Ancient Jewish Studies

Professors

Richard Kalmin, Talmud and Rabbinics, Program Advisor (on leave 2013–2014)

Judith Hauptman, Talmud and Rabbinics

David Marcus, Talmud and Rabbinics (on sabbatical fall 2013)

Postdoctoral Fellow

Sarit Kattan Gribetz

The program in Ancient Jewish Studies is interdisciplinary, designed to enable students to explore the history and culture of the Jews of antiquity (6th century BCE to 6th century CE). It has three components: gaining competence handling rabbinic texts; studying the political and social history of the Jews of antiquity and the political and social history of the empires that ruled them (Persian, Greek, Roman, Parthian, Sassanian, and early Byzantine); and studying the intellectual and religious history of ancient Judaism and the other religious and intellectual traditions of late antiquity (Persia, Egypt, Hellenistic and Roman empires; Christianity, gnosticism, philosophy, magic, and law). Students are expected to take courses in Bible, history, and rabbinics.

Degrees 

Bachelor of Arts

Admission Requirements
See the List College Admissions page.

Degree Requirements

  • One course (3 credits) HIS 1010: Ancient Jewish History
  • Two courses (6 credits) of an ancient language (e.g., Aramaic, Akkadian, Ugaritic, biblical grammar, Greek)
  • Two courses (6 credits) of ancient Jewish history or literature (other than rabbinic) or in related fields such as classics and Christianity
  • Two courses (6 credits) of Talmud
  • Two courses (6 credits) of Midrash
  • One course (3 credits) senior/capstone seminar

Master of Arts

Admission Requirements
Learn more about admission to The Graduate School.

Degree Requirements
Courses

Students entering the program will be required to take the following courses, or the equivalent, if they have not had the equivalent previously:

  • One Bible course beyond BIB 5011
  • Second Year Talmud Text

Students are permitted to register for courses counting toward the degree while fulfilling these prerequisites.

In addition to courses required of all students in The Graduate School, 30 graduate credits are required, including HIS 6117, one additional relevant history course 7000-level or above, and one Talmud course 7000-level or above. Other courses will be determined in consultation with the advisor.

Comprehensive Examination or Thesis
All students must satisfactorily complete either an examination based on primary and secondary readings or a thesis, to be determined in consultation with the advisor. If the exam is selected, the reading list will be prepared in consultation with the advisor.

Doctor of Hebrew Literature

Admission Requirements
Learn more about admission to The Graduate School.

Degree Requirements
Courses

In addition to courses required of all students in The Graduate School, 30 graduate credits beyond the MA degree are required, including at least 3 credits in an advanced text course in Midrash and 3 credits in an advanced text course in Talmud. Students who have not received a master's degree in Ancient Judaism may be required to complete additional courses as prerequisite work. All course selections will be determined in consultation with the advisor.

Comprehensive Examination
Upon satisfactory completion of all course work, students must take an oral or written exam on both the political and social history of the Jews of antiquity and the intellectual and religious history of ancient Judaism. The examination will be divided into two parts: one covering roughly the Persian and Greco-Roman periods, and the second covering the Roman, Iranian, and early Byzantine periods. Reading lists will be prepared in consultation with the advisor.

Dissertation
A book-length dissertation that makes a contribution to the study of the Jews and Judaism in antiquity.

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements
Learn more about admission to The Graduate School.

Degree Requirements
Languages
In addition to languages required of all students in the The Graduate School, students must pass exams in French, German, Greek, and either Syriac or Latin.

Courses
In addition to courses required of all students in The Graduate School, at least 30 graduate credits beyond the MA degree are required. Students who have not received a master's degree in Ancient Judaism or its equivalent may be required to complete additional courses as prerequisite work. All courses will be determined in consultation with the advisor.

Comprehensive Examinations
Upon satisfactory completion of all course work, students must take a written or oral exam covering the entire field of ancient Judaism, in addition to a minor field cognate to ancient Judaism. Reading lists will be prepared in consultation with the advisor.

Dissertation
A book-length dissertation that makes an important and original contribution to the study of the Jews and Judaism in antiquity.

Search the Course Catalog for ANC courses