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Reichsaramäisch

(346 words)

Author(s): Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen)
[English version] Als R. (Äg.-Aram., Standard-Literarisch-Aram.) wird die Verwaltungs- und Korrespondenzsprache ( lingua franca) des achäm. Reiches seit Kyros [2] II. (6.-3. Jh. v. Chr.) bezeichnet. Der Begriff steht nicht für einen homogenen aram. Dialekt, sondern für z. T. sehr divergierende dialektale Merkmale. Das R. war über ganz Vorderasien und Äg. verbreitet und wurde für die verschiedenartigsten Textgattungen gebraucht. In einer Kursive (Quadratschrift) begegnet das R. auf Papyri und Ostraka, die zum…

Ešmūn

(75 words)

Author(s): Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen)
[English version] Alte phönik. Gottheit, wohl Heilgott (> šmn, “Öl”), von den Griechen als Asklepios u. auch als Apollon interpretiert. Ein wichtiges Heiligtum des im Mittelmeerraum weit verbreiteten Kults des E. lag bei Ṣidon ( Bustān aš-Šaiḫ. In Tyros wurde E. mit Melqart assoziiert. Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen) Bibliography 1 E. Lipiński, s.v. E., DCPP, 158-160 2 R. Stucky, Die Skulpturen aus dem E.-Heiligtum bei Sidon: griech., röm., kypr. und phönik. Statuen vom 6. Jh. v.- 3. Jh. n.Chr., 1993.

Aḥiqar

(175 words)

Author(s): Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen)
[English version] Aram. Name des sagenumwobenen Siegelbewahrers der assyrischen Könige Sanherib und Asarhaddon (704-669 v. Chr.), erwähnt bei Apokryphon Tob 1,21 f. (2,10; 11,17; 14,10, Ἀχιάχαρος). Assyr. Quellen fehlen. Ein spätbabylon. Keilschrifttext (2. Jh. v. Chr.) nennt einen Aba-enlil-dari mit aram. Namen Ahuaqār [1. 215-218]. A. ist Titelfigur eines biographischen Romans auf reichsaram. Papyri (5. Jh. v. Chr.) aus Elephantine. Es folgen Weisheitssprüche des A. an seinen Adoptivsohn (Neffe…

Punic

(258 words)

Author(s): Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen)
[German version] is the later form of Phoenician found in the Phoenician colonies of North Africa, esp. Carthage, its far-flung trading centres on Malta, Sicily and Sardinia, in Italy, southern France, Spain, and - disseminated by trade - throughout almost the entire Mediterranean region. Initially, P. was indistinguishable in writing from Phoenician, but from approx. the 5th cent. BC, the first variant written forms begin to appear. The Semitic pharyngeal and laryngeal consonants were hardly used…

Ešmūn

(78 words)

Author(s): Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen)
[German version] Old Phoenician deity, probably a  healing deity (> šmn, ‘Oil’), interpreted by the Greeks as  Asclepius and also as  Apollo. An important sanctuary of the cult of Esmun, which was widespread around the Mediterranean, was situated near Ṣidon ( Bustān aš-Šaiḫ). In Tyrus, Esmun was associated with  Melqart. Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen) Bibliography 1 E. Lipiński, s.v. E., DCPP, 158-160 2 R. Stucky, Die Skulpturen aus dem E.-Heiligtum bei Sidon: griech., röm., kypr. und phönik. Statuen vom 6. Jh. v.-3. Jh. n. Chr., 1993.

