Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Ahmad Al-Jallad

Dr. A.M. Al-Jallad
+31 71 527 2223

Ahmad Al-Jallad is a Lecturer at the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies.

More information about Ahmad Al-Jallad

Fields of interest

Ahmad Al-Jallad specializes in the early history of Arabic and North Arabian.  He has done research on Arabic from the pre-Islamic period based on documentary sources, the Graeco-Arabica (Arabic in Greek transcription from the pre-Islamic period), language classification, North Arabian epigraphy, and historical Semitic linguistics.  He has written the first grammar of Safaitic, a corpus of Ancient North Arabian inscriptions from northern Jordan and southern Syria; its second edition, with a dictionary of more than 1400 entries, will appear in 2018.

His current book project ‘The Word, the Blade, and the Pen: Three thousand years of Arabic’ (Princeton University Press) tells the story of the Arabic language, from its first attestations in the Iron Age until the age of the internet.

He is Co-PI of the Landscapes of Survival Archaeological Project in the Jebel Qurma region of Jordan, of the Thaj Archaeological Project in Saudi Arabia, and co-leads epigraphic expeditions to the basalt desert of Northern Jordan yearly.

Al-Jallad has taught courses on North Arabian epigraphy, the historical grammar of Arabic, Arabic linguistic diversity, and the linguistic history of the Middle East. 



Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University (2012)  with distinction


External Website



Key publications

  • An Outline of the Grammar of the Safaitic Inscriptions. Leiden: Brill (2015)
  • “An ancient Arabian zodiac: the constellations in the Safaitic inscriptions, Part I”.  AAE25: 214–230 (2014), Part II AAE27: 84–106.
  • “Graeco-Arabica I: The Southern Levant”. In: Arabic in Context: Celebrating 400 years of Arabic at Leiden University, A. Al-Jallad (ed.), 99–186. Leiden: Brill.
  • “Pre-Islamic " Ḥamāsah " Verses from Northeastern Jordan: A New Safaitic Poetic Text from Marabb al-Shurafāʾ, with further remarks on the ʿĒn ʿAvdat Inscription and KRS 2453”. PSAS47 (2017): 117–128.
  • “Echoes of the Baal Cycle in a Safaito-Hismaic Inscription”. JANER15 (2015). 5–19.



  • Linguistic History of the Middle East (BA) 
  • Historical and Linguistic context of the Qur’an (MA)
  • Historical Grammar of Arabic (MA Seminar) 
  • Introduction to Ancient North Arabian (MA tutorial) 
  • Arabic Dialectology (Arabic linguistic diversity) (BA) 
  • Arabic Texts (BA) 
  • The sociolinguistics of the Middle East

  • Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
  • Leiden Univ Centre for Linguistics
  • LUCL Taalwetenschap

Work address

Matthias de Vrieshof
Matthias de Vrieshof 4
2311 BZ Leiden
Room number 1.07B



No relevant ancillary activities

This website uses cookies. More information