Hebrew has been in use for more than three thousand years, making it one of the very few languages that is attested both in ancient and modern times. It is best known as the language of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), which is a collection of books that were written between about 1200 BCE and 150 BCE. Following the Roman invasions into the biblical lands in the first two centuries CE, Hebrew fell out of use as a spoken language by around the third century CE. It remained in use, however, as a literary and liturgical language among the Jews, and there is a huge corpus of Hebrew literature from that period, through medieval times, and into the modern era. In the late nineteenth century, Hebrew was revived as a spoken language, and today has about five million native speakers in Israel and abroad.
Degree Types: Minor
About the Program
You might like this program if…
- You want to be able to analyze classical Jewish texts in their original language.
- You hope to further pursue an education and career in religious studies.
- You have an interest in learning about Jewish culture in a more immersive way.
Have questions about this program?
Future students, contact Chantel Harley.
Current students, contact your academic adviser.
This program is housed in the Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies
at Penn State University Park.