Canaanite

(95 words)

Author(s): Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen)
[German version] Traditional general term for a dialect group of north-west Semitic, spoken and written in Syria, Palestine and in the Mediterranean ( c. 10th cent. BC to today; with proto-Canaanite precursors). Canaanite includes  Phoenician, the closely related  Ammonite,  Punic as a late further development of Phoenician,  Edomite as a link between Phoenician and  Hebrew (the Canaanite dialect passed down best and longest) and  Moabite, which is close to Hebrew. The existence of additional local dialects is still a matter of contention. Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen) Bi…

Edom­ite

(67 words)

Author(s): Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen)
[German version] Name of the language used by the residents of the country of  Edom ( Idumaea) south-east of the Dead Sea. Linguistically, E. should be placed between  Phoenician and  Hebrew. It is recorded in only a few inscriptions on ostraca and seals (7th/6th cents. BC).  Bersabe;  Canaanite Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen) Bibliography W. R. Garr, Dialect Geography of Syria-Palestine, 1985 L. Herr, The Scripts of Ancient Northwestsemitic Seals, 1978.

Nabataean

(206 words)

Author(s): Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen)
[German version] Aramaic written language of an Arabic-speaking tribe, the Nabataeans (Arabic onomastikon). Nabataean belongs to the west-central branch of Aramaic, and is preserved in memorial, tomb, votive and building inscriptions, graffiti, coin legends and one charm, all dating from the 2nd cent. BC to the 4th cent. AD. Finds have been made at Gaza, Elusa, Mampsis, Nessana, Oboda, Petra, Transjordan with Amman and Gerasa, the Ḥaurān and Boṣra, the Arabian peninsula (Ḥiǧāẓ) with al-Ḥiǧr/Madāi…

Qumran Aramaic

(239 words)

Author(s): Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen)
[German version] QA (= Hasmonaic) is the name given to the Aramaic in which the texts found in Qumran were written (1st cent. BC to 2nd cent. AD), which, however, are not quite uniform in their language. QA has the characteristics of a standardized literary language (which also reappears later in Aramaic Bible translations, such as Targum Onqelos, Targum Jonathan: note the pronouns and infinitives). Yet it also still had linguistic features based on Official Aramaic and also the Aramaic of the Bib…

Ancient Southern Arabian

(255 words)

Author(s): Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen)
[German version] (ASA) Earlier known as Himyaritic after the tribe of the Ḥimyar ( Homeritae), this belongs with Ethiopian to the southern branch of the Semitic languages, but is not the same as (Northern) Arabian. There is evidence of four main dialects: c. 9th cent. BC to 6th cent. AD: Ḥadramautian, Minaean, Qataban and Sabaean, named after the centres of power of the same names. The dialects are divided into two groups relative to their causative prefix and the pronoun (3rd person sing. masc.): an h- (only Sabaean) and an s- group. There are further differences in terms of lexis …

Hebrew

(247 words)

Author(s): Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen)
[German version] The name of the Hebrew language is derived from the nomen gentile, also called ‘Hebrew’. This language belongs to the  Canaanite branch of Semitic languages. The 22 symbols of the epigraphical Old Hebrew alphabet developed from the proto-Canaanite  alphabet. The later Hebrew  square script was used only as a book hand. Hebrew developed over several linguistic stages, of which spoken Classical Hebrew, also defined as Old Hebrew, is preserved in inscriptions (10th-6th cents. BC) on stone, ostr…

Ugaritic

(259 words)

Author(s): Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen)
[German version] Term for a Semitic language, named after Ugarit, an important city and centre of the northern Syrian city state of the same name. The city of Ugarit was only discovered in 1928. Other than in Ugarit, texts written in Ugaritic have been found in Mīnā al-Baiḍā (the port of Ugarit), Ras Ibn Hāni and sporadically in other places, including Cyprus. Ugaritic represents an independent branch of the Semitic language family. Its precise classification is disputed by scholars of the Sem…

Hasai(ti)c

(63 words)

Author(s): Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen)
[German version] early north-Arabic dialect ( Arabic). Its inscriptions, written in a slightly modified ancient south-Arabic  alphabet, are predominantly grave inscriptions, amongst them two Hasaitic-Aramaic  bilingual inscriptions from north-eastern Saudi Arabia ( c. between 5th and 2nd cents. BC).  Ancient south-Arabic;  Semitic languages Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen) Bibliography W. W. Müller, Das Altarab. und das klass. Arabisch, Hasaitisch, in: W.-D. Fischer (ed.), Grundriß der arab. Philol., 1982, 25-26.

