Academic year
2021/2022 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
FT0025 (AF:354303 AR:186142)
Blended (on campus and online classes)
ECTS credits
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
1st Term
Go to Moodle page
The course is part of the ancillary disciplines that make up the curriculum on Ancient and Medieval Mediterranean History of the BA Programme in History, the curriculum in Antiquity of the BA Programme in the Humanities, the curriculum in Archaeology of the BA Programme in Conservation of Cultural Heritage and Performing Arts Management. It aims at providing students with a basic knowledge of the discipline and its methodology, of the writing system, language and grammar of Akkadian, in order to allow them to read from the original and understand simple texts, from the point of view of their historical context and grammar . Depending on the degree of personal engagement, by the end of the course, students will be enabled to get the basics of the phonology, morphology and sintax of the Old-Babylonian (OB) language, and will be able to read and translate simple texts directly from cuneiform. In addition they will have gained the ability to decode and contextualize the sources from an historical, ideological and literary perspective and will be able to use the main bibliographic tools for the discipline.
At the end of the course students:
- will have gained a basic knowledge of the cuneiform writing system and its principles
- will have gained a basic knowledge of the grammar of OB Akkadian (phonology, morphology and syntax)
- and will be able to apply such knowledge to the translation and analysis of simple texts in cuneiform on their own and in a group
- will be able to use the appropriate tools and resources for the discipline, as learnt and applied in class and during the Moodle sessions.

MOODLE ACCESS: after the beginning of the semester, students will need a password to access the Moodle area; please, ctc the teacher via e-mail or in class in order to get it.
Introduction to Akkadian & cuneiform writing

1) Introduction to the Akkadian grammar: phonology, morphology and syntax.
2) Introduction to the cuneiform script.
3) Exercises and lab sessions (on-line & in class)

One of your choice between 1a) and 1b)
1a) C.B.F. Walker, Cuneiform, Berkeley-Los Angeles 1987 (= La scrittura cuneiforme, Roma 2008, trad. it. a cura di P. Coro);
1b) I. Finkel - J. Taylor, Cuneiform, London 2015

all students read:
2) J. Taylor, 'Tablets as artefacts, scribes as artisans', in K. Radner- E. Robson (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Cuneiform Culture, Oxford 2011, pp. 5-31.

3) R. Caplice, Introduction to Akkadian, Roma 1988;

Sign lists:
4) Fl.Malbran Labat, Manuel d'epigraphie akkadienne: signes, syllabaire, ideogrammes, 6 ed. o succ.,Paris 1988 or
4a) R. Borger, Assyrisch-Babylonische Zeichenliste, Neukirchen-Vluyn 1978;

5) Materials from classes

6) On-line exercises and activities

further readings:
- J. Huehnergard, A Grammar of Akkadian, Atlanta 1997 (= Winona Lake, 2000).

Further readings will be suggested in class.

Students who are planning to access the exam without attending the classes (or doing the e-learning activities) are kindly requested to contact the teacher during office hours well in advance to the examination date, in order to build an individual program (Please note: program requests by e-mail are not accepted). Failure to do so will result in not being admitted to the exam.
Learning abilities will be assessed by means of:
- homework discussion and assessment &
- on-line (moodle) essays and activities;
- the final exam that will consist of a written test including:
a) questions on the assigned readings
b) grammar (theory and esercises)
c) reading, tranliteration, transcription and translation of simple texts from cuneiform.

More details will be offered to the students in class.
A mixture of lectures, seminars (homework+ discussion in class), on-line classes & activites (corresponding to AULA VIRTUALE in the classes timetable).

Students will be required to do their own homework on a regular basis. Homework will be corrected and discussed during classes or via Moodle.
The course is blended (class + lab sessions on-line); through the on-line sessions students will have the unique opportunity to assess step by step the degree of their learning process and actively participate in building their own knowledge of the discipline.

Further infos: please visit the course's Moodle page.

Partially on-line (blended): 1/3 of the course will be on-line, on Moodle. 2 classes in class, 1 e-learning activity per week. Please note that in the course's timetable 'aula virtuale' is used to indicate the e-learning activites. Students will not meet the teacher on those days; on the contrari, they will be required to submit an online activity meeting a specific deadline. All details will be available on Moodle, once the course opened.
Students interested in Assyriology are advised to consider attending also the classes in Sumero-akkadian Epigraphy.
Other courses in the Ancient Near East include: History of the Ancient Near East; Phoenician-Punic Archaeology, Egyptology, Archaeology of the Ancient Near East, Islamic Archaeology and Muslim art History, Art and Visual Culture of the Islamic World.
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 01/09/2021