Eckart Frahm’s research interests focus on Assyrian and Babylonian history, cuneiform scholarly texts of the first millennium BCE, and the connections between literature, religion, and politics in ancient Mesopotamia and Israel. Frahm’s most recent book is Assyria: The Rise and Fall of the World’s First Empire (New York and London 2023). His earlier books include a study of the inscriptions of the Assyrian king Sennacherib (Einleitung in die Sanherib-Inschriften, Vienna 1997); an edition of previously unpublished historical and historical-literary texts from Ashur (Keilschrifttexte aus Assur literarischen Inhalts 3, Wiesbaden 2009); a volume of hand copies of two hundred Late Babylonian letters and economic documents from Uruk, co-authored with Michael Jursa (Neo-Babylonian Letters and Contracts from the Eanna Archive, New Haven 2011); a comprehensive study of ancient Near Eastern hermeneutics (Babylonian and Assyrian Text Commentaries: Origins of Interpretation, Münster 2011); a general history of ancient Mesopotamia (Geschichte des alten Mesopotamien, Ditzingen 2013); and a study of cuneiform texts describing celestial constellations, co-authored with Paul-Alain Beaulieu, Wayne Horowitz, and John Steele (The Cuneiform Uranology Texts, Philadelphia 2018). Frahm is the editor of A Companion to Assyria, published in 2017 as part of the series Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World, and, together with Agnete Lassen and Klaus Wagensonner, of Ancient Mesopotamia Speaks: Highlights of the Yale Babylonian Collection (New Haven 2019), a companion book to an exhibition curated by the editors and shown at Yale’s Peabody Museum from April 2019 to March 2020.
Together with Enrique Jiménez, Frahm directs the NEH-funded Cuneiform Commentaries Project, which seeks to make the vast corpus of Babylonian and Assyrian text commentaries available in electronic form (see http://ccp.yale.edu). He is co-founder and editor, together with Michael Jursa, of the series Guides to the Mesopotamian Textual Record (Münster); subject editor for Assyriology of the series Culture and History of the Ancient Near East (Leiden/Boston); area editor for the ancient Near East for the multi-volume Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception (Berlin); and associate editor of the Journal of Cuneiform Studies. He is as a member of the advisory board of the project Official Inscriptions of the Middle East in Antiquity at the LMU, Munich, and numerous other projects. In 2007, he was elected Corresponding Member of the German Archaeological Institute. Frahm has served as an expert witness in several high-profile cases of trafficking in cultural artifacts from the Middle East.
At Yale, Frahm is Faculty Affiliate of the Anthropology Division with Responsibility for Research on Cuneiform Tablets at the Peabody Museum, and organizer of the Assyriological Seminar series. He served for many years as a member of the Steering Committee of ARCHAIA, Yale’s program for the study of ancient and premodern cultures and societies, and for two years as its co-chair. His teaching comprises courses on Assyria; the Bible in its ancient Near Eastern setting; myth and ritual in the ancient Near East; and more specialized classes focused on reading Sumerian and Akkadian texts.
Before coming to Yale, Frahm was employed as a research assistant and Assistant Professor of Assyriology at Heidelberg. He has worked on cuneiform tablets in the British Museum in London, the Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin, the Iraq Museum in Baghdad, and a few other collections. During the fall of 2001, he served as epigrapher of the German excavation team at Ashur (Iraq). In 2004, Frahm was an instructor in a USAID-sponsored summer course for Iraqi archaeologists and Assyriologists at the American Center for Oriental Research in Amman (Jordan); in the spring of 2019, he taught at Yale-NUS in Singapore.
Most of Frahm’s more than one hundred articles can be downloaded at https://yale.academia.edu/EckartFrahm. A video of an interview with Frahm is posted at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcsTGla1CCc.