Babylonic cuneiform (BAB 01)

  • Day and time: Thursday 9:30 - 11:00
    Weekly
  • Length of course: 3 terms. Autumn (8 Weeks), Spring (8 Weeks), Summer (8 Weeks)
  • Number of places: 10
  • Start date: 13 October 2016
  • Description:

    Have you ever wanted to emulate W.S. Gilbert’s Modern Major General and write a washing bill in Babylonic cuneiform? Well, now’s your chance. In a year’s course you can learn how to decipher and translate Akkadian, the east Semitic language which includes the Babylonian and Assyrian dialects. We would read excerpts from Hammurabi’s lawcode, from the Assyrian account of Semacherib’s siege of Jerusalem, and the story of the Flood from the Epic of Gilgamesh. The idea will be to get members deciphering some interesting and important documents from the original cuneiform texts. This will entail becoming familiar with perhaps 200 cuneiform signs, and learning the grammar of the Akkadian language with basic vocabulary. The assumption is that everyone is a beginner. I will supply reading matter initially until we see how fast we can go and how the class would prefer to approach our objectives.

  • Format: Language instruction with reading of texts
  • Level: Beginners

  • Tutor: Nicholas Postgate
  • I taught Akkadian (=Babylonian+Assyrian) for more than 20 years at the university here, and co-edited the only affordable Akkadian-English dictionary.


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