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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.

Square script

(182 words)

Author(s): Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen)
[German version] ( ketāḇ merubbā) is the term for the style of script in which Jewish Hebrew and Aramaic texts are written. It developed from the Aramaic square script style (in the Babylonian Talmud ketāḇ aššūrī, i.e. Assyrian script), which according to the Babylonian Talmud (Aboda Zara 10a) was brought from Babylonian captivity to Palestine by Jews in the post-Exilic period, whereas the Samaritan style developed from the palaeo-Hebraic script. The earliest documents extant in square script are fragments of the Biblical books …

Moabite

(80 words)

Author(s): Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen)
[German version] Language of the inhabitants of Moab, a country to the south of the Dead Sea; it is very similar to Hebrew. Moabite is recorded on seal inscriptions and on a 34-line inscription of King Meša of Moab ( c. 850 BC), which was found in the vicinity of Diban (KAI 181). Canaanite; Semitic languages Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen) Bibliography A. Dearman (ed.), Studies in the Mesha Inscription and Moab, 1989  W.R. Garr, Dialect Geography of Syria-Palestine, 1000-586 BCE, 1985.

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…

Syriac

(358 words)

Author(s): Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen)
[German version] Aramaic dialect from the geographical surroundings of Edessa [2], modern Urfa, which gave rise to the later Syriac literary language. Lexically, Syriac belongs to Central Aramaic just as the Aramaic of the Babylonian Targumim (Targum Onqelos and Jonathan), but already has Northeastern Aramaic features in its phonetics, morphology and syntax. The Early Syriac inscriptions (AD 6 - 3rd cent. AD), written in Estrangelā script, still have a strongly standardised Central Aramaic charact…

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.

Alphabet

(5,280 words)

Author(s): Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen) | Wachter, Rudolf (Basle)
[German version] I. Ancient Middle Eastern origins The early Semitic alphabet seems to have developed in parallel lines from various early stages of the proto-Canaanite language: ancient Hebrew (Gezer, Lachic, Shechem, Izbet Ṣarṭah in Palestine 17th-12th cents. BC) and proto-Sinaitic (Serabit el-Ḫadem c. 15th cent. BC). As its counterpart, cuneiform scripts from Ugarit (14th-13th cents. BC), Bet Shemesh/Palestine, Tell Nebi Mend/Syria and Sarepta/Phoenicia (13th-12th cents. BC) have also been found. The alphabet from these scripts ranged from between 27 and 30 characters. T…

Alphabet

(4,509 words)

Author(s): Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen) | Wachter, Rudolf (Basel)
[English version] I. Altorientalische Ursprünge Das frühsemit. A. scheint sich parallel aus verschiedenen protokanaanäischen Vorstufen entwickelt zu haben: Altpalästin. (Gezer, Lachisch, Schechem, Izbet Ṣarṭah in Palästina 17.-12. Jh. v. Chr.) und Proto-Sinai (Serabit el-Ḫadem ca. 15. Jh. v. Chr.). Als Gegenstück finden sich Keilschrift-A. aus Ugarit (14.-13. Jh. v. Chr.), Bet Schemesch/Palästina, Tell Nebi Mend/Syrien und Sarepta /Phönizien (13.-12. Jh. v. Chr.), alle mit zw. 27 bis 30 Zeichen. Die Schreibrichtung ist horizontal, vertikal oder in Bustrophedon.…

Ḥatra

(298 words)

Author(s): Hauser, Stefan R. (Berlin) | Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen)
[German version] [1] Trading centre in north Mesopotamia This item can be found on the following maps: Syria | Zenobia | Commerce | Limes Trading centre in north Mesopotamia, founded middle of the 1st cent. AD. Expanded to a fortified round city ( c. 2 km diameter) in the mid 2nd cent., H. was an important sanctuary of the sun god  Šamaš and capital of a ‘kingdom of the Arabs’ starting c. 166, at the same time an Arsacid border province. The city was besieged in vain by Trajan (AD 116) and Septimius Severus (196 and 198). After the end of the Arsacid dynasty, it …

Ḥatra

(259 words)

Author(s): Hauser, Stefan R. (Berlin) | Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen)
[English version] [1] Handelszentrum in Nordmesopotamien Dieser Ort ist auf folgenden Karten verzeichnet: Handel | Limes | Syrien | Zenobia Handelszentrum in Nordmesopot., Mitte 1. Jh. n.Chr. gegründet. Mitte 2. Jh. Ausbau zur befestigten Rundstadt (ca. 2 km Dm). H. war ein bed. Heiligtum des Sonnengottes Šamaš und ab ca. 166 Hauptstadt eines “Königreichs der Araber”, gleichzeitig arsakidische Grenzprovinz. Die Stadt wurde vergeblich belagert von Traian (116 n.Chr.) und Septimius Severus (196 und 198). Nach Ende de…
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