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Gonzalo Rubio

Gonzalo Rubio

Associate Professor of Classics & Ancient Mediterranean Studies

Office Phone: (814) 863-4946


  1. Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University, 1999
  2. M.A., The Johns Hopkins University, 1997
  3. Licentiate, Semitic Philology, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 1993
  4. Licentiate, Classics, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 1992


Dr. Rubio is an Assyriologist whose work focuses on the languages and literatures of Ancient Mesopotamia (Sumerian and Akkadian).  His research and publications deal with Sumerian grammar and literature, early Semitic languages (particularly Eblaite), comparative Semitic linguistics, the cuneiform writing system, Mesopotamian history, and various aspects of language and cultural contact in the Ancient Near East. His edition of the Sumerian literary corpus from the Ur III period will be published soon. He is currently working on a project on Early Dynastic literary texts from Ebla and Mesopotamia, for which he received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities (2012-13). He is also finishing a volume on Sumerian grammar, as well as coordinating and editing a large handbook of Ancient Mesopotamian studies to be published by De Gruyter. Dr. Rubio is a Senior Fellow of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, at New York University.  He is also the editor-in-chief of the monograph series Languages of the Ancient Near East (published by Eisenbrauns) and Studies in Ancient Near Eastern Records (published by De Gruyter).


"Semitic Influence in the History of Latin Syntax," in New Perspectives on Historical Latin Syntax, I (ed. P. Cuzzolin & P. Baldi. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2009), pp. 195-239.

"Sumerian Literature," in From an Antique Land: An Introduction to Ancient Near Eastern Literature (ed. C.S. Ehrlich. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2009), pp. 11-75.

"Scribal Secrets and Antiquarian Nostalgia: Writing and Scholarship in Ancient Mesopotamia," in Reconstructing a Distant Past (Fs. Silva, ed. D. Barreyra & G. Del Olmo. Barcelona: Ausa, 2009), pp. 153-180.

"Sumerische Literatur," in Kindlers Literatur Lexikon (3rd ed. Munich: Metzler, 2009), vol. 15, pp. 749-758.

"Reading Sumerian Names, I: Ensuhkešdanna and Baba," in Journal of Cuneiform Studies 62 (2010), 29-43.

"Gods and Scholars: Mapping the Pantheon in Early Mesopotamia," in Reconsidering the Concept of Revolutionary Monotheism (ed. B. Pongratz-Leisten. Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 2011), pp. 87-112.

"Reading Sumerian Names, II: Gilgameš," in Journal of Cuneiform Studies 64 (2012): 3-16.

"Time before Time: Primeval Narratives in Mesopotamian Literature," in Proceedings of the 56th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale (Eisenbrauns), in press.

Student Testimonial

“The Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies is an incredibly helpful community of individuals who love to learn. The faculty members of this department are very thoughtful and provide invaluable assistance to otherwise confused undergraduates. (...)
The smaller department size allows students to establish relationships with faculty and to establish a community in a school that might otherwise seem dauntingly large. The Classics and the study of the ancient Mediterranean world are strong at Penn State. For a school that prides itself on cutting-edge research and applied sciences, Penn State is a superb promoter of the Humanities. This support allows the CAMS department to recruit world-class faculty, provide generous funding and aid to undergraduates, and establish resources for research. The structure of the department was a perfect fit for me and allowed me to explore a wide-range of subjects related to my interests. In my four years in the program, I strengthened my Latin and Greek and was also able to study Egyptian Hieroglyphs and Sumerian. I now look forward to continuing my training in philology as I pursue graduate study.”

Timothy W. Dooley
2011 CAMS graduate

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