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Hebrew Belles-Lettres


Admission requirements

Regular MA admission requirements.


A study of Classical Aramaic by reading the famous stories on the vicissitudes of Daniel and his companions in the Biblical Book of Daniel (Dan. 2:4-7:28). Special attention will be paid to the literary composition and the historical background of the Book of Daniel.

Material to be used:

  • Hebrew Bible (Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia)

  • • F. Rosenthal, A Grammar of Biblical Aramaic (Wiesbaden 2006, or earlier edition).

Course objectives

After successfully completing this course the student will be able to read Biblical Aramaic texts, using reference works, such as grammars, dictionaries and commentaries. A working knowledge of Biblical Aramaic is indispensible to understand later phases of the Aramaic language.


For the most recent update of the timetable, click here.

Mode of instruction

Literature seminar.

Assessment method

Written test on Daniel 2-5 and the literature mentioned below.


Blackboard is used for this course.

Reading list

The following items are to be studied:

  • J.A. Fitzmyer, “The Phases of the Aramaic Language”, in: J.A. Fitzmyer, A Wandering Aramean. Collected Aramaic Essays (Chico, CA 1979), 57-84.

  • J.C. Greenfield, “Standard Literary Aramaic”, in: A. Caquot & D. Cohen (eds.), Actes du premier congrès international de linguistique sémitique et chamito-sémitique (Den Haag/Parijs 1974), 280-289.

  • J.J. Collins, Daniel (Minneapolis 1993), 1-51.

  • T. Pitard, “Arameans”, in: A.J. Hoerth, G.L. Mattingly, E.M. Yamauchi, Peoples of the Old Testament World (Grand Rapids, MI 1994), 207-230.


Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.

Contact information

Dr. M.L. Folmer. Tel. +31 71 527 2513.