Fall Course Guide

Near Eastern Studies

Ancient Civilizations and Biblical Studies (ACABS) (Division 314)

Fall Term, 1998 (September 8-December 21, 1998)

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100(GNE 100)/AAPTIS 100/HJCS 100/Hist 132. Peoples of the Middle East. (4). (HU).
See AAPTIS 100. (Babayan)
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101(ABS 201). Elementary Biblical Hebrew I. (3). (LR).
The purpose of this and the complementary course, 102 Elementary Biblical Hebrew II (Winter Term), is to equip the beginning student with the tools necessary for reading the Hebrew Bible. The course will introduce the student to the grammar of biblical Hebrew; its phonology (the study of speech sounds), morphology (the study of word formation), and syntax (the study of phrase and sentence formation). In addition to mastering the grammar, the student will need to acquire a sizable working vocabulary of the language, for competency in grammar and lexicon best facilitates the goal of reading the biblical text. The grading will be based on corrected daily assignments (i.e., the exercises), 13-14 announced quizzes (one class day advance notice), a final comprehensive exam, as well as attendance and participation. The daily assignments will comprise 25% of the grade, the ten-best quizzes 25% the final exam 25% and attendance and participation 25%.
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200(ABS 200)/Rel. 201/AAPTIS 200/HJCS 200. Introduction to World Religions: Near Eastern. (4). (HU).
See Religion 201. (Williams, Jackson, Schramm)
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201(ABS 401). Intermediate Biblical Hebrew, I. ACABS 102. (3). (LR).
This course is an introduction to the literature of the Hebrew Bible. Texts representing different literary genres and dating from different periods will be read in the original. Students will be introduced to the history of the text of the Hebrew Bible and the problems of its translation and interpretation. Special emphasis will be placed on refining the student's knowledge of Biblical Hebrew through the study of Hebrew syntax. Required books are (1) a copy of the Biblical Hebraica, and (2) a proper dictionary of classical Hebrew. (Schmidt)
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221(ABS 280)/Rel. 280. Jesus and the Gospels. (4). (HU).
The course will probe the Gospels, including some non-canonical versions (e.g., the Gospel according to Thomas), as sources of the life and teachings of Jesus, the Jew. How reliable are the portraits of Jesus in the Gospels, the oldest of which having been written some forty years after his execution? Through an acquirement of the various critical methods which are applied to the Gospel texts by scholars, the students will be enabled to form a defensible answer to this question. In addition to the methodological instruction and exercises, there will be an impartion of the necessary knowledge about ** historical, social, and religious world of Jesus and the Gospels, so that a correct reading of Jesus within Judaism might be given. The format of the course consists of three lectures per week by the instructor and a weekly discussion session conducted by a teaching assistant. The course grade will be based upon daily assignments, and attendance (20%), two major examinations-midterm written exam (30%) and a final oral exam (30%), and an introductionary essay (8-10 pages) on a topic of choice in consultation with the instructor (20%). Cost:2 WL:3
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266. Before the Bible: Religion and Culture of Ancient Phoenicia and Palestine. (3). (Excl).
Introduction to the religion, mythology and culture of the Phoenicians, the ancient inhabitants of the cities of Palestine, Lebanon, and the Transjordan in the pre-Biblical and biblical periods. The religion of Israel, from which Judaism and Christianity descend, was historically a reformation of Phoenician religion. The students will be introduced to the gods of the Phoenicians and the rich mythology in which they figure. They will learn about the power of faith, the institutions of Phoenician religion, including the cult of infants sacrifice. The student will also learn about Phoenician values, such as public service, about Phoenician maritime activity, such as the circumnavigation of Africa, and about the role of the Phoenicians in teaching the alphabet to the world. Examinations will be a midterm and final. There will also be a 10-page paper. (Krahmalkov)
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382. Introduction to Egyptian Archaeology. (4). (HU).
This course focuses specifically on the material culture and disposition of archaeological sites in ancient Egypt and Nubia from ca. 3200 bc. 285 ac. The logic and nature of both sacred and secular landscapes will be explored, and specific sites, some well-known (such as the extensive temple precinct at Karnak and the Meroitic pyramids), some less well-known (such as the town of Karanis and the city of Kerma), will be investigated as examples of different kinds of interpretive problems in archaeology. The course will also introduce a consideration of theoretical approaches to Nile Valley archaeological data and the ways in which they articulate with other sources of information. While it is complementary in subject matter to ACABS 281, which concentrates on the history of ancient Egypt of the Dynastic period through texts, this course is designed to stand alone. Course grade is based on midterm, final and a term paper. (Richards)
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411(ABS 521). Introduction to Akkadian. Permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).
