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Sumerian 2: Gudea


Admission requirements

Introduction to Sumerian.


Gudea ruled the state of Lagash in southern Mesopotamia, the Sumerian heartland, around 2144-2124 BC. He left behind a large number of inscriptions, including two clay cylinders, which in about 1300 lines of literary Sumerian describe the construction and inauguration of the main temple in Lagash. Gudea’s Sumerian is considered to be the classic form of the language. In this course we will read selected passages from his ‘Cylinder A’, study its language and script, and look into its cultural and historical background.

Course objectives

After this course you can

  • transliterate the cuneiform script of the Gudea inscriptions,

  • describe the make-up of composite cuneiform signs,

  • analyze the grammatical structure of complex Sumerian forms and clauses,

  • critically use the main Sumerian dictionary,

  • translate Sumerian texts of intermediate difficulty, and

  • understand the historical, religious, and literary context in which the cylinders of Gudea were composed.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method


Assessment will be in two parts:

  • a mid-term assignment of about 60 lines of Sumerian not treated during the seminars (30% of the final grade).

  • a written exam on the subject matter of the course (70% of the final grade).


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


If the final grade is below 6.0, the written exam can be repeated.

Exam review

Students can view their marked examinations and request (additional) feedback for a period of 30 days after the publication of the grades.

Reading list

The study materials will be provided through Brightspace at the beginning of the course.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory. General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website

Registration Contract teaching and Exchange

Information for those interested in taking this course in the context of Contract teaching (including taking examinations), e.g. about costs, registration and conditions.

Exchange students having questions regarding registration, may contact the Humanities International Office.


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

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


  • This course will be taught in Dutch if there are no foreign students participating in it.

  • This course is an Admission requirement for the course Sumerian Literary Texts