Academic Year 2022/2023 - Teacher: MARCO MORIGGI

Expected Learning Outcomes

According to the Dublin descriptors, at the end of the course students will demonstrate:

1) Knowledge of the most relevant contents and methodologies of Semitic epigraphy; 2) groundings of Aramaic epigraphy from Mesopotamia (Late Antiquity, 1st-3rd cent. AD); 3) development of reading skills of epigraphic texts in Aramaic language in both synchronic and diachronic perspectives; 4) communicative skills enabling the student to spread knowledge and expertise in both specialist and non-specialist contexts; 5) development of learning capacities leading to a totally autonomous and self-directed study (Dublin Descriptors 2nd cycle qualification).

Course Structure

Class lectures

Lessons will be taught in English

Required Prerequisites

Basic knowledge of the historical framework and the most relevant archaeological evidence of Eastern Mediterranean from the 3rd millenium BC to the 1st millenium AD. Basic knowledge of the methodology of archaeological excavations.

Attendance of Lessons


Detailed Course Content

- Introduction to Semitic Epigraphy: history of scholarship, a geographical and historical overview on epigraphic Semitic languages.

- Reading Aramaic inscriptions from the region of Middle Euphrates: transliteration, translation and commentary of an anthology of texts (1st-3rd cent. AD). Further discussion will take place about their function in the archaeological context.

Textbook Information

- K. Beyer, Die aramäischen Inschriften aus Assur, Hatra, und dem übrigen Ostmesopotamien (datiert 44 v. Chr bis 238 n. Chr) (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1998), pp. 191.

- K. Butcher, Small change at the edge of empire: the coin finds from Kifrin, Mesopotamia 55 (2020): 51–69.

- S.R. Hauser, Ecological limits and political frontiers: the “The Kingdom of the Arabs” in the eastern Jazira in the Arsacid period, in: L. Milano/A. de Martino/F.M.         Fales/G.B. Lanfranchi (eds.), Landscapes. Territories, frontiers and horizons in the Ancient     Near East (Padova: S.A.R.G.O.N., 2000), 187‒201.

- F. Safar, Inscriptions from Wadi Hauran, Sumer 20 (1964): 9–27; pls. i–iii.

- J.B. Segal, Arabs at Hatra and the vicinity: marginalia on new Aramaic texts, JSS 31 (1986): 57–80.

- M. Sommer, Hatra — imperiale und regionale Herrschaft an der Steppengrenze, Klio 85 (2003): 384–398.

- J. Starcky, Une inscription palmyrénienne trouvée près de l’Euphrate, Syria 40 (1963): 47‒55; pl. iv, no. 3.

- J. Teixidor, Deux inscriptions palmyréniennes du musée de Bagdad, Syria 40 (1963): 33‒46; pls. iii‒iv.

- M. Truddaiu, Hatra e le sue monete, Monete Antiche 4.22 (2005): 29–35.

- K. Tsereteli, Grammatica generale dell’aramaico (Torino: Silvio Zamorani editore, 1995).

I testi sono resi disponibili sulla piattaforma STUDIUM.

Course Planning

 SubjectsText References
1Introduction to Semitic epigraphy: texts and contexts.
2Middle Euphrates in the Imperial period: armies, merchants, sheperds.Hauser 2000 - Sommer 2003
3Aramaic as the language of the Roman Euphrates limes.Hauser 2000 - Sommer 2003
4Aramaic inscriptions from the limes ISafar 1964
5Aramaic inscriptions from the limes IISafar 1964
6Aramaic inscriptions from the limes IIISafar 1964
7Aramaic inscriptions from the limes IVStarcky 1963 - Teixidor 1963
8Aramaic inscriptions from the limes VStarcky 1963 - Teixidor 1963
9Aramaic inscriptions from the limes VIStarcky 1963 - Teixidor 1963
10Aramaic inscriptions from the limes VIIStarcky 1963 - Teixidor 1963
11Monetary inscriptions and Aramaic: Kifrin IButcher 2020 - Truddaiu 2005
12Monetary inscriptions and Aramaic: Kifrin IIButcher 2020 - Truddaiu 2005
13Middle Euphrates between Rome and Parthia: buffer states and cultural identities ISegal 1986
14Middle Euphrates between Rome and Parthia: buffer states and cultural identities IISegal 1986 - Hauser 2000
15Greek and Aramaic on the Middle Euphrates IBeyer 1998
16Greek and Aramaic on the Middle Euphrates IIBeyer 1998
17Euphrates limes: perspectives for epigraphic and archaeological research
18Euphrates limes: perspectives for epigraphic and archaeological research

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

Oral examinations will consist in a discussion of the contents of the course aimed at checking knowledge, reading skills of the texts and contextualization of their contents in the respective historical and geographical frameworks.

Exams’ typology may be subject to change according to emergencies and/or other concurring events.

Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

1) Describe the physical support, materiality and archaeological context of an inscription and link these data to the contents of its text.

2) Transliterate and translate an inscription and briefly describe some of its linguistic peculiarities (spelling, phonology, etc.).