, and of commenting on both their content and formal style. He/she will possess the ability to transliterate, translate and classify (with regard to content) simple 3rd-millennium Akkadian and Sumerian texts beyond the class curriculum with the help of dictionaries and sign lists.
Written test (90 minutes).