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Middle Babylonian Administration


Admission Requirements

Advanced knowledge of Akkadian and cuneiform writing.


The Middle Babylonian period has produced large numbers of clay tablets, in particular letters, administrative texts, juridical texts, religious and literary texts are much less and all these texts are part of large archives housed in temples or palaves in cities such as Nippur, Babylon, Ur and a few others. In this class we will convertrate on the city of Nippur and the administration of the governors of the city. The records that concern the public domain are mixed up with the governor’s private affairs, a situation that is common in Mesopotamia.

Course objectives

The course objective is to gain a good knowledge and understanding of the Middle Babylonian period and its documents.


Please consult the timetables on the Classics and Ancient Civilizations website.

Mode of instruction


Course Load

Total course load is 280 hours, of which:

  • attending seminars: 26 hours;

  • preparing texts for seminars (4 hours each week): 52 hours;

  • writing the paper (at least 20 pages): 202 hours.

It is also possible to take this course for 5 EC (= 140 hours). Please contact the teacher for more information about this option.

Assessment method

Students have to write an end paper of at least 20 pages (100%). If the final mark is unsatisfactory, the student can revise the paper after consultation with the teacher.

Assessment additional course objectives for the ResMa students:
Research Master students will be expected to address more complex theoretical issues in all their work and in particular in their final paper.


Yes, listing texts to be read will be posted on Blackboard.

Reading list

To be announced on Blackboard.


Students are required to register for this course via uSis, the course registration system of Leiden University.

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


Prof. dr. W.H. van Soldt


The course will be taught in Dutch or English, depending on the first language of participating students.