28772 - History of Ancient Near East (1) (LM)

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Palmiro Notizia

  • Credits 6

  • SSD L-OR/01

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Archaeology and Cultures of the Ancient World (cod. 8855)

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale

  • Course Timetable from Jan 30, 2023 to Mar 10, 2023

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

Purpose of the course is to make students sensitive to a structural approach toward the various civilizations that flourished in the ancient Near East from the IV to the I millennium BC. At the end of the course the student will acquire a deep knowledge of the historical and cultural development of that region before the Persians; will get acquainted with the key issues of the historiographical research in this field along with its peculiar sources and methodology; will be able to place the main historical events and phenomena in their proper geographical and chronological setting; will have learnt to recognize the elements of continuity and discontinuity through time and space; will be capable of understanding the original features of the ancient Near Eastern civilizations.

Course contents

The course offers an introduction to the history of the ancient Near East and is divided into two parts. The first part will provide an overview of the political, socio-economic, religious and cultural structures of the civilizations that flourished in the region comprised between Egypt, the Aegean, and Central Asia in the period between the emergence of early states and writing (end of the fourth millennium BC) and the death of Alexander the Great at Babylon (323 BC).

The second part of the course will focus on forced mobility, slavery and servile labor in third and second millennium BC Mesopotamia; a wide range of Sumerian and Akkadian sources (letters, administrative texts, royal inscriptions, law “codes”, trial records, etc.) in translation will be examined during classes.

Students not attending classes are invited to contact the teacher in order to arrange an alternative program.



M. Liverani, Antico Oriente. Storia, società, economia. Roma/Bari: Laterza, 2011 (or any previous edition).


M. Van de Mieroop, A History of the Ancient Near East, ca. 3000-323 BC. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell, 20163.

Teaching methods

Lectures and class discussions.

Assessment methods

Oral examination aiming at verifying the student’s knowledge of the topics covered during the course and of the assigned readings. The overall evaluation will take into account attendance to classes and active participation in class discussions.

Excellent knowledge of the topics, clarity in the exposition, correct use of the terminology, and ability to formulate and develop critical and rigorous arguments are necessary to attain an excellent mark.

Students showing good knowledge of the main themes treated during the course, ability to discuss specific issues, while failing to use an appropriate terminology, will receive a good mark.

Students who do not show an adequate knowledge of the topics discussed during the course will not pass the exam.

Teaching tools

PowrPoint presentations and other teaching materials will be provided by the teacher.

Office hours

See the website of Palmiro Notizia