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Dr. Johannes Bach


Ancient Languages and Texts (ALT)


2021 – 2025
Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter an der Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg in der Emmy-Noether-Nachwuchsforschungsgruppe "The Hittite Annals: Origins, Purpose, and Afterlife"

2018 – 2021
Postdoc Universität Helsinki im Projekt „Ancient Near Eastern Empires“

2012 2017

Stipendiat der BerGSAS

2011 – 2012     
Stipentdiat des DFG-Forschungsprojektes "A Scientific Approach to the text from Hattusha/Boghazköy and other Ancient Near Eastern Sites"

Seit 2010     
Freie Kooperation mit der Uni Halle

Abschluss in Assyriologie, Alte Geschichte und Vergleichende historische Sprachwissenschaft als M.A.

2003 – 2010     
Studium der Germanistik, Alten Geschichte, Assyriologie und vergleichende historische Sprachwissenschaft

1990 – 2003     
Schulbesuch, Abitur am Gymnasium Fridericianum Erlangen (humanistisch)

Geboren in Erlangen

Studies of the Assyrian Royal Narrative’s Transtextual Poetics

The project researches the transtextual poetics of the Assyrian lordly-narrative texts in a diachronic-analytical approach.

In the first part of the study modern inter- and transtextual theories are discussed and evaluated. For the textually pragmatic approach taken in the present study it is most feasible to use the theoretical works of Gérard Genette. Based on the works of Genette a methodology comprising five analytical steps is developed in connection to the theory section. A discussion of Genette’s theory of genre, the so-called ‚architextuality‘ ensues, which also draws on his works on narrativity. The theory of architextuality is applied to the object of investigation of the study, which in turn gets analysed correspondingly for the Old and Middle Assyrian periods. Here the analysis of the content section takes up the most space, its results are collected in an attached register. Concluding the first part a subcomponent of the Middle Assyrian architext, the continuously developing‚ agricultural pictorial language of the texts, is discussed exemplarily using Jurij Lotman’s theory of the semiosphere.

The second part comprises two Neo Assyrian case studies carried out according to the methodology developed in the first part. The first case study deals with the text TCL 3 (‚Sargon’s Eighth Campaign‘). The exquisite intertextual poetics of the piece are analysed, put into comparatistic perspective and evaluated. The results support the arguments concerning the ritual embeddedness of the text recently made by Pongratz-Leisten 2015. The second case study examines the text Esh. 1 (= RINAP 4.1), also known as the ‚Apology of Esarhaddon‘. This piece is also analysed and evaluated corresponding to the developed method. As the required cultural-poetic comparison would in this case exceed the present works boundaries, Esh. 1 is summarily evaluated and put into context with the Sargonid and older Assyrian lordly-narrative texts of the 1st millenium BCE instead. The thesis closes with a summary and an evaluation of the carried out research, an overview of future research possiblities and an emphasis of the scientific added value provided by the present study.

This dissertation project was successfully completed within the Research Group B-4 Space – Identity – Locality. The Construction of Knowledge related Identity Spaces of the Excellence Cluster 264 Topoi.


Untersuchungen zur transtextuellen Poetik der assyrischen herrschaftlich-narrativen Texte (SAAS 30). Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project.


In Druck
An Outline of a Methodology for the Transtextual Analysis of Assyrian Royal Narrative Texts [Shehata, D. et al. (ed.s); Proceedings WS "How to tell a story" RAI 2017]

Emotions in Royal Narrative Texts: An Overview; in Sonik, Karen /Steinert, Ulrike: The Routledge Handbook of Emotions in the Ancient Near East.

"Revisiting the Representation of the 'Other' in 'Sargon’s Eighth Campaign'", in: L. Portuese /    M. Pallavidini: Rethinking Ideology and Propaganda in the Ancient Near East, 115-142.

Review Tudeau 2019; in ZA 112/1, 141-144.

"Gilgamesch, ein Krieger-Held? Wandlungen einer antiken Heldenfigur"; in: Petersen, Chr. / May, M. (ed.s): Heroen – Helden. Eine Geschichte der literarischen Exorbitanz von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart. Göttingen: Wallenstein.

[Review article] From the Armory of Narrative Art: The Intertextuality of Mythological Epics in Ancient Mesopotamia; in Bibliotheka Orientalis 78, 24-28.

An Analytical Catalogue of Similes and Literal Comparisons in Pre-Neo-Assyrian Royal Narrative Texts; in: SAAB 27, 1-75.

Transtextual Stylization of Neo-Assyrian Accounts of War; in: Katia Gavagnin, Rocco Palermo (ed.s): "Imperial Connections. Interactions and Expansion from Assyria to the Roman Period. Volume 2. Proceedings of the 5th "Broadening Horizons" Conference (Udine 5-8 June 2017)", Trieste, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 29-41.

Royal literary identity under the Sargonids and the Epic of Gilgameš, in: Töyräänvuori, J. (eds.): The Construction of Identity in the Ancient World, WdO 50/2 (2020), 318-338.

Recension of RINAP 5/1; in: JNES 79/1, 125-127.

LKA 64: A possible Royal Song (zamar šarri) celebrating the Trans-Euphratian Victories of Aššurnaṣirpal II’s 9th Campaign; in: UF 49 [2018].

Drachen in Mesopotamien; in: May, M. / Baumann, M. / Baumgartner, R. /  Eder, T. (eds.): Den Drachen denken, 27-47, Bielefeld: transcript, 2019.

A Transtextual View on the "Underworld Vision of an Assyrian Prince", in: Panayotov, S. / Vacín, L. (ed.): Mesopotamian Medicine and Magic (FS Geller), 69-92, Leiden: Brill, 2018.


Rezension Madreiter 2012
; in AfO 53, 285-287.

Rezension Rollinger 2013; in AfO 53, 370-372.

"Berossos, Antiochos und die Babyloniaka", in: AWE 13.