|Aramaic in Post-Biblical Judaism and Early Christianity|
The primary focus of this track will be to introduce the participants to three Aramaic dialects, and then to give them the opportunity to do further study of one of them. The three dialects are: (1) Standard Literary Aramaic/Jewish Literary Aramaic of pre-135 Palestine; (2) Jewish Palestinian Aramaic of post-135 Palestine; and (3) Syriac. The teaching will combine grammar instruction and text reading.
Most of the participants who will have had some Aramaic, will have learned Biblical Aramaic during their student days. For them, this track will begin with a refresher week on Biblical Aramaic. For the participants who have studied Hebrew but have had no Aramaic, there will be a second "remedial" course during the first week to help them transition from their Hebrew knowledge into Aramaic.
This track will
devote a week each to the four dialects being taught. In the fifth week,
participants will choose to concentrate on one of the three dialects
that constitute the focus of the track and take the readings sessions
only in that dialect for week five and the first three days of week
For the three key dialects, two grammar textbooks will be required. For Jewish Literary Aramaic, we will use Douglas Gropp's The Aramaic of Targums Onqelos and Jonathan: An Introduction. For Syriac, Takamitsu Muraoka's Classical Syriac for Hebraists will be used, along with a syllabus provided by Lucas Van Rompay. Unfortunately, there is not a good teaching grammar for Jewish Palestinian Aramaic. To address this lack, Paul Flesher will create a Xeroxed workbook drawn from the various scholarly grammars available. For Biblical Aramaic, Franz Rosenthal's A Grammar of Biblical Aramaic, will be required.
Week 1: Biblical
Week 2: Standard
Literary Aramaic/Jewish Palestinian Aramaic
Week 3: Jewish Palestinian
Week 4: Syriac
Track #2: Seminar
Aramaic and its Literatures in Post-Biblical Judaism and Early Christianity
The aim of this
track is to introduce the participants to the literature of the Aramaic
dialects being taught and to place them into their historical/archaeological,
religious and social context. The two main goals are to provide the
participants with the background to the writings we are teaching them
to read, and to introduce them to specific historical and interpretative
problems into which their knowledge of Aramaic can give them insights.
Particular emphasis will be given to recent scholarly discussions concerning
newly discovered texts and new insights. The track thus serves to introduce
research ideas and problems to the participants and to stimulate their
thinking towards their own research projects.
Aramaic at the Crossroads
of Dura Europos: Jewish Aramaic, Syriac and Palmyrene
Track #3: The History of the Aramaic Language
This track will survey the history of the Aramaic language. It will describe the language's spread across the Middle East, the rise and fall of its dialects, and the relationships among them. The main responsibility for the track will be born by Lucas Van Rompay, with two lectures given by the internationally-respected Aramaic scholar Michael Sokoloff. The aim will be to give the participants an understanding of how the dialects they are learning fit into the overall development of the language and to apprise them of advances in scholarly knowledge of different aspects of Aramaic.
The lectures will take place on four evenings during the fifth week of the Seminar for two hours. It will essentially replace the History and Literature seminar sessions which will end in week 4. Although there will be reading lists for the different topics, these will be mostly optional; the preparation for this track will be much lighter than for the seminar sessions, so that participants may concentrate on their research projects during the day.
Session 1: Monday,
Session 2: Tuesday,
Session 3: Wednesday,
Session 4: Thursday,
APPENDIX 2: Schematic overview