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Cultural History of Aramaic


Admission requirements

Knowledge of Biblical Aramaic and/or Targumic Aramaic.


This course encompasses the study of literary, epigraphical and archaeological sources for the cultural history of communities writing in Aramaic. The precise topic varies from year to year. In 2017-2018 the subject of this course will be Jewish magical texts from Late Antiquity. After an introduction to the Jewish magical tradition, we will read Jewish Aramaic epigraphic and literary sources from the first millennium CE (such as amulets in Jewish Palestinian Aramaic, magical bowls in Jewish Babylonian Aramaic, passages from the Babylonian Talmud, magical handbooks and several other works).

Course objectives

Upon completion of this course, students will be familiar with the Jewish magical tradition as reflected in first millennium, JPA and JBA sources and will be capable to contextualize and study independently Jewish magical sources from this period in their original language.


Please consult the Classics and Ancient Civilizations website.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture;

  • Seminar.

Course Load

Total course load 10 ec x 28 hours = 280 hours:

  • 28 hours in class;

  • 78 hours of class preparation;

  • 54 hours for the preparation of the oral presentation;

  • 120 hours for the writing of the paper.

Assessment method

Assessment and grading method (in percentages):

  • Class preparation and oral presentation (40%);

  • Paper (60%).


The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


In case of an insufficient, the student will have the opportunity to give another oral presentation and/or review his/her paper.


Not applicable. Documents will be exchanged through Dropbox.

Reading list

The reading list will be handed out during the first class.


Enrollment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.


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

  • Attendance of the course is mandatory.


Mw. Dr. M.L. (Margaretha) Folmer