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Syriac 1


Admission requirements

This course is aimed at linguists, historians, archeologists, art historians, students of religious studies, and anyone interested in Syriac language and literature. There are no restrictions to admission. Knowledge of other semitic languages is not required.


Syriac is the language of one of the oldest Bible versions, the language in which apocrypha such as the Apocalypse of Baruch have come down to us, the language of a host of patristic sources, including the large oeuvre of Ephrem the Syrian, and for centuries it has been the language of liturgy, literature, and science for Christians in large parts of the Middle East. Up to this day Syriac has been used by Syriac Christians of various denominations in the Middle East and elsewhere (including the Netherlands). From a linguistic point of view Syriac is interesting as it is the most important form of Aramaic, a language with a continuous history from the tenth century BCE until now.

This course gives an introduction to the phonology, morphology, and syntax of Syriac. Thus one gathers a basic knowledge of this important Semitic language and gets access to the vast literature in Syriac.

Course objectives

– Basic knowledge of the phonology, morphology, and syntax of Syriac.
– The ability to read simple texts without help.


See Time table

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Course Load

A brief calculation of the course load, broken down by:

  • Total course load for the course (number of EC x 28 hours), for a course of 5 EC is 140 hours, for 10 EC 280. – Hours spent on attending lectures and seminars (eg 2 hours per week x 14 weeks = 28 hours) – Time for studying the compulsory literature (as a possible criterion approx. 7 pages per hour with deviations up and down depending on the material to be studied) (if applicable) time for completing assignments, whether in preparation at the college – (If applicable) time to write a paper (including reading / research)

Assessment method

Written exam with a translation assignment and open questions.


Yes, Blackboard Handouts and additional material will be available through Blackboard.

Reading list

J.F. Coakley, Robinson’s Paradigms and Exercises in Syriac Grammar (fifth edition; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002).


Via uSis
In addition to the registration in uSis, students are also expected to self-enroll in Blackboard a few weeks before the course starts.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte via:
Registration Contractonderwijs via:


Prof. dr. R.B. ter Haar Romeny