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Classical Ethiopic


Admission requirements

Regular MA requirements.


In this course, the grammar of Classical Ethiopic (Ge‘ez) will be discussed and compared to that of other Semitic languages and their reconstructed ancestor, Proto-Semitic. Students will gain a working knowledge of the language by reading and analyzing original texts. The cultural and historical context of the Classical Ethiopic language and its literature will also be discussed.

Course objectives

Students who have taken this course will be able to:

  • read a Classical Ethiopic text using a dictionary;

  • recognize and discuss features of Classical Ethiopic grammar, identifying them as common (West-)Semitic or typically Ethiosemitic;

  • place Classical Ethiopic texts in their context and give a broad overview of the extent of Classical Ethiopic literature.


Please consult the timetable on the Classics and Ancient Civilizations website.

Mode of instruction Seminar

Course load

Lectures: 28 hrs
Preparing for lectures: 50 hrs
Weekly assignments: 75 hrs
Preparing for mid-term: 20 hrs
Preparing presentation: 20 hrs
Final paper: 80 hrs


Weekly assignments on comparative grammar (20%), written mid-term on grammar (20%), presentation about a certain text (10%), final paper (translation of sample from that text with grammatical notes; 50%).


Documents and course information will be posted on Blackboard.


Josef Tropper (2002): Altäthiopisch, Münster: Ugarit-verlag

Wolf Leslau (2010): Concise dictionary of Geʿez, Wiesbaden: Harassowitz

Both books can be purchased online and are also available at the University library.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Aanmelden voor Contractonderwijs via:


B.D. Suchard MA. Tel.:071- 527 3071.