Assyriology is one of the disciplines taught at the School since its foundation. We know, in fact, to what extent the biblical text is inseparable from the cultures of Mesopotamia from which it is partly derived.

Several eminent teachers have taught at the School during its history, the most recent being Br. Marcel Sigrist, to whom a volume of homage was recently presented.

Since this discipline is rare, this year’s introductory course in Assyriology is given by Professor Yigal Bloch, currently curator at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem and visiting professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Professor Y. Bloch’s course, entitled Israel and Judah in the Age of the Mesopotamian Empires, aims to “introduce students to the Mesopotamian sources that shed light on the relationship of the biblical kingdoms of Israel and Judah with the great powers of the early first millennium B.C. – the Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian empires. Relevant sources will be presented in relation to the biblical descriptions of the contacts of Israel and Judah with the Mesopotamian empires.”

This highly specialized 12 hours course is given via Zoom, due to sanitary circumstances, and is attended by several students and professors of the School. Each lesson is accompanied by a bibliography, therefore sources and secondary literature to be studied.

Photography : Sennacherib on his throne (bas-relief of Lakish).