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The Syriac Dialect of Aramaic

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In this lesson, we examine the Syriac dialect of Aramaic. Syriac is the most extensive and most important dialect of Aramaic. Here are the key facts about Syriac:

  • About 90% of the existing Aramaic literature is in Syriac.
  • Syriac goes back to Assyrian Aramaic, to around the 5th century B.C.
  • Syriac was used, written and spoken right through Crusader times, until at least the 1400s.
  • Syriac was spoken as far north and west as Ancient Britain - in fact, some of the Roman soldiers at Hadrian's Wall in Britain left Syriac remains!
  • Syriac went as far east as India, China and Mongolia, brought there by the early Christian missionaries.
  • As early Christian missionaries went east, they took the Aramaic New Testament with them, rather than the Greek New Testament.
  • Syriac is still used today, in the liturgy and service of the many Aramaic-speaking churches around the world today.
  • Syriac is the language in which the Peshitta Old Testament and the Peshitta New Testament were written.

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Watch the Video Lesson (Part 1)

Watch the Video Lesson (Part 2)

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