The Department of Near Eastern Studies offers instruction in the languages, literatures, histories, cultures and religions of the ancient Near East and the medieval and modern Middle East. The department’s language offerings provide the foundation for the academic study of the literatures, histories, cultures and religions of the region. The ancient language offerings include Sumerian, Egyptian, Akkadian, Hittite, Ugaritic, Avestan, Aramaic, and Classical Hebrew. The medieval and modern language offerings include Armenian, Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, and Uzbek.
The division of Ancient Civilizations and Biblical Studies (ACABS) offers instruction at the introductory to advanced levels in the languages, literatures, histories, cultures, and religions of the ancient Near East (Anatolia, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Israel, Jordan, and Syria).
Why Study Classical Hebrew?
Developing competence in Classical Hebrew facilitates access to the ancient texts of Early Israel and ancient Judaism, that is, to the manuscript evidence that constitutes what we identify today as the Hebrew Bible and the so-called Jewish Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha and thereby to various aspects of the corresponding social worlds of ancient Israel and Second Temple Judaism. Not only that, but owing to its close linguistic affinities to such contemporary languages as ancient Aramaic and Phoenician, it also enhances the accelerated learning of those languages and access to the corresponding ancient writings and social worlds of the Arameans and Phoenicians.