Samaritan

(200 words)

Author(s): Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen)
[German version] Special form of Hebrew, in which the Samaritans (Samaria) wrote the Pentateuch and a revised version of the book of Joshua. The Samaritan Pentateuch, which is distinguished from the Masoretic Hebrew text by orthographic variants and religiously based textual changes, was earlier occasionally considered to represent a more original version; yet proto-Samaritan Hebrew text versions have been found in Qumran. The texts from Qumran - which are, with the exception of the Masada Fragmen…

Aḥiram

(63 words)

Author(s): Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen)
[German version] King of Byblus ( c. 10th cent. BC), Phoenician for ‘my brother is exalted’. His coffin, decorated with reliefs of tribute scenes, commissioned by his son Ittobaal. It is significant from the point of view of art history. The inscription on the coffin lid is early evidence of the Phoenician  alphabet. Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen) Bibliography E. Lipiński, s. v. A., DCPP 11.

Semites

(187 words)

Author(s): Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen)
[German version] The term S., which was not introduced into scholarship until the 18th cent.,  goes back to Sem, the son of Noah in the 'Table of Nations' (Gn 10,21-31). Noah's sons named therein are regarded today as the eponymous heroes of various Semitic languages. In modern scholarship, the term S. is limited to linguistics; traditionally, scholarship has assumed a group of Semitic languages or a Semito-Hamitic language family (also known as Afro-Asiatic). Due to the unjustified expansion of t…

Official Aramaic

(393 words)

Author(s): Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen)
[German version] OA (Egyptian Aramaic, standard literary Aramaic) was the language of administration and correspondence ( lingua franca) of the Achaemenid Empire from the time of Cyrus [2] II (6th-3rd cent. BC). OA does not represent a homogeneous Aramaic dialect but shows dialect characteristics that are  in parts highly divergent. OA was widespread throughout the whole of the Near East and Egypt and was used for a variety of textual genres. In a cursive writing (square script), OA is encountered on papyri and …

Ethiopian

(170 words)

Author(s): Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen)
[German version] Geez, the classical language of Ethiopia, actually belongs to the southern branch of Semitic languages. It was spoken by the tribes Agazjan and Ḥabas̆āt, which had migrated into Abyssinia from South Arabia, founded the kingdom of  Axum and in the middle of the 4th cent. AD were converted to Christianity by missionaries. The earliest evidence is stone inscriptions (Axum inscriptions, Maṭara obelisk 4th cent. AD). From the 9th cent. until the present Geez has been used only as a literary and church language. Related Semitic languages are Tigri…

Am­mon­ite

(76 words)

Author(s): Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen)
[German version] Canaanite dialect very similar to  Phoenician and used by the Ammonites in the region around Rabbath Ammon. There is very little written evidence c. 9th-7th cents. BC): citadel inscriptions from Amman, writing on a receptacle (Tell Siran bottle) and approximately 150 stamping seals. Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen) Bibliography W. R. Garr, Dialect Geography of Syria-Palestina, 1000-586 B.C.E., 1985 L. Herr, The Scripts of Ancient Northwest Semitic Seals, 1978 K. P. Jackson, The Ammonite Language of the Iron Age, 1983.

Afro-Asiatic

(140 words)

Author(s): Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen)
[German version] Afro-Asian is a new linguistic term identical to the traditional term Hamito-Semitic. It covers all the major languages related to such language families as  (Ancient) Egyptian, Berber, Cushitic,  Semitic, Chadic (various subfamilies with more than 125 separate languages) and - often debated - Omotic. Overall, it includes more than 200 separate languages, many of them without writing, that can be traced over a period of almost 5,000 years. Reconstructing the proto-Afro-Asiatic lan…
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