Tag Archives: aramaic

So Where Have I Been?

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. 🙂

Peace,
-Steve

Aramaic Inscription Found in Kursi (Near the Sea of Galilee)

The ancient slab found near the Sea of Galilee on Wednesday | Photo credit: Jennifer Munro
The ancient slab found near the Sea of Galilee on Wednesday | Photo credit: Jennifer Munro

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:

http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=30487

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. 🙂

Peace,
-Steve

New Book: A Cultural History of Aramaic – From the Beginnings to the Advent of Islam

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Holger Gzella, University of Leiden