Syriac Aramaic

leššānā Suryāyā
Syriac language
Syriac developed from Old Syriac,an Aramaic dialect spoken around the city of Edessa in Osroene.It rose to prominence during the first century century Ad.

It came to be a major trade, literary, liturgical and a lingua franca of the Middle East,in the so-called fertile Crescent. The vast majority of the text corpus in Aramaic is in Classical Syriac.

By the 8th century A.D. it was mostly replaced by Arabic and by 1200 AD ceased to be a spoken language,used only for liturgical purposes by Syriac Christians up to this day.In 1200 AD and onwards it started evolving into some Neo-Aramaic vernaculars.

The Syriac alphabet.
Syriac was written in Syriac Estrangelo script ,which was the classical script for the language.In 5 AD after the split of Syriac Church into Eastern and Western the Nestorian and Serto versions of Estrangelo evolved and they were both used for writting Syriac.

In the 3rd century AD the translation of the New Testament was completed from the Greek original.The Syriac Aramaic version of the Bible is called the Peshitta,meaning simple or common.


The first traces of Syriac date back to 500 B.C. and are influences on Imperial Aramaic.

Ancient Greek knowledge, Arabic science and Syriac.

It may not be widely known in the West but Syriac played a very important role in the preservation of Ancient Greek knowledge and its transmission to the Arabic world only to be rediscovered during the Renaissance by Europeans.

Syriac Christians living both under Byzantine and Sassanian rule started translating Greek religious texts into their language. But the nature of the translated texts didn't stop there. Many astronomical, philosopical, medical and pharmaceutical texts followed. 

So when the Abbasid khalifate captured Syria from the Byzantines and brought the Sassanian Empire to its knees these texts were transmitted to Arabic. That was rather an easy task since Syriac and Arabic are closely related both being Semitic. This linguistic closeness was the reason why Arabic almost completely supplanted Syriac.

A strange fact is that while original Greek texts are lost forever they were preserved in their Syriac or Arabic translation.

So Syriac played a key role in the transmission of Ancient Greek knowledge into the Arabic world thus helping the advancement of Arabic science.

Jesus did not speak Syriac.
Jesus Christ was born and lived most of his life in Galilee. His native language was Galilean Aramaic which was a distinct dialect spoken in Galilee prior to Syriac.So, posts all over the internet with the Lord's Prayer in Aramaic and I quote "in the language of Jesus" are obviously not true. 

These are mostly the Syriac version of the prayer. The Lord's Prayer in Galilean Aramaic simply doesn't exist. Not in an original form. And that is because very little is known about Galilean Aramaic. What one may find are reconstructions of the prayer in Galilean which very often are wrong and based on pure linguistic fiction.

External links
Syriac typewriter

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