Study the rich history of ancient Mesopotamia. Join the MA Classics and Ancient Civilisations specialisation in Assyriology at Leiden University, one of the leading centres for learning and research in ancient Middle Eastern history. Learn from pre-eminent scholars in the field who will train you in the skills to read primary texts in a variety of languages and graduate with a comprehensive knowledge of the region’s society, economy and culture.
A combination of courses in Hittite and Luwian from MA Linguistics with those from Assyriology would provide a comprehensive programme in Hittite and Anatolian Studies, and similarly with courses from the specialisation Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology.
Leiden’s Mesopotamian and Anatolian studies programmes have gained international recognition with the success of projects like the Altbabylonische Briefe in Umschrift und Übersetzung series, which consists of a corpus of epistolary texts from the Old Babylonian period. You will be learning from acclaimed academics immersed in the latest research and engaged in actively expanding our knowledge of the field.
It is also possible to study Assyriology within the two-year Research Master’s programme Classics and Ancient Civilisations.
Check out the programme in Assyriology.
“Mesopotamia can rightly call itself the birthplace of our civilisation.”
“Being able to read cuneiform script gives me access to a number of ancient languages of Mesopotamia, such as Akkadian and Sumerian. The language gives me access to the culture of the time; I experience how people lived then, how they thought, worked and practised science. Personally,
I am very interested in Babylonian astronomy. Anyone cycling towards the Sterrenwacht, the Leiden observatory, in order to look at the heavens using an atlas of the stars, should realise that Mesopotamia gave us the wheel, writing and astronomy and can rightly call itself the birthplace of our civilisation. Without knowing about this past, we can hardly expect to explain the present day.
Our programme is located in the Netherlands Institute for the Near East (NINO) where there is a unique collection of cuneiform tablets.
Leiden is specialised in six cuneiform languages. In addition, the expertise in Leiden is focused on the second and third millennium before Christ, in particular on Early Sumerian, Old Assyrian, Old and Middle Babylonian periods and Akkadian from peripheral areas.
The MA in Languages and Cultures of Mesopotamia and Anatolia is unique in the Netherlands. We work closely with the Universities of Ghent, Leuven, Heidelberg, Münster and Cambridge; students from the research master’s programme spend at least one semester studying at one of these partner universities. Because each department has its own specialisation, we are able to offer complementarity.
We have seen enormous growth in the interest in this special field in recent years, probably because of events in Iraq.”