Re: Aramaic, Samaritan, Phoenician

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Tue Jul 15 2003 - 11:51:22 EDT

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    On 15/07/2003 08:26, Michael Everson wrote:

    > At 07:53 -0700 2003-07-15, Peter Kirk wrote:
    > Nope. The Aramaic ranged far beyond the middle east and itself -- not
    > Hebrew -- was the forerunner of Syriac, Manichaean, Sogdian, Mandaean,
    > Parthian, Avestan, Pahlavi, and other scripts.
    > Aramaic is not only attested in Biblical texts. From Daniels & Bright:
    > "Aramaic was the lingua franca of Southwest Asia from early in the
    > first millennium BCE until the Arab Conquest in the mid seventh
    > century CE."
    Agreed - just as Latin was the lingua franca of a huge area for many
    centuries and its script is the forerunner of other scripts. But that is
    not an argument for disunifying Latin from those modern languages which
    use the original script with only small modifications. Similarly there
    is no good argument for disunfiying Aramaic from those relatively few
    modern languages, Hebrew, Yiddish etc, which still use the ancient
    script with only small modifications. The stronger argument would be to
    rename the Hebrew block as Aramaic, but I'm sure there are good reasons
    why that cannot be done.

    Peter Kirk

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