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Seminar in Assyriology: Neo-Assyrian History and Texts


Admission requirements

This course is open to MA and research MA students in Classics and Ancient Civilizations.
Knowledge of Akkadian is required.


The Assyrian empire of the first half of the first millennium BCE has been called the world’s first empire. At its height, the Neo-Assyrian state extended from Egypt to Iran, incorporating the intervening lands into a coherent system governed from the Assyrian heartland. This period represents a watershed in the formation of empire. It has the added benefit, moreover, of being extensively documented. The Neo-Assyrian state has left us an incredibly rich textual legacy, spanning tens of thousands of texts across many different genres. In this seminar we will explore Neo-Assyrian history through a close reading of selected primary texts in Akkadian. These texts will be drawn from different genres and will shed light on the structure and development of the Neo-Assyrian state, as well as on the major events that characterized its history. This will not only serve to familiarize students with the contours of Neo-Assyrian history, but also with the nature of the textual evidence and how to use it.

Course objectives

  • Become familiar with the history of the Neo-Assyrian period and its place in broader ancient Near Eastern history

  • Become familiar with Neo-Assyrian texts from all major genres

  • Develop the ability to work with Neo-Assyrian texts in the original language

  • Students will develop their philological skills, practice their ability to process and discuss primary and secondary Assyriological evidence, and produce a research paper.


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Assessment method


  • Research paper

  • Presentation

  • Participation in and preparation for seminar meetings


  • Research paper: 50%

  • Oral presentation: 25%

  • Participation: 25%

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


If the overall grade is unsatisfactory, the paper may be revised following consultation with the instructor.

Exam review

Students will be invited individually to discuss their grades with the instructor upon publication of the results.

Reading list

Readings will be made available to the students.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website.

Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dhr. dr. J. Valk


Not applicable.