This course is an introduction to the literary language of the Babylonians and Assyrians. In the first term (this course) the basics of Akkadian grammar will be presented There will be weekly homework exercises and in-class recitation. Individual tutoring maybe organized as needed. There will also be an introduction to cuneiform signs, the script of the ancient texts. The course grade is based on in-class recitations and a number of exams, including a final exam. (The second term of this course progresses to reading of ancient myths from Mesopotamia in the original language and signs.) Cost:2 WL:3
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413(ABS 440)/Anthro. 442/Hist. 440. Ancient Mesopotamia: History and Culture. Junior standing. (3). (HU).
This course will survey Sumerian, Babylonian, and Assyrian civilization from the first cuneiform documents (ca.3100BC) to the fall off the Neo-Babylonian empire (539 BC). Special attention will be paid to the following topics of social and political organization: the rise and nature of early Mesopotamian states; economy in Mesopotamia (redistribution and markets); rural and urban inter-relations; Mesopotamian Law; Babylonian and Assyrian relations; Mesopotamia and its neighbors (Israel and Persia); the collapse of the Mesopotamian civilization. One textbook and course pack of readings will be the course's texts. Course grade is based on hourly exams and a term paper. Cost:2 WL:3 (Yoffee)
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511(ABS 527). Introduction to Sumerian. (3). (Excl).
This course will provide an introduction to Sumerian, the earliest written language in the world. The main focus will be on the grammar, primarily morphology, and on the structure of the cuneiform writing system. Simple texts will be read in class and analyzed. In addition, the course will provide basis information on the history and cultural of early Mesopotamia. A basic knowledge of the cuneiform script is required, but interested beginners should contact the instructor. The one book that students will need is Marie-Louise Thomsen, The Sumerian Language. (Michalowski)
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521(ABS 723). Coptic, I. (3). (Excl).
In this course, students will learn to read Coptic, the latest form of the ancient Egyptian language. Coptic was the main indigenous language for early Christianity in Egypt, and is the language in which many important texts relating to Christianity, Gnosticism, and Manichaeism are known. This course will concentrate on mastering the grammar of Sahidic Coptic, the standard literary dialect of the language. The textbook will be Thomas O. Lambdin's Introduction to Sahidic Coptic. No prerequisites. (Wilfong)
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543(Hebrew 548)/HJCS 543. The Bible in Jewish Tradition. Permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).
See HJCS 543. (Schramm)
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581(ABS 511). Ugaritic, I. ACABS 102. (3). (Excl).
Ugaritic was the Northwest Semitic language, closely related to Hebrew and Phoenician, spoken in the city of Ugarit on the coast of Syria. The language and its literature were discovered in 1929. Classical Ugaritic literature consists of the ancient myths and legends of the Canaanite peoples in versions written down in the Late Bronze Age (ca. 1350). The texts are important for an understanding of common Canaanite culture, religion, language and poetic composition. In the first term, the student will acquire the elements of the language and familiarity with a small corpus of mythological texts from the Baal Cycle. A knowledge of Classical Hebrew or another classical Semitic language (Arabic, Akkadian) is required. There is no textbook: the student will learn the grammar in class and compile his/own own manual. There are two examinations, a midterm and final, weighted 40% and 60% respectively. Regular class attendance is required. (Krahmalkov)
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585. Advanced Middle Egyptian. ACABS 485, 486. (3). (Excl).
Intended as a continuation to the introduction sequence of ACABS 485-486, students in this course further their knowledge of Middle Egyptian beyond the first year through study of a variety of texts in this language. Students will read a selection of biographical, literary, religious magical, medical and documentary texts in Middle Egyptian, from modern transcriptions and facsimiles of the ancient originals. Students will also read and translate Middle Egyptian texts from artifacts in the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology. (Wilfong)
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592. Seminar in Ancient Civilizations and Biblical Studies. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 Mesopotamian Myth and Ritual
Mesopotamian religion is often described in static terms, as if it were a discreet, unchanging, well defined object of study. In this seminar we will concentrate on the myriad elements that constituted a constantly changing series of concentric circles of ideas that we bring together under one label. After a general overview of the main elements of the religion we will discuss selected topics. These topics will be defined in a variety of terms and will touch on a number of larger issues such as the role of religion and myth in state formation, the representation of order, gender, and violence, as well as the relationship between official and private worship and devotion. Students who have no familiarity with with ancient languages will utilize English translations of Mesopotamian compositions, but graduate students in NELC will be expected to work with the original texts. (Michalowski)
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