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Historical Grammar of Hebrew and Aramaic


Admission requirements

Regular MA admission requirements. A very good working knowledge of Biblical Hebrew is essential.


An introduction to the historical grammar of Biblical Hebrew on the basis of a detailed philological study, with special emphasis on the evolution of phonology and morphology.

Course objectives

A better idea of the evolution of Hebrew in its linguistic setting during the first millennium BCE and some experience with a thorough philological study of difficult texts, including matters of phonology, morphology, syntax, textual criticism, and contextual interpretation.


Timetable to be arranged between student(s) and instructor.

For further information see the timetables on the Classics and Ancient Civilizations website.

Mode of instruction


Course Load

Total course load is 280 hours, of which:

  • 13 tutorials of about 2 hours (26 hours);

  • preparing lectures, including reading and assignments (127 hours);

  • preparing written exam or writing a paper (127 hours).

Assessment method

Paper (100%)
The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average. Should the overall mark be unsatisfactory, the paper is to be revised after consultation with the teacher.



Reading list

To be communicated during class.
For some background information, students should take a look at H. Gzella, “Ancient Hebrew”, in: id. (ed.), Languages from the World of the Bible, Berlin and New York 2011, 76-110.


Please contact the study advisor.

Students are required to register for this course via uSis (5864KHA03R), the course registration system of Leiden University.


Prof. dr. H. Gzella


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