nl en

Tutorial Akkadian


Admission requirements

This course is open to MA and research MA students in Classics and Ancient Civilisations (specialisation Classics).
The course will be taught in Dutch or English, depending on the first language of participating students.


Brief introductory description of the course. Please include course subject and teaching materials used.
Akkadian was the Semitic language spoken in Ancient Mesopotamia by Babylonians and Assyrians. It is recorded almost uninterruptedly from c. 2300 BCE to 75 CE on clay tablets written in cuneiform script. This course will introduce students to the grammar and vocabulary of Akkadian, the basics of the cuneiform script, and the principal research tools in the field of Assyriology. We focus on the Old-Babylonian dialect of Akkadian and will use, among other samples, excerpts from the Code of Hammurabi as a means to practice and test reading skills.

Course objectives

At the end of the course, students will be able to read basic Akkadian texts in the original script. The Tutorial Akkadian is specifically designed as a crash-course for students with little prior language training. It will equip them with the grammatical, orthographic and bibliographic tools required to proceed to more advanced language modules.


See Timetable Classics and Ancient Civilizations: Assyriology

Mode of instruction

Choose from:

  • Seminar

Course Load

Total course load: 280 hours – attending seminars: 24 hours (2×12) – preparing coursework: 120 hours (10×12) – revising for exam: 32 hours – independent study of Code of Hammurabi: 104 hours

Assessment method

Written exam (language and script): 50%
Pensum (independent study of Code of Hammurabi): 50%



Reading list

Huehnergard, A Grammar of Akkadian
Black, A Concise Dictionary of Akkadian
Borger, Mesopotamisches Zeichenlexikon
Roth, Law Collections from Mesopotamia and Asia Minor


Students are required to register for this course via uSis, the course registration system of Leiden University. General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.