Public Release: 

12th Mainz International Colloquium on Ancient Hebrew (MICAH) & The Idea of Writing

International joint conference in Mainz from Oct. 29 to Nov. 1 will bring together experts to discuss the current status of research into the ancient Hebrew language as well as general aspects of historical and contemporary writing systems

Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz

This news release is available in German.

The Research Unit on Ancient Hebrew and Epigraphy at the Faculty of Protestant Theology at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in Germany will hold the 12th Mainz International Colloquium on Ancient Hebrew (MICAH) from Thursday, 29th October, to Sunday, 1st November 2015. Academics from around the world are invited to come together and use this forum to discuss new findings relating to the ancient Hebrew language and the current status of research in the field. The colloquium was first organized in Mainz in 1998 (although under another name) by Dr. Reinhard G. Lehmann of the JGU Faculty of Protestant Theology and has since become one of the major academic conventions in the field of ancient Hebrew. It is expected that scholars specializing in the subjects of Old Testament, Semitic, and Ancient Near Eastern Studies as well as historians from many European countries, together with academics from Israel, South Africa, Canada, and the USA will attend the three-day event and will use the opportunity to exchange information, to present their projects, and to provide new input. Topics of the 12th MICAH cover grammar and linguistics of Ancient and Classical Hebrew (Epigraphic and Biblical Hebrew, Qumran and related Hebrew, and Ben Sira), as well as studies of older or contemporary adjacent Semitic languages and epigraphy, as for instance Ugaritic, Phoenician-Punic, Old and Imperial Aramaic and Early Syriac, Moabite and Edomite and the like in phonetics, lexic, morphology, and syntax.

"The ancient Hebrew of the Bible cannot be adequately understood without a knowledge of the various neighboring languages and other historical and language-historical factors," explains Dr. Reinhard G. Lehmann, who is organizing and hosting the colloquium together with Dr. Anna Zernecke. "The courses offered at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz thus also cover languages such as ancient Aramaic, Phoenician, and Ugaritic as well as northwest Semitic epigraphy and paleography. The colloquium provides us with the opportunity to discuss these subjects at an international academic level."

The 2015 MICAH event will be held in association with the annual "The Idea of Writing" meeting that is hosted by various universities in rotation and this year is to take place in Mainz. "The Idea of Writing" focuses on an interdisciplinary discussion of writing and related topics. Here philologists, linguists, grammatologists, historians, and researchers into the culture of various languages and scripts will be looking at general aspects of historical and contemporary writing systems. The first "The Idea of Writing" conferences were held in Leiden and then in cities all over Europe, which are famous for their research related to the topic. Each conference has a distinct subject chosen by the host of the conference. This year's main topic "Long hand and short hand" may cover script systems from all over the world, such as Egyptian, Chinese, Japanese, Maya, Luwian, Hangul and Semitic or Western Alphabetic, with a special focus on the impact of fast and fluent versus slow, untrained, or even clumsy scribal hand on the style, form, and layout of script and the overall result.

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Those specializing in these areas can now register informally by email at idea-of-writing@uni-mainz.de or micah@uni-mainz.de to participate in the joint conference from October 29, 2015 to November 1, 2015. For information on the registration fee, please visit http://www.micah.hebraistik.uni-mainz.de/273.php.

The conference language will be English.

A list of speakers at the 12th Mainz International Colloquium on Ancient Hebrew and the conference "The Idea of Writing" and additional information can be found at http://www.micah.hebraistik.uni-mainz.de/204.php. The finalized program will be available from mid-October.

Contact and further information:

Dr. Reinhard G. Lehmann
Research Unit on Ancient Hebrew and Epigraphy
Faculty of Protestant Theology
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU)
55099 Mainz, GERMANY
phone +49 6131 39-23284
fax +49 6131 39-22603

Dr. Anna Elise Zernecke
Old Testament Studies and Biblical Archaeology
Faculty of Protestant Theology
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU)
55099 Mainz, GERMANY
phone +49 6131 39-22687

e-mail: micah@uni-mainz.de

http://www.hebraistik.uni-mainz.de/eng/

http://www.micah.hebraistik.uni-mainz.de/eng/204.php

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