Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

Department ofClassics and Ancient
Mediterranean Studies

Tawny Holm

Tawny Holm
Head, Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies
Associate Professor of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies & Jewish Studies
101 Weaver Building University Park, PA 16802
Pronouns: She/Her


Prof. Holm’s main research areas are the Hebrew Bible in its Ancient Near Eastern context; early Judaism; and Aramaic studies, including Aramaic language and Aramean religion and culture. She is the author of Of Courtiers and Kings: The Biblical Daniel Narratives and Ancient Story-Collections (Eisenbrauns, 2013), and Aramaic Literary Texts, soon to appear in the Society of Biblical Literature series “Writings from the Ancient World.” The latter is a bilingual edition of Aramaic literary texts from the Levant to Egypt, in particular the multi-composition Papyrus Amherst 63, written in Aramaic language but with Demotic Egyptian script. Other projects include a monograph on ancient Aramaic literature generally (under contract with Walter de Gruyter). Prof. Holm is also editing a collective volume, Handbook of Religions in the Ancient Near East, for Oxford University Press, and co-editing with Juan Pedro Monferrer Sala the Proceedings volume of the 8th Biennial Meeting of the International Association of Comparative Semitics in 2019. Among other professional service, she is an editorial board member of the Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions, a member of the Eisenbrauns Editorial Committeee for Penn State University Press, and Aramaic epigrapher for The University of Vienna Middle Egypt Project at Sheikh Faḍl. She regularly teaches Hebrew Bible; Apocalypse and Beyond; Aramaic (including Syriac); Origins of God: History of Monotheism; Sacrifice and Ancient Religions; and Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations.

Prof. Holm's CV is viewable here.


National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (2015-2016)

Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion Grant (2006, for workshop series 2007-2009)

National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend (2004)

Education Details:

Ph.D., Hebrew Bible & Northwest Semitic Languages, The Johns Hopkins University, 1997


“Memories of Sennacherib in Aramaic Tradition.” Pp. 295-323 in Sennacherib at the Gates of Jerusalem (701 B.C.E.): Story, History and Historiography, ed. Isaac Kalimi and Seth Richardson. Culture and History of the Ancient Near East 71. Leiden: Brill, 2014.

“Nanay and Her Lover: An Aramaic Sacred Marriage Text from Egypt.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 76 (2017): 1-37.

“Preliminary Report on the Investigation of a Late Period Tomb with Aramaic Inscription at el-Sheikh Fadl/Egypt.” Co-authored by: E. Christiana Köhler, Delphine Driaux, Sylvie Marchand, Tawny Holm, and Arianne Capirci. Ägypten und Levante/Egypt and the Levant 28 (2018): 55-84.

“Book of Daniel.” In The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019. doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780199340378.013.ORE_REL-00152.R1

“Royal Women Sages in Aramaic Literature: The Unnamed Queen in Daniel 5 and Saritrah in the ‘Revolt of Babylon.’” Pp. 151-74 in From Mari to Jerusalem and Back: Assyriological and Biblical Studies in Honor of Jack Murad Sasson, ed. A. Azzoni et al. University Park: Eisenbrauns, 2020.

“In Praise of Gods & Goddesses in Aramean Egypt: Papyrus Amherst 63.” Hymns and Aretalogies in the Ancient Mediterranean: From Inana to Isis, ed. Laurent Bricault and Martin Andreas Stadler. Religions in the Graeco-Roman World. Leiden: Brill, in press.

“Nanay(a) among the Arameans: New Light from P. Amherst 63.” Pp. 92-116 in New Perspectives on Aramaic Epigraphy in Mesopotamia, Qumran, Egypt and Idumea: Proceedings of the Join RIAB Minerva Center and the Jeselsohn Epigraphic Center of Jewish History Conference held on March 1-3, 2017 in Ramat-Gan/Jerusalem and of a RIAB Minerva Center Workshop held on May 14, 2018 in Leipzig, ed. A. Maeir et al. Oriental Religions in Antiquity series/Research on Israel and Aram in Biblical Times 2. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, in press.

“The Wandering Arameans in Egypt: Papyrus Amherst 63.” Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel, in press.

Tawny Holm