Specialisation in Semitic Texts

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 5AA915

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Semitic Languages A1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Department Board, 16 August 2017
Responsible department
Department of Linguistics and Philology

General provisions

The course is given as an independent course.

Entry requirements

Fulfilment of the requirements for a Bachelor's degree with Semitic Languages or a specific Semitic language as the main field of study.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student who should to deserve the grade pass must be able at least to:

• account for the Phoenician/Paleo-Hebrew script;

• translate and philologically interpret the chosen inscriptions in Hebrew, Phoenician, and Old Aramaic;

• account for the Ugaritic script, phonology, morphology, and syntax on the basis of text samples;

• account for the classification of Ugaritic within Semitic languages;

• describe Ugaritic phonology, morphology and selected topics in syntax;

• read and transliterate the texts from photographs and hand copies;

• vocalize and parse the texts;

• interpret philologically texts in Ugaritic;

• correctly asses the relevance of Ugaritic texts for ancient Near Eastern studies, especially for the study of the Hebrew Bible.


The course consists of an introduction to Ugaritic script and language, its morphology and syntax with comparative presentation of other Northwest Semitic epigraphic languages (in particular Phoenician, Ancient Hebrew and Old Aramaic). The course aims at preparing the students for the independent study of Ugaritic texts. In addition, the course offers a practical introduction to historical and comparative Semitics. The course will emphasise linguistic study of the texts and their philological, historical, cultural and religious significance. The students will acquire solid knowledge of the grammar and of basic vocabulary and will gain familiarity with various tools and resources for the study of Ugaritic texts.


Teaching consists of seminars. Active participation is required from the students (discussion about the texts based on assigned readings, up to 40-50 pages for a meeting).


Examination takes place through a combination of written examining activities. These will include four short tests during the class meetings, the writing a philological study of the assigned text, and the final test after the end of the course. Students can chose to substitute the philological study and the final exam with a research paper of ca. 5000 thousand words, excluding bibliography.

Other directives

The course may not be included in a degree if equivalent parts have been read within another course included in the degree.