The Linguistic Context of Biblical Hebrew 1
Phoenician is a Semitic language closely related to Biblical Hebrew. It is attested by numerous inscriptions from ancient city states like Byblos, Tyre, and Sidon as well as their western colonies. Spread by Phoenician traders interacting with many different civilizations (including the Greeks and Romans), it was used all over the Mediterranean world during the first millennium B.C.E. and for some time adopted as a prestige code in Asia Minor. Its North-African variety even remained in use far into the first centuries C.E. As a consequence, Phoenician texts aptly illustrate various phenomena of cultural contact.
This course will provide an inductive introduction to the language of the Phoenician inscriptions from the mainland and their historical, social, and cultural background. It will thereby furnish students with some hands-on experience with the fascinating world of Semitic epigraphy. However, no prior knowledge of any Semitic language is mandatory. By the end of this course, participants will have acquired a basic understanding of standard Phoenician and have read some important primary sources. The presentation should be accessible not only to Semitists and students of the Bible, but also to Classicists, Ancient Historians, Archaeologists, and Indo-Europeanists.
Following completion of this course, students are able to independently study and interpret epigraphic texts written in the Phoenician language in the light of the state-of-the-art of the discipline; they will also have some idea of how to situate Phoenician within its Syro-Palestinian and its wider Mediterranean context.
Timetable This will be completed by the Administration
The timetable is available on the [Name programme website](URL Roosterpagina opleiding)
Mode of instruction
Attendance and active participation are obligatory for seminars. Students are required to prepare for and attend all sessions. The convenor needs to be informed without delay of any classes missed for a good reason (i.e. due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness, family issues, problems with residence permits, the Dutch railways in winter, etc.). In these cases it is up to the discretion of the convener of the course whether or not the missed class will have to be made up with an extra assignment. The maximum of such absences during a semester is two. Being absent without notification and/or more than two times can result in exclusion from the term end exams and a failing grade for the course.
Total course load is 140 hours, of which:
13 tutorials of about 2 hours (26 hours);
preparing lectures, including reading and assignments (57 hours);
preparing written exam or writing a paper (57 hours).
Oral presentation and preparation of texts to be studied in class (30%)
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.
How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.
Blackboard will be used for:
- Additional study materials
H. Donner and W. Röllig, Kanaanäische und aramäische Inschriften, 3 vols., 2nd ed. Wiesbaden 1966–1969 (5th ed. of the texts 2002).
J. Friedrich and W. Röllig, Phönizisch-Punische Grammatik, 3rd ed. Rome 1999.
H. Gzella, “Phoenician”, in: id. (ed.), Languages from the World of the Bible, Berlin / New York 2012, 55–75.
J. Hoftijzer and K. Jongeling, Dictionary of the North-West Semitic Inscriptions, 2 vols., Leiden 1995.
J. Quinn, In Search of the Phoenicians, Princeton 2017 (can only be used responsibly in conjunction with the review by H. Gzella in Bibliotheca Orientalis 75  379–387).