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Cultural History of Aramaic


Admission requirements

Knowledge of Biblical Aramaic and/or Targumic Aramaic.


This course encompasses the study of literary, epigraphical and archaeological sources for the cultural history of communities writing in Aramaic. The precise topic varies from year to year. In 2016-2017 the subject of this course will be Aramaic texts in Old and Official Aramaic. We will read Aramaic texts from the 10th – 4th centuries BCE. The texts will be of a very diverse nature: dedicatory texts in Old Aramaic from city-states in Syria and Mesopotamia, documentary texts from 5th century BCE Egypt, satrapal letters from 4th century Afghanistan and many others.

Course objectives

Upon completion of this course, students will be familiar with important first millennium varieties of Aramaic and will be capable to study independently documents written in those varieties.


See timetable available on the Classics and Ancient Civilizations website.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture;

  • Seminar.

Course Load

Total course load 10 ec x 28 hours = 280 hours:

  • 28 hours in class;

  • 78 hours of class preparation;

  • 54 hours for the preparation of the oral presentation;

  • 120 hours for the writing of the paper.

Assessment method

Assessment and grading method (in percentages):

  • Class preparation and oral presentation (40%);

  • Paper (60%).


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


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


Not applicable. Documents will be exchanged through Dropbox.

Reading list

The reading list will be handed out during the first class.


Enrollment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.


  • The course will be taught in Dutch or English, depending on the first language of participating students;

  • Attendance of the course is mandatory.


Mw. Dr. M.L. (Margaretha) Folmer