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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23

Department: Theology and Religion

THEO53430: Advanced Aramaic

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Not available in 2021/22


  • Aramaic and/or Syriac of at least an introductory undergraduate level.


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • THEO3031


  • To enable a detailed knowledge of Aramaic grammar and syntax, enabling study of texts throughout a wide range of Aramaic dialects, and to develop linguistic and exegetical expertise necessary for in-depth analysis of ancient Aramaic literature.


  • Students will translate texts from a representative range of ancient Aramaic dialects. They will also complete a commentary of no fewer than 5,000 words on one Aramaic text in particular, to be chosen in consultation with the instructor. This commentary will use the student’s independent research to discuss linguistic and exegetical issues important for a scholarly understanding of the text.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • to translate accurately and independently Aramaic texts whose language, grammar, and syntax involve a high degree of complexity and difficulty
Subject-specific Skills:
  • to offer solutions to linguistic and exegetical problems encountered in the texts studied
  • to engage critically with modern scholarly treatments of one ancient Aramaic text in particular
Key Skills:
  • students will acquire the ability to offer independent assessments of the texts studied, and the scholarly treatments of them
  • they will be able to demonstrate familarity with other writings which may assist in the explication of the texts they have studied.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Texts offered for study in this module are chosen with an eye to encouraging the student to work independently, and to bring to the regular seminars such insights as he or she may have gathered in the course of private study. The seminars also give opportunities for full discussion of problems in the text, whether literary, textual, or exegetical.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 44 2 per week 1 hour 44
Preparation, research, and writing 256
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 5000 word 100%

Formative Assessment:

Exercises in translation and exegesis

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University