Photo: The Assyrian Alphabet
Credit: Peter BetBasoo
Peter BetBasoo has a short introduction to the Assyrian language:
Assyrians have used two languages throughout their history: ancient Assyrian (Akkadian), and Modern Assyrian (neo-Syriac). Akkadian was written with the cuneiform writing system, on clay tablets, and was in use from the beginning to about 750 B.C.. By 750 B.C., a new way of writing, on parchment, leather, or papyrus, was developed, and the people who brought this method of writing with them, the Arameans, would eventually see their language, Aramaic, supplant Ancient Assyrian because of the technological breakthrough in writing. Aramaic was made the second official language of the Assyrian empire in 752 B.C. Although Assyrians switched to Aramaic, it was not wholesale transplantation. The brand of Aramaic that Assyrians spoke was, and is, heavily infused with Akkadian words, so much so that scholars refer to it as Assyrian Aramaic.
Read more about Assyrian history by visiting Peter’s web page.
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary
Tags: Archaeology, Akkadian, Aramaic, Assyria