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Cultural History of Aramaic


Admission requirements

Good knowledge of Biblical Hebrew and Biblical Aramaic (or another variety of Aramaic).


This course encompasses the study of the language of a first millennium community writing in Aramaic as well as the study of the literary, epigraphical and archaeological sources that are fundamental to its cultural history.

Course objectives

Upon completion of this course, students will be familiar with an important first millennium variety of Aramaic and will be capable to study independently its documents.
The course also contributes to the improvement of the presentation and writing skills of the students.

This research seminar contributes to the achievement of learning outcomes 4a and 4c (to give and write a clear and well-argued oral and written presentation on a research topic in accordance with academic standards) of the study programme Classics and Ancient Civilizations.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method


  • Oral presentation (10%)
    The requirements for MA and ResMA students are differentiated: MA students will present an oral report on a book or several articles on a related subject; ResMA students will present a short pitch which encompasses a critical review of several publications (books and/or articles) on a selected subject.

  • Paper (90%)
    The requirements for MA and ResMA students are differentiated: Research MA students will be expected to read additional secondary literature and to choose a paper topic that requires more original research than one-year MA students.


The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average of its components. Both the oral presentation and the paper need to be sufficient.


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

Inspection and feedback

If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will be organized.

Reading list

The reading list will be posted on Brightspace at the start of the semester.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Arsenaal


The subject of this course changes from year to year. In 2022-2023 the subject will be Jewish Palestinian Aramaic and/or Jewish Babylonian Aramaic, dependent on the preferences of the students. Students interested in taking this course are requested to contact the teacher at the end of August. We will read both literary and epigraphical sources, including a significant amount of magical texts (amulets and magical bowls).