So yeah, the past year has been a bit all over the place, and I have not really had the time to properly update AramaicNT.org. I’ve been dealing with a new house, a new son (Ozzie, our 4th kid), and a new tenure-track position in the Computer Science Department at Raritan Valley. Exciting stuff. 🙂
Now that some of that is settling (although we’re still not quite unpacked despite being here for a few months…) I’m hoping to focus some more on some Aramaic-related things, such as:
My Galilean Aramaic grammar that I’ve been working on for God-knows-how-long. GlossaHouse has expressed interest in publishing it – provided I can force myself to finish it without endless just-one-more-revision-itis.
Getting the third series of Aramaic Lord’s Prayer Bracelets off the ground. My sister and I are having this series cast by Danforth Pewter so we can keep up with demand, and for those who want something more rugged than fine pewter, some other options in stainless steel and leather are being spearheaded by my other half.
Considering options for some Aramaic-related multimedia and research projects with students over at RVCC (lexical databasing for Galilean, interactive learning tools, etc.).
So you’ll hopefully see some more of me on here soon. 🙂
A 1,500-year-old marble slab found on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee Wednesday provides the first real proof of ancient Jewish settlement in the area, archaeologists say. The large slab, which bears an Aramaic inscription in Hebrew script, was dug up on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee on Wednesday as part of an ongoing excavation in the ancient town of Kursi.
Experts say the slab probably dates to around 500 C.E., when the Hebrew alphabet was used by Jews and some local Christian communities. This suggest that Kursi was either a Jewish community or a mixed Christian-Jewish settlement. Researchers could only discern two words: “Amen” and “Marmaria,” the latter possibly referring to Jesus’ mother, Mary.
Take the sensational claims with a grain of salt. There needs to be a much more thorough study of this inscription before jumping to conclusions. The rest of the article can be found here:
Update: From what I can see, it truly is in Galilean Aramaic. The orthography is what I’d expect to see (the plene spelling in words like סייע [“helps”] and use of ה for final a vowels like what looks like אתרה [“the synagogue” or “the place”] and יקרה ד [“the honor of”]). Unfortunately, it’s so cracked and crumbling it’s hard to make out full sentences. I’m really looking forward to seeing some better pictures. 🙂
Aramaic is a constant thread running through the various civilizations of the Near East, ancient and modern, from 1000 BCE to the present, and has been the language of small principalities, world empires, and a fair share of the Jewish-Christian tradition. Holger Gzella describes its cultural and linguistic history as a continuous evolution from its beginnings to the advent of Islam. For the first time the individual phases of the language, their socio-historical underpinnings, and the textual sources are discussed comprehensively in light of the latest linguistic and historical research and with ample attention to scribal traditions, multilingualism, and language as a marker of cultural self-awareness. Many new observations on Aramaic are thereby integrated into a coherent historical framework.
So, now it is time to announce an upcoming worshop on Galilean Aramaic in March as well as start finding what times work for both in-person and online Galilean Aramaic classes. Polls for the classes are below.
Galilean Aramaic: Speaking The Language of Christ
Registration is $50 (and waivers will be available for those in need) and it’s happening on March 28th, 2015 from 1PM to 4PM. It’s a condensed 3 hour workshop which goes over history, the basics of reading, writing, and speaking and some storytelling and conversation. The fee also covers printed learning materials.
Registration will be $100 (waivers also available). It will meet one hour, twice a week for four weeks (8 sessions total) at Christ Church New Brunswick and will cover introductory conversational (spoken) material, reading, writing, memorization, and recitation. Each student will keep a S’far Da‘watha (“Book of Knowledge” or “Book of Opinions,” a journal of one’s work and inspirations) in which to keep their notes and musings.
If it is well received, this class will become the first step towards a certificate program that will award, to accomplished students who pass written and oral exams, the title Talmid Leshana (“Student of the Language”).
The following poll will be used to help schedule the class.