Ancient Near East


Director: Professor Thomas Römer

The Institute of the Ancient Near East (Institut du Proche-Orient Ancien, IPOA), whose Director is Thomas Römer, comprises three exceptional libraries and research centers: the Assyriology Library, the Library of Oriental Christianities and the Library of Western Semitic Studies.

The large number of users, including researchers from CNRS unit UMR 7192 (which shares its director with the Institute of the Ancient Near East): Near East - Caucasus: languages, archaeology and cultures, which covers most Institute of the Ancient Near East fields, and a variety of PhD students, are proof of the interest and dynamism generated by the Institute’s research areas.

Moreover, two titles published by the Institute, the Cahiers de l'Institut du Proche-Orient Ancien du Collège de France and Semitica, embody this dynamic research and illustrate the relationships between different researchers in these disciplines across the three libraries.


Loraine Marcheix
Tel.: +33 (0)1 44 27 10 43 or 10 51

Library of Assyriology

Created in 1936 by Charles Fossey, this library houses a specialist collection relating to the history of the ancient Near East, with a particular emphasis on cuneiform, Sumerian and Assyro-Babylonian material. It also houses a major collection relating to Anatolia, and to Hittite, Hurrian and Elamite studies. The archaeology of the Near East is also well represented, although the holdings are less extensive.
A variety of other holdings, including the François Thureau-Dangin collection, also form part of the library.

Library of Oriental Christianities

This library brings together collections of books, periodicals and offprints relating to the study of New Testament literature and the history of Oriental Christianities. Judeo-Christianity, Gnosticism, Syrian-Egyptian monachism, and Manichaeism are particularly well-represented.

The Library of Western Semitic Studies

The Library of Western Semitic Studies houses a specialist collection relating to Hamito-Semitic linguistics, western and southern Semitic epigraphy, and the history and archaeology of the Near East, North Africa and Ethiopia. A significant part of the collection relates to the study of the Old Testament and the Qumran manuscripts. Collections bequeathed by André Dupont-Sommer, Jean Starcky, Marcel Cohen, Maxime Rodinson and André Caquot form an integral part of this library.