NOTICE: Citizendium is still being set up on its newer server, treat as a beta for now; please see here for more.
Citizendium - a community developing a quality comprehensive compendium of knowledge, online and free. Click here to join and contribute—free
CZ thanks our previous donors. Donate here. Treasurer's Financial Report -- Thanks to our content contributors. --


From Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is a stub and thus not approved.
Main Article
Related Articles  [?]
Bibliography  [?]
External Links  [?]
Citable Version  [?]
This editable Main Article is under development and not meant to be cited; by editing it you can help to improve it towards a future approved, citable version. These unapproved articles are subject to a disclaimer.

Aramaic is a Semetic language spoken in much of the Middle East outside the Arabian Peninsula in ancient times. It first entered the region sometime in the 12th century BC and eventually became the major spoken language of Syria, Judea, and Mesopotamia, and along with Greek and (later) Latin, a major language of trade in the Mediterranean. Aramaic was almost certainly the native language of Jesus (Hebrew, by his time, mostly being used for religious purposes by the Jews). Parts of the Old Testament of the Bible were written in Aramaic, as was the Talmud, the main scripture, besides the Torah, of Judaism.

Aramaic retained its importance until the conquest of the Middle East by the Arabs in the 7th and 8th centuries AD. The Arabs made Arabic the dominant language of government, and, over the next several hundred years, it replaced Aramaic as the first language of most of the population. Aramaic is still spoken by several thousand people in isolated villages in Syria and Iraq.