Introduction to Syriac: An Elementary Grammar With Readings from Syriac Literature
Publisher: Ibex Publishers | ISBN: 0936347988 | edition 1999 | PDF | 228 pages | 17,14 mb
Syriac is the Aramaic dialect of Edessa in Mesopotamia. Today it is the classical tongue of the Nestorians and Chaldeans of Iran and Iraq and the liturgical language of the Jacobites of Eastern Anatolia and the Maronites of Greater Syria. Syriac is also the language of the Church of St, Thomas on the Malabar Coast of India. Syriac belongs to the Levantine group of the central branch of the West Semitic languages. Syriac literature flourished from the third century on and boasts of writers like Ephraem Syrus, Aphraates, Jacob of Sarug, John of Ephesus, Jacob of Edessa, and Barhebraeus. After the Arab con-quests, Syriac became the language of a tolerated but disenfranchised and diminishing community and began a long, slow decline both as a spoken tongue and as a literary medium in favor of Arabic. Syriac played an important role as the intermediary through which Greek learning passed to the Islamic world.