In addition to the languages offered through our degree programs, courses are also offered in the following languages:
The ancient Babylonian-Assyrian language of Hammurabi, Sargon, and Nebuchadnezzar, Akkadian is the one of the world's oldest written languages, and is a relative of Arabic and Hebrew. Akkadian is taught at the graduate level in a two-year sequence.
Targumic Aramaic is the name given to the language used in one of the earliest translations of the Hebrew Bible. This dialect is contemporaneous with some of the Dead Sea Scrolls and is still very important in Jewish liturgy. Targumic Aramaic is taught as an advanced undergraduate level seminar that covers the grammar of the dialect and focuses on reading.
Classical Ethiopic (Ge'ez)
Classical Ethiopic is a 4th century language of a Semitic people who lived in today’s Ethiopia and Eritrea. It was and still is used by the Ethiopic church as a liturgical language. Most of the literature of this language is theological (liturgy, hagiography, patristic literature). It is offered as a graduate level seminar course that teaches the alphabet and grammar of this language in order to read translations of the Bible as well as other texts. This course is particularly important to students of Bible and religion.
Syriac is an eastern Aramaic dialect which was spoken in the Ancient Near East until the Muslim conquest. It was the major vehicle of Christianity in the East, and apart from religious texts was also used for poetry, science and philosophy. It greatly influenced Arabic, the language which replaced it as the regional lingua franca. Syriac is offered as a graduate level seminar course. In this course, the essentials of Syriac grammar are taught for the goal of reading Syriac texts. The course is especially useful for students of history, religion and linguistics.
Ugaritic is a West-Semitic language from the city of Ugarit (in Syria of today), which is attested from the 14th century BCE – 12th century BCE. Ugaritic literature is the earliest attestation of Canaanite religion and mythology, from which Israelite religion developed. These texts show significant similarity to Biblical Hebrew literature, particularly in divine imagery and poetic style. Ugaritic is offered in a graduate level course that teaches the essentials of grammar in order to read Ugaritic texts. This course is especially important for students of Bible and those who are interested in the mythology of the Near East.