Christopher Metcalf


Junior Research Fellow in Lesser Known Languages and Scripts of the Ancient World, Wolfson College 

Faculty / College Address:

Oriental Institute / Wolfson College


Research Interests:

My field of research is ancient Mesopotamia, in particular Sumerian and Akkadian literature. I also take an interest in Hittite and in the relationship between early Greece and the ancient Near East. Before joining Wolfson I was a fixed-term lecturer in Ancient Near Eastern Studies at SOAS, University of London, and a doctoral student in Classics at Balliol College, Oxford.

A revised version of my D.Phil. thesis has been published by Oxford University Press under the title The Gods Rich in Praise: Early Greek and Mesopotamian Religious Poetry (2015). My current projects include editorial work on unpublished Sumerian religious texts of the Old Babylonian period. I have also agreed to write a guide to the literature of the Hittites for the Handbuch der Orientalistik-series (Brill).

Courses Taught:

I teach occasional text classes in Sumerian and Hittite at the Oriental Institute.

Recent Publications:


Metcalf, C. (2015), The Gods Rich in Praise: Early Greek and Mesopotamian Religious Poetry. Oxford.

Journal articles

Metcalf, C. (2015), ʻOld Babylonian religious poetry in Anatolia: From solar hymn to Plague Prayerʼ, Zeitschrift für Assyriologie 105, 42-53.

Metcalf, C. (2013), ʻBabylonian perspectives on the certainty of deathʼ, Kaskal 10, 255-67.

Metcalf, C. (2011), ʻNew parallels in Hittite and Sumerian praise of the Sunʼ, Die Welt des Orients 41, 168-76.

Shorter notes

Metcalf, C. (2014), ʻOn the dating of Terpander fr. 2ʼ, Classical Quarterly 64, 398-9.

Metcalf, C. (2010), ʻSix Ur III tablets from the Hulin Collection in Oxfordʼ, Cuneiform Digital Library Bulletin 2010:1.

Photo here