Aramaic language

AramaicChaldeeAram.Middle AramaicAramaic nameSyriacAssyrianChaldeanOld AramaicAramaic speakers
Aramaic (Arāmāyā; square script אַרָמָיָא, ) is a language or group of languages belonging to the Semitic subfamily of the Afroasiatic language family.wikipedia
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Canaanite languages

CanaaniteCanaanite languageCanaanite peoples
More specifically, it is part of the Northwest Semitic group, which also includes the Canaanite languages such as Hebrew and Phoenician.
The Canaanite languages, or Canaanite dialects, are one of the three subgroups of the Northwest Semitic languages, the others being Aramaic and Amorite.

Aramaic alphabet

AramaicAramaic scriptImperial Aramaic
The Aramaic alphabet was widely adopted for other languages and is ancestral to the Hebrew, Syriac and Arabic alphabets. (That use of written Aramaic subsequently led to the adoption of the Aramaic alphabet and—as logograms—some Aramaic vocabulary in the Pahlavi scripts, which were used by several Middle Iranian languages, including Parthian, Middle Persian, Sogdian, and Khwarazmian.)
The ancient Aramaic alphabet is adapted from the Phoenician alphabet and became distinct from it by the 8th century BC. It was used to write the Aramaic language and had displaced the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet, itself a derivative of the Phoenician alphabet, for the writing of Hebrew.

Phoenician language

PhoenicianPhoenician-PunicCanaanite-Phoenician
More specifically, it is part of the Northwest Semitic group, which also includes the Canaanite languages such as Hebrew and Phoenician.
Phoenician was a language originally spoken in the coastal (Mediterranean) region then called "Canaan" (in Phoenician, Hebrew, Old Arabic, and Aramaic), "Phoenicia" (in Greek and Latin), and "Pūt" (in the Egyptian language).

Semitic languages

SemiticSemitic languageArabian
Aramaic (Arāmāyā; square script אַרָמָיָא, ) is a language or group of languages belonging to the Semitic subfamily of the Afroasiatic language family.
The most widely spoken Semitic languages today are (numbers given are for native speakers only) Arabic (300 million), Amharic (22 million), Tigrinya (7 million), Hebrew (~5 million native/L1 speakers), Tigre (~1.05 million), Aramaic (575,000 to 1 million largely Assyrian fluent speakers) and Maltese (483,000 speakers).

Hebrew language

HebrewHeb.Hebrew-language
More specifically, it is part of the Northwest Semitic group, which also includes the Canaanite languages such as Hebrew and Phoenician.
Aramaic and to a lesser extent Greek were already in use as international languages, especially among elites and immigrants.

Language of Jesus

AramaicCephasAbba
Aramaic was the language of Jesus, who spoke the Galilean dialect during his public ministry, as well as the language of large sections of the biblical books of Daniel and Ezra, and also one of the languages of the Talmud.
It is generally agreed by historians that Jesus and his disciples primarily spoke Aramaic (Jewish Palestinian Aramaic), the common language of Judea in the first century AD, most likely a Galilean dialect distinguishable from that of Jerusalem.

Mesopotamia

Mesopotamianancient MesopotamiaIraq
Aramaic rose to prominence under the Neo-Assyrian Empire (911–605 BC), under whose influence Aramaic became a prestige language, and its use spread throughout most of Mesopotamia and the Levant.
The Aramaic term biritum/birit narim corresponded to a similar geographical concept.

Western Neo-Aramaic

Western AramaicAramaicamw
The more widely spoken Eastern Aramaic and Mandaic forms are today largely restricted to Iraqi Kurdistan, northeastern Syria, northwestern Iran and southeastern Turkey, whilst the severely endangered Western Neo-Aramaic is spoken by small communities in northwestern Syria.
Western Neo-Aramaic is a modern Aramaic language.

Eastern Arabia

Bahraynal-BahraynBahrain
At its height, variants of Aramaic were spoken all over in what is today Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Palestine, Kuwait, Eastern Arabia, Northern Arabia, and to a lesser extent parts of southeast and south central Turkey, and parts of northwest Iran.
In pre-Islamic times, the population of Eastern Arabia consisted of partially Christianized Arabs, Arab Zoroastrians, Jews and Aramaic-speaking agriculturalists.

