NEAR ANCIENT EAST CIVILISATION
6 credits during the 1st year of 9917 HISTORICAL SCIENCES (LM-84)
The course aims at providing fundamental knowledge and basic tools to address the study of the ancient Near East during the Preclassical period. Special attention will be paid to Mesopotamia, Anatolia and the Syro-Palestinian area.
The course is meant to help develop:
- students' understanding of the major events in Ancient Near East from the 3rd millennium B.C. to the 1st millennium B.C., and students' ability to see the connection between such events and the cultural and religious contexts of the area;
- students' knowledge of the main features of biblical literary production and of the evolution of the Hebrew religion and society towards a new monotheism.
Students who undertook a postgraduate program in Ancient Studies must know in depth all the historic and cultural aspects of the Ancient world: therefore, this course is meant to fill a gap in students' knowledge.
AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES
The course is also meant to provide an in-depth knowledge of some specific aspects of the ancient Near Eastern Civilizations (specifically the civilizations of Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Syria) from a historical and cultural point of view through the analysis of different types of sources (literary, historical, juridical, and artistic sources).
The course will be structured as follows:
– the rediscovery of the civilizations of the ancient Near East; the pioneering phase of investigations and research; the first archaeological excavations
– the geographical and historical framework: the people and cultures of the ancient Near East; the available sources; the issues of the historical reconstruction
– the writings of the ancient Near East: decipherment (research history and current studies), origins, underlying mechanisms
– “Culture in the Ancient Near East”: selected readings from relevant texts.
A) BIBLIOGRAFY FOR ATTENDING STUDENTS:
– M.L. Uberti, Introduzione alla storia del Vicino Oriente antico, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2005.
And a book, at the choice of the students, between:
– M. Liverani, Uruk, la prima città, Laterza, Roma-Bari, 1998.
– P. Matthiae, Prima lezione di archeologia orientale, Laterza, Roma-Bari, 2005.
B) BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR NON-ATTENDING STUDENTS:
In addition to the readings required for attending students, non-attending students must read one of the following readings:
– W. von Soden, Introduzione all’Orientalistica antica, Brescia, Paideia, 1989: capp. 1-5, 10, 12.
– J. Bottéro, Mesopotamia. La scrittura, la ragione, gli dèi, Torino, Einaudi, 1991: pp. 53-106 (“La scrittura”) e pp. 109-165 (“La ragione: istituzioni, mentalità”).
Ricevimento: During the course semester (2nd semester) the office hours will be after the lessons. During the rest of the year, please arrange an appointment via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
MARIA ELENA BALZA (President)
BIANCA MARIA GIANNATTASIO
The course will take place during the second semester. Lessons will start February, 12th 2019
The oral exam will be about the topics covered by the course (course notes and specific readings). Minimum ‘pass’ requirements are: good understanding of the environmental, historical and cultural dynamics of the ancient Near East during the Preclassical period; ability to contextualize topics and to present them in a clear, well-reasoned way by taking into consideration the features and issues of the available documentation. Requirements for 'Excellence' are: proven ability to provide a critical analysis of sources, historical processes and historical issues related to different areas and periods. The final grade will take into account the accuracy of the answers (up to 80%), but also the student’s ability to present the topics accurately using an appropriate vocabulary (up to 20%).