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Northwest Semitic Epigraphy: Phoenician


Admission requirements

Introduction to Classical Hebrew OR Biblical Aramaic: Daniel OR another Semitic Language (please get in touch with the course leader before the start of the course, if you are in doubt).


This course will give students the opportunity to learn the Phoenician language, to read inscriptions (broadly defined) written in Phoenician from across the Mediterranean, and to learn about the histories of the the city-states of the Phoenician coast such as Sidon and Tyre, and their respective new settlements across the Mediterranean coast, such as Carthage.

Students will acquire a solid basis of the language that will enable them to read Phoenician inscriptions and interpret them in their broader cultural and historical context. This will given students the unique opportunity to encounter the culture of the cities on the Phoenician coast in today’s Lebanon as far as possible in their own terms rather than exclusively through the European lense of Greek historians, although the latter will also be referred to (in translation!)

Course objectives

Knowledge and Insight:

  • Basic understandig of Phoenician history

  • Basic understandig of Phoenician culture

  • Familiarity with the apparatus (main grammars, dictionaries and text editions)


  • Give a basic grammatical analysis of Phoenician inscriptions

  • Ability to read the Phoenician alphabet

  • Ability to place an inscription into its basic cultural and historical context


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Assessment and weighing

Participation: 10%
Essay Proposal: 20%
4,000 word essay: 50%
Drawing of invented Phoenician inscription with short reflection: 30%

The final mark fort he course is established by determining the weighted average of the partial assessments listed above.


If the essay is not passed, a new attempt can be made at the following normal faculty deadline

If the weighted average of the course is insufficient (lower than 5.50), the student may rewrite the essay (70%). The deadline for the resit will be set by the convenor of the course. This deadline will also count for those students who do not hand in the essay by the first deadline. They will not get another resit.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the results, a review will have to be organized.

Reading list

A reading list will be made available on the course’s brightspace site. Access to a copy of the BHS is necessary (can be accessed in the UB).


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.