Northwest Semitic languages

Northwest SemiticNorthwest Semitic languageNorthwest Semitic group
More specifically, it is part of the Northwest Semitic group, which also includes the Canaanite languages such as Hebrew and Phoenician.
The term was coined by Carl Brockelmann in 1908, who separated Fritz Hommel's 1883 classification of "West Semitic languages" into Northwest (Canaanite and Aramaic) and Southwest (Arabic and Abyssinian).

Pahlavi scripts

PahlaviPahlavi writing systemMiddle Persian
(That use of written Aramaic subsequently led to the adoption of the Aramaic alphabet and—as logograms—some Aramaic vocabulary in the Pahlavi scripts, which were used by several Middle Iranian languages, including Parthian, Middle Persian, Sogdian, and Khwarazmian.)
the high incidence of Aramaic words used as heterograms (called hozwārishn, "archaisms").

Neo-Aramaic languages

Neo-AramaicAramaicNeo Aramaic
Neo-Aramaic languages are still spoken today as a first language by many communities of Syriac Christians, Jews, and Mandaeans of Western Asia, most numerously by Chaldeans, Syriacs and Assyrians with numbers of fluent speakers ranging approximately from 1 million to 2 million, with the main languages among Assyrians being Assyrian Neo-Aramaic (235,000 speakers), Chaldean Neo-Aramaic (1 million speakers) and Turoyo (112,000 to 450,000 speakers), together with a number of smaller closely related languages with no more than 5,000 to 10,000 speakers between them.
The Neo-Aramaic or Modern Aramaic languages are varieties of Aramaic, that are spoken vernaculars from the medieval to modern era that evolved out of Imperial Aramaic via Middle Aramaic dialects, around AD 1200 (conventional date).

Manichaeism

ManichaeanManicheanManichaeans
Syriac was also the liturgical language of several now-extinct gnostic faiths, such as Manichaeism.
Manichaeism was quickly successful and spread far through the Aramaic-speaking regions.

Assyrian Neo-Aramaic

AssyrianaiiAramaic
Neo-Aramaic languages are still spoken today as a first language by many communities of Syriac Christians, Jews, and Mandaeans of Western Asia, most numerously by Chaldeans, Syriacs and Assyrians with numbers of fluent speakers ranging approximately from 1 million to 2 million, with the main languages among Assyrians being Assyrian Neo-Aramaic (235,000 speakers), Chaldean Neo-Aramaic (1 million speakers) and Turoyo (112,000 to 450,000 speakers), together with a number of smaller closely related languages with no more than 5,000 to 10,000 speakers between them.
The various Assyrian Aramaic dialects, including Assyrian Neo-Aramaic, have been heavily influenced by Classical Syriac, the Middle Aramaic dialect of Edessa, after its adoption as an official liturgical language, and they are ultimately descended from Old Aramaic, the lingua franca in the later phase of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, displacing the East Semitic Assyrian dialect of Akkadian beginning around the 10th century BC.

Neo-Babylonian Empire

Neo-BabylonianBabylonBabylonian
The scribes of the Neo-Assyrian bureaucracy had also used Aramaic, and this practice—together with other administrative practices—was subsequently inherited by the succeeding Neo-Babylonians (605–539 BC), and the Achaemenids (539–323 BC).
Even though Aramaic had become the everyday tongue, Akkadian was retained as the language of administration and culture.

Syria

SyrianSyrian Arab RepublicSyrian government
At its height, variants of Aramaic were spoken all over in what is today Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Palestine, Kuwait, Eastern Arabia, Northern Arabia, and to a lesser extent parts of southeast and south central Turkey, and parts of northwest Iran. By around 1000 BC, the Arameans had a string of kingdoms in what is now part of western Syria.
Palmyra, a rich and sometimes powerful native Aramaic-speaking kingdom arose in northern Syria in the 2nd century; the Palmyrene established a trade network that made the city one of the richest in the Roman empire.

