Civilizations of the Ancient Near East

A.Y. 2020/2021
9
Max ECTS
60
Overall hours
SSD
L-OR/01
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The main objective of the class is giving an overview of the ancient Near Eastern cultures (Levant, Mesopotamia, Anatolia and Iran), in their historical development, from the urban revolution of the 4th millennium BC to the end of the Babylonian empire in 539 BC.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding: achievement of a general understanding of the pre-classic cultures of the Levant, Mesopotamia, Anatolia and Iran in their diachronic development through the analysis of textual, iconographic and archaeological sources. Basic knowledge of the methodology of analysis and history of the research, from the beginning of the near eastern studies to the current challenges, also in relation with the geo-political situation of the Middle East.
Applying knowledge and understanding: Applying knowledge of a critical evaluation of the ancient Near Eastern cultures. Understanding of the various cultural aspects in relation to the chronological and geographical framework, recognizing the different paths of the historic development in each macro-regions (Levant, Mesopotamia, Anatolia and Iran).
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Responsible
Lesson period
Second semester
If the health situation will not allow teaching at the university, a digital classroom with online lessons will be organized with the same course's schedule using Microsoft Teams e-learning platform. the recorded lessons will be uploaded on Ariel together with additional materials and images. A forum will be created and online activities indicated on the same platform to facilitate students' interaction.
Course syllabus
The course provides an overview of the ancient Near Eastern cultures (Levant, Mesopotamia, Anatolia and Iran) between the urban revolution (4th millennium BC) and the collapse of the great Mesopotamian empires of the Iron Age (Assyria and Babylonia, first half of the 1st millennium BC).
Main teaching topics:
- cultural and historical outlines
- socio-economic structures
- religious and ideological aspects
defined in historical perspective and taking into account textual, archaeological and iconographic sources.
A comprehensive evaluation of the various datasets is carried out in order to show the importance of a global reconstruction of the past, focusing especially on cultural interactions.
The class is divided in three teaching sections (20 hours and 3 ECTS each), covering three millennia of ancient Near Eastern history:
A) from urbanization to the end of the Early Bronze Age (4th-3rd millennium BC);
B) the territorial states of the Middle and Late Bronze Age (2nd millennium BC);
C) the great empires and the kingdoms of the Iron Age (1st millennium BC).
Students can opt for two teaching units (A+B, B+C, A+C; 6 ECTS) or three teaching units (A+B+C; 9 ECTS).
Prerequisites for admission
No prerequisites for admission
Teaching methods
Each teaching section consist of a series of frontal lessons (with the help of powerpoint presentations, multimedia, 3-D models and on-line material) and lectures given by Italian and international scholars dealing with current researches on texts, archaeological material and sites.
Lessons are completed with planned discussions in order to ascertain the understanding of the various topics, check students' attention, and evaluate the in-progress applied knowledge.
E-learning material is uploaded and made available on the Ariel platform and includes copy-left figures, tables and notes of the lessons, additional materials (open-access articles) and links to further resources (websites, videos), bibliography and sitography.
Attendance is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended.
Teaching Resources
Attending students:

Teaching Section A
- class notes
- P. Matthiae, Prima lezione di archeologia orientale, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2015
- A. Invernizzi, Dal Tigri all'Eufrate - I. Sumeri e Accadi, Le Lettere, Torino 2007 (chapters II-IV)
- M. Liverani, Antico Oriente. Storia, società, economia, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2017 (chapters 1-9)

Teaching Section B
- class notes
- P. Matthiae, Prima lezione di archeologia orientale, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2015
- A. Invernizzi, Dal Tigri all'Eufrate - II. Babilonesi e Assiri, Le Lettere, Torino 2007 (chapters I-II)
- M. Liverani, Antico Oriente. Storia, società, economia, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2017 (chapters 1-2, 10-21)

Teaching Section C
- class notes
- P. Matthiae, Prima lezione di archeologia orientale, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2015
- A. Invernizzi, Dal Tigri all'Eufrate - II. Babilonesi e Assiri, Le Lettere, Torino 2007 (chapters III-IV)
- M. Liverani, Antico Oriente. Storia, società, economia, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2017 (chapters 1-2, 22-31)

Non-attending students

Teaching Section A
The same texts for attending students and one of the following books:
- M. Liverani, Uruk la prima città, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2017
- M. Frangipane, La nascita dello stato nel Vicino Oriente, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2005 (chapters VI-VIII)
- P. Matthiae, Ebla la città del trono, Einaudi, Milano 2010, part one

Teaching Section B
The same texts for attending students and one of the following books:
- P. Matthiae, La storia dell'arte dell'Oriente antico. Gli Stati territoriali (2100-1600 a.C.), Electa, Milano 2000, pp. 1-244
- P. Matthiae, La storia dell'arte dell'Oriente antico. I primi imperi e i principati del Ferro (1600-700 a.C.), Electa, Milano 1997, pp. 11-134
- P. Matthiae, Ebla la città del trono, Einaudi, Milano 2010, part two.

Teaching Section C
The same texts for attending students and one of the following books:
- P. Matthiae, La storia dell'arte dell'Oriente antico. I primi imperi e i principati del Ferro (1600-700 a.C.), Electa, Milano 1997, pp. 155-226
- P. Matthiae, La storia dell'arte dell'Oriente antico. I grandi imperi (1000-330 a.C.), Electa, Milano 1996, pp. 11-178
- P. Matthiae, Dalla terra alla storia. Scoperte leggendarie di archeologia orientale, Einaudi, Milano 2018 (chapters VIII-XI).
Assessment methods and Criteria
The assessment consists in an oral examination related to the topics listed in the teaching programme (2 teaching sections, 6 ECTS, 3 teaching sections, 9 ECTS). The evaluation (from a minimum of 18 to a maximum of 30/30 cum laude) takes into account the following assessment criteria: completeness and clarity in the presentation of the acquired knowledge of the topics, ability in the discursive argumentation and critical capacity, ability to use the appropriate language, also in relation to the specific terminology of the discipline.
International and Erasmus incoming students are requested to contact the professor in charge of the course.
The assessment methods for SLD students and students with other disabilities should be agreed with the professor in charge of the course and with the responsible university office.
Unita' didattica A
L-OR/01 - HISTORY OF ANCIENT NEAR EAST - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
L-OR/01 - HISTORY OF ANCIENT NEAR EAST - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
L-OR/01 - HISTORY OF ANCIENT NEAR EAST - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Educational website(s)
Professor(s)
Reception:
on Thursday - 16- 19 p.m. (appointment by writing an email or by chat on microsoft teams
Online-Microsoft Teams; in Person (Dipartimento Studi Letterari, Filologici e LInguistici - Sezione Glottologia e Orientalistica - Cortile d'Onore, piano ammezzato, Room AT 021)