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Reading source texts


Admission requirements

Regular MA admission requirements


In the academic year 2012-13, this course will be taught as a comprehensive introduction to the oldest known stage of the Aramaic language, commonly referred to as “Old Aramaic” and attested in a number of inscriptions from Early Iron Age Syria. We will provide an overview of the grammar (with some references to the wider historical context of Aramaic) and then proceed with a thorough philological study of some representative inscriptions. While studying these texts, we will also devote considerable attention to more cultural and historical matters. At the same time, this course can serve as an introduction to Aramaic philology in general. A thorough working knowledge of at least one older Semitic language is highly desirable.

Course objectives

Following completion of this course, students are able to critically evaluate Old Aramaic inscriptions and to place the material in its wider Aramaic context; they have furthermore acquired a profound knowledge of the tools used, such as scholarly dictionaries, reference grammars and text-critical editions.


For the most recent update of the timetable, click here.
For details of the timetable, consult Prof. H. Gzella. Telefoon: +31 71 527 2255.

Mode of instruction

Reading class.

Assessment method



Not applicable.

Reading list

Extensive bibliographical information will be distributed to participants; for the time being, M.L. Folmer, “Old and Imperial Aramaic”, in: H. Gzella (ed.), Languages from the World of the Bible, Berlin and New York 2011, 128–159, may serve as an introduction.


Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply

Contact information

Prof. H. Gzella. Telefoon: +31 71 527 2255.