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Seminar Akkadian


Admission requirements

Standaard- en Oud-Babylonisch 2.


The theme of this academic year: Hurrian.
Hurrian is a language that was widely spoken in the north of Mesopotamia, in Syria and in Anatolia. The oldest sources go back to the end of the third millennium and the last signs of Hurrian presence date to the Neo-Assyrian period. The most important texts that we have today are the so-called Mittani letter of king Tushratta, the bilingual text from Hattusha and a number of cultic texts from Ugarit, Emar and Hattusha. Although great progress has been made and most of the textual material can now be understood quite well, there are still words and constructions that defy explanation. In this class an introduction to the Hurrian language will be followed by a study of the Mittani letter and a few bilingual texts from Anatolia and Ugarit.

Course objectives

  • The ability to decipher, transliterate and translate cuneiform texts from the selected period.

  • Knowledge of the historical development, function and cultural context of the selected texts.



Mode of instruction

Seminar, mandatory attendance.

Course Load

Total study load: 140 hours

  • Class: 26 hours

  • Translating independently: ca. 42 hours

  • Reading literature: ca. 42 hours

  • Presentation and essay: ca. 30 hours

Assessment method

The final grade will be composed of:

  • essay (60%)

  • presentation (40%)

The essay is written in two stages: a first version which will be commented on and a final version. Students who do not meet the deadline for the first version will lose the right to get comments and will only be graded based on their final version.

Reading list

To be announced.




Prof.dr. W.H. van Soldt