The course will take into particular consideration the language and the Akkadian literature: relevant adjective Akkad, the ancient kingdom of central Mesopotamia, where, in the second half of the III Millennium BC, the oldest Semitic language was spoken. This later differs in the regional and diachronic variants (Paleo-, Medio- and Neo-) Assyrian and Babylonian. The cuneiform writing used to make these two languages was also used by Sumerians, Hurrites, Elamites, Amorites, Hittites and several other minor civilizations. of the Ancient Near East, whose mutual relations will be highlighted from time to time.
In particular, the Sumerico, spoken in southern Iraq until 2000 BC, survived as a school language until the end of the Mesopotamian civilizations and its knowledge – at least in its fundamental elements – is fundamental for the learning of the Akkadian.
The Mesopotamian languages, deciphered since the mid-1800s, are mainly preserved in hundreds of thousands of clay tablets, and the texts, largely untranslated, deal with the most varied subjects: from administration to literature, from history to religion, from astronomy to medicine, from music to divination.
The knowledge of the Mesopotamian civilizations is also fundamental for the understanding of the Old Testament, which has taken up myths, legends and stories (among all the History of the Flood and of Job).
Monographic courses available:
Magical rituals in ancient Mesopotamia – The Mesopotamian legislation (the Code of Hammurapi and the other Assyrian-Babylonian laws) – The epic of Gilgamesh – The myth of the flood in ancient Mesopotamia – Sapiential literature – The paleobabilonian letters