Is Syriac and Aramaic the same?

In short, the answer is yes but sometimes no.

Syriac is Aramaic.

Syriac is just a phase in the long history of Aramaic languages.

Arameans are thought to first have appeared in the region between northern Levant and the Tigris river at about 1200 BC. 

There they formed various Aramaic speaking kingdoms like the kingdom of Aram.

The first written Aramaic is dated to about 1000BC. This was is called Old Aramaic or Ancient Aramaic and was written in the Phoenician alphabet.

From Phoenician sprung the Aramaic alphabet.

At about 200AD new regional dialects of Aramaic rose to prominence.

These were Syriac Aramaic dialects. The alphabet for Syriac was different from earlier Aramaic. It was more cursive and probably styled upon Byzantine Greek minuscule.

So,yes Syriac is Aramaic. It is to what some dialects of Old Aramaic evolved to.

Syriac and Aramaic.

Sometimes the term Aramaic is used separately to refer only to Old Aramaic not including the Syriac phase. 

And this why you will sometimes see reference to the Aramaic language and Syriac language as separate.


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