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Aramaic into Crusader Times

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Throughout this series of lessons, we have seen just how extensive and important the history of Aramaic has been.

Aramaic was the dominant language at the time of Jesus. Despite the growing importance of Greek and Latin in Roman Catholic dominated Europe, in Israel and all throughout the Middle East, and even further east, Aramaic continued to be used - and Syriac in particular.

In the second to fourth centuries A.D., the Jewish authorities in Israel and Babylon wrote the Jerusalem Talmud and Babylonian Talmud, with their extensive commentaries on the Mishnah in Aramaic. And many centuries after Jesus, both the Armenian and Arabic Bibles used Aramaic as their main, or only, source.

But Aramaic continued well beyond those times. In fact, as we shall see in this lesson, Aramaic was still heavily used at the time of the Crusades, by the late 1200s and beyond. The most famous historian of this period was Gregory Bar Hebraeus who, as we shall see, wrote his extensive histories and other works in the Syriac dialect of Aramaic.

Gregory Bar Hebraeus was perhaps the most important historical figure of his time, and his use of Syriac demonstrates the continued relevance and importance of Aramaic during this time.

The video below tells you more about Aramaic extending through the centuries from the rise of Islam, right through to Crusader times.

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Buy a DVD of these lessons on the History & Background of Aramaic