Universiteit Leiden

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Hebrew and Aramaic Studies (MA)

About the programme

Classics and Ancient Civilizations covers one year and can be studied in four programmes, one of them is the Hebrew and Aramaic Studies specialisation. When you choose to study this programme you will both be guided through the broadness relevant sub-disciplines, as well as gradually led to develop your own specific research skills.

The Department offers you a wide range of expertise on historical-comparative approaches to Hebrew and Aramaic and on other, less well-known but closely related languages: Ugaritic, Phoenician and Punic, for instance, that are not easily found outside Leiden, are popular subjects here. Your primary focus will be on either Aramaic or Hebrew.

If you choose Aramaic, you will explore different Aramaic languages and literatures, including Syriac, Targumic Aramaic and Imperial Aramaic. You will have the option of studying these languages, both individually and against the background of their 3000-year history. Subjects regularly offered include:

  • The historical grammar of Aramaic
  • The Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Semitic epigraphy

If you are interested in Hebrew languages and cultures, you will study Hebrew in its broadest sense, including other closely related languages, such as Ugaritic or Phoenician.

You will study the linguistics of Hebrew both in its present-day environment and against the background of its 3000-year history. Subjects regularly offered include:

  • Biblical Hebrew texts
  • The historical grammar of Hebrew and the development of the Tiberian tradition, which also lies at the heart of Modern Hebrew
  • The Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Semitic epigraphy

The MA CAC Hebrew and Aramaic Studies programme comprises 60 EC, spread over two semesters.

Semester 1

You are required to follow the MA CAC Seminar (5 EC) and a choice of specific classes offered in the specialisation programme Hebrew and Aramaic Studies. You may choose from e.g.:

  • Historical Grammar of Hebrew and Aramaic;
  • Advanced Biblical Hebrew Grammar;
  • Cultural History of Aramaic;
  • or Reading Source Texts.

Semester 2

In the second semester you will write your master thesis (15 EC). In addition you will follow one other research seminar, for example Northwest Semitic Epigraphy or The Qumran Community.

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Self-study
  • Internship and study abroad options
  • Thesis
  • Exams
  • Peer feedback and assessment
  • Essays, reports and final thesis
  • Oral presentations

Latest Research

Content is regularly updated to reflect contemporary academic debates and the very latest insights – many of them from the research conducted by lecturers on the programme. External lecturers are regularly invited to teach on specialised topics, for example, from the Forum Antiquum and the national research institute OIKOS. The academically-rigorous design of the programme aims to develop in you essential skills in reasoning and critical thinking, as well as advanced abilities in independently conducting high-quality scientific research and developing this data into an academic dissertation.

Detailed programme

For a detailed programme, please see the Prospectus. Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may slightly differ.

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