Mandaeans

MandaeanMandeanMandaean Studies
Neo-Aramaic languages are still spoken today as a first language by many communities of Syriac Christians, Jews, and Mandaeans of Western Asia, most numerously by Chaldeans, Syriacs and Assyrians with numbers of fluent speakers ranging approximately from 1 million to 2 million, with the main languages among Assyrians being Assyrian Neo-Aramaic (235,000 speakers), Chaldean Neo-Aramaic (1 million speakers) and Turoyo (112,000 to 450,000 speakers), together with a number of smaller closely related languages with no more than 5,000 to 10,000 speakers between them.
The Mandaeans were originally native speakers of Mandaic, a Semitic language that evolved from Eastern Middle Aramaic, before many switched to colloquial Iraqi Arabic and Modern Persian.

Mandaic language

MandaicMandeanClassical Mandaic
The more widely spoken Eastern Aramaic and Mandaic forms are today largely restricted to Iraqi Kurdistan, northeastern Syria, northwestern Iran and southeastern Turkey, whilst the severely endangered Western Neo-Aramaic is spoken by small communities in northwestern Syria.
It is a variety of Aramaic, notable for its use of vowel letters (see Mandaic alphabet) and the striking amount of Persian influence in its lexicon.

Book of Ezra

Ezra1 Esdræ1 Ezra
Aramaic was the language of Jesus, who spoke the Galilean dialect during his public ministry, as well as the language of large sections of the biblical books of Daniel and Ezra, and also one of the languages of the Talmud.
The book contains several documents presented as historical inclusions, written in Aramaic while the surrounding text is in Hebrew (1:2-4, 4:8-16, 4:17-22, 5:7-17, 6:3-5, 6:6-12, 7:12-26)

Afroasiatic languages

Afro-AsiaticAfroasiaticAfroasiatic language family
Aramaic (Arāmāyā; square script אַרָמָיָא, ) is a language or group of languages belonging to the Semitic subfamily of the Afroasiatic language family.
He knew of Semitic through his study of Arabic, Hebrew, and Aramaic.

Parthian language

ParthianPahlaviIranic
(That use of written Aramaic subsequently led to the adoption of the Aramaic alphabet and—as logograms—some Aramaic vocabulary in the Pahlavi scripts, which were used by several Middle Iranian languages, including Parthian, Middle Persian, Sogdian, and Khwarazmian.)
The Parthian language was rendered using the Pahlavi writing system, which had two essential characteristics: First, its script derived from Aramaic, the script (and language) of the Achaemenid chancellery (i.e. Imperial Aramaic).

Chaldea

ChaldeansChaldaeanChaldees
In fact, Arameans carried their language and writing into Mesopotamia by voluntary migration, by forced exile of conquering armies, and by nomadic Chaldean invasions of Babylonia during the period from 1200 to 1000 BC.
The names Chaldea and Chaldaea are latinizations of the Greek ', a hellenization of Akkadian ' or '. The name appears in Hebrew in the Bible as ' and in Aramaic as .

Akkadian language

AkkadianBabylonianAssyrian
The influx eventually resulted in the Neo-Assyrian Empire (911–605 BC) adopting an Akkadian-influenced Imperial Aramaic as the lingua franca of its empire.
However, it began to decline during the Neo-Assyrian Empire around the 8th century BC, being marginalized by Aramaic during the reign of Tiglath-Pileser III.

History of the Jews in Egypt

EgyptEgyptian JewishEgyptian Jews
The Hellenized Jewish community of Alexandria instead translated "Aramaic" to "the Syrian tongue".
In the Elephantine papyri, caches of legal documents and letters written in Aramaic amply document the lives of a community of Jewish soldiers stationed there as part of a frontier garrison in Egypt for the Achaemenid Empire.

List of languages by first written accounts

oldest extant Georgian inscriptionsoldest recordedancient languages
Royal Aramaic inscriptions from the Aramean city-states date from 10th century BC, making Aramaic one of the world's oldest recorded living languages.