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Introduction to Akkadian (Studia Polil. series maior) (Pubblicazioni Della Classe Di Lettere E Filosofia, Scuola No) [Paperback]

Richard Caplice
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

19 Oct 2002 8876535667 978-8876535666 4th edition
A twelve lesson, or one semester, course in essential Akkadian grammar. The reading exercises in transliteration and in cuneiform are designed to introduce the student to common vocabulary and basic cuneiform signs. The exercises are chosen from Old Babylonian, but signs are introduced, as is customary, in their Neo-Assyrian form; phonetic values of signs are primarily those in use in Old Babylonian, but prominent values of later periods are also given, in parenthese. In addition to the twelve lessons, there are also appendices dealing with Akkadian phonetics and metrology, indices and a paradigm of the stong verb. Revised edition with indices to the Akkadian vocabularies and sign-lists and an English-Akkadian glossary.

Frequently Bought Together

Introduction to Akkadian (Studia Polil. series maior) (Pubblicazioni Della Classe Di Lettere E Filosofia, Scuola No) + Sumerian Grammar (Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section One, the Near [And] Mi)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 116 pages
  • Publisher: Pontificio Istituto Biblico; 4th edition edition (19 Oct 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8876535667
  • ISBN-13: 978-8876535666
  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 577,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars poor 20 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback
As a book introducing Akkadian this is pretty hopeless: poorly set out (e.g. vocabulary and glossary sections), poor explanation of topics, in particular verbs in Lesson 3, at times the author displays very clumsy English, but most importantly he gives little or no consideration to his reader. Thank goodness for Huehnergard's book which is a far superior book. Don't buy Caplice's book, you'll hate it!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for beginners 6 Jan 2011
Format:Paperback
If you've decided to learn an Ancient Near Eastern language, Akkadian is a good place to start (some of the best known ANE literature survives mostly in Akkadian). Once you've decided to lean Akkadian, you should make tracks for this book. It isn't a total grammar, and if you are wanting to take your cuneiform studies further you will need to invest in some more books, but these can be hard to find and costly. This book is a great introduction and is everything you need to make a good headway with the language and confirm your interest before handing over wads of cash. Those used to more modern teaching techniques may find the method a little old fashioned, but it is without question the best way to learn and will be more familiar if you've learnt another ancient language (such as Latin or Greek). All in all, THE book to kick start learning Akkadian.
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent manual for those working with an instructor. 13 Sep 2001
By tepi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
INTRODUCTION TO AKKADIAN by Richard Caplice with the collaboration of David Snell. 106 pp. Third revised edition. Studia Pohl : Series Maior 9. Rome : Biblical Institute Press, 1988. ISBN 88-7653-566-7 (paper).
In his interesting and informative Introduction, Caplice explains that Akkadian is one of the great languages of world history that for about 2500 years was the vehicle of one of the dominant cultures of the Ancient Near East. Abundant religious, historical, literary and grammatical records written in this language have been found, both in its heartland and in areas such as Egypt, Syria-Palestine, Anatolia and Persia. The central area of its use was ancient Mesopotamia, which in the third millenium B.C. comprised the city-states of Sumer and Akkad.
The earliest written records from this area are in Sumerian, an agglutinating language with no relationship to any other known language and which became part of the cultural heritage of Akkadian speakers. The Akkadian language, which is a Semitic language, is itself first attested in proper names found in Sumerian texts ca. 2800 B.C., but from 2500 B.C. we find texts fully written in Akkadian. In the last centuries of the pre-Christian era, Akkadian was increasingly replaced by Aramaic as a spoken language, and it survived only as a traditional scholarly language.
The present manual has been designed to offer a twelve-lesson or one-semester course in the essentials of Akkadian grammar. Each of the twelve lessons, besides concise explanations of the grammar, contains exercises in reading, transliteration and translation which introduce the student to common vocabulary and basic cuneiform signs. The book is rounded out with two Appendixes (I: General Phonetics of Akkadian; II: Numbers, Dating, Measures); an Index of Akkadian Vocabulary; an English-Akkadian Glossary; an Index of Signs; an Index of Sign-Values; and a Paradigm of the Strong Verb.
The book is beautifully printed on large pages (9.5 by 6.7 inches), stitched to open flat, and bound in a sturdy blue wrapper. In contrast to David Marcus's 'A Manual of Akkadian,' the cuneiform signs in Caplice have been printed large enough to enable the student to easily make out the structure of even complex signs. The Caplice, however, has not been designed as a self-study manual (answers to the exercises have not been included), and those who are not either linguists or working with an instructor will probably find it far less approachable than the Marcus, despite the inferior physical format of the latter. For those who may be interested, details of the Marcus text are as follows :
A MANUAL OF AKKADIAN by David Marcus. 182 pp. New York : University Press of America, 1978. ISBN 0-8191-0608-9 (pbk.)
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for Review or with Outside Helps 26 Nov 2011
By G. BARTO - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having worked with Complete Babylonian: A Teach Yourself Guide (Teach Yourself: Level 4) and A Manual of Akkadian, I have found this to be the most difficult of three. As an earlier review noted, this is not for self-study. However, even if you're learning on your own, with suitable companion texts this is a must to add to the list for two reasons: 1) There are exercises from Akkadian to English, without which it becomes to easy to skip over the intricacies of the forms so long as the words look familiar. 2) It quickly gets you used to the idea of watching for sumerograms (ideograms) as well as sound signs.

Caplice is too dense for someone taking their first stab at Akkadian/Babylonian. But if you have some exposure from elsewhere, it's an excellent text for reviewing and solidifying your understanding of Akkadian, and turning the forms into something you know, from use, as opposed to recognizing from reading. If only it had an answer key!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not good enough 2 Oct 2013
By deathlyhallows003 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This guide is an extremely thorough introduction to the Akkadian language. It is used in higher education.

But the book presents two challenges that you should be aware of: 1) It presumes prior knowledge of linguistics and linguistic conventions, especially phonetics 2) It is not written in plain and simple language, but rather using convoluted, academic terminology.

There is a big difference between explaining something and describing something, and this book should be rewritten with this in mind.

As a final note, the cuneiform in this text is very poorly written by hand; it should be replaced by text in a digital font for the sake of clarity.

Perhaps it is more useful as a reference text than anything else.
4.0 out of 5 stars A dense treatment of Akkadian that gradually adds more symbols, volcabulary, and grammar with each lesson 30 Jun 2013
By Ulfilas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As others have observed, Caplice's Introduction to Akkadian is far from being a self-help book. Nevertheless, there is still much that is attractive to the self-taught beginner who has already studied several foreign languages on his own. Especially commendable are the many useful exercises that involve writing and translation, including those involving cuneiform symbols.

One problem that bears mention is that of indices in the back of the book. The index of Akkadian vocabulary does not give the definitions for each word, but only directs the reader to the chapter where that definition can be found. Similarly, the index of cuneiform symbols gives the chapter in which each symbol is found, but not its phonetic values or meanings. A better index of cuneiform symbols is provided by Marcus' book: A Manual of Akkadian.

An index that I do like in Caplice, however, is the one which gives the normalized Akkadian expression for a number of English words--a type of index that I have not found in other books.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Revision of 1980 publication. 18 April 2013
By Nightdawn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a revision of the 1983 revision of the 1980 "Introduction to Akkadian." The supplements and revisions make this a worthwhile or necessary update for one who may have been relying heavily on an earlier edition. One interesting feature of this book beyond vocabulary and grammar, is the appendices which address Akkadian phonetics and metrology. For more information on that last, the University of Pennsylvania - where else! - has an interesting section at [...] apparently partly still under construction.
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