Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2010 at 04:01 PM CT | Updated:
May 1, 2011
Martha Roth, Ph.D., Professor of Assyriology and Dean of Humanities, discusses the final volume of the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary, a comprehensive lexicon of ancient Akkadian dialects 86 years in the making. Roth has served as Editor-in-Charge of the project for the past 11 years.
October 20, 2007
Audio: MP3 PUBLISHED: November 14, 2007
SERIES: Research at the University of Chicago
Iraq Museum Database - the Oriental Institute Iraq Museum Database project is a worldwide effort to document and recover the items looted from the museum in April, 2003.
The Chicago Assyrian Dictionary, initiated in 1921 by James Henry Breasted,
is compiling a comprehensive dictionary of the various dialects of Akkadian,
the earliest known Semitic language that was recorded on cuneiform texts
that date from c. 2400 B.C. to A.D. 100 which were recovered from
archaeological excavations of ancient Near Eastern sites. The Assyrian
Dictionary is in every sense a joint undertaking of resident and
non-resident scholars from around the world who have contributed their time
and labor over a period of seventy years to the collection of the source
materials and to the publication of the Dictionary.
The CAD project began not long after James
Henry Breasted founded the Oriental Institute in 1919, and barely one
hundred years after the decipherment of the cuneiform script. This initial
decipherment, and the soon-to-follow achievements in understanding the
languages in which the hundreds of thousands of clay tablets were inscribed,
opened an unsuspected treasure-house for the study and appreciation of one
of the world's oldest civilizations.
The Chicago Assyrian Dictionary was conceived to provide more than lexical
information alone, more than a one-to-one equivalent between Akkadian and
English words. By presenting each word in a meaningful context, usually with
a full and idiomatic translation, it recreates the cultural milieu and thus
in many ways assumes the function of an encyclopedia. Its source material
ranges in time from the third millennium B.C. to the first century A.D., and
in geographic area from the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the Zagros
Mountains in the east.
With sixteen of the projected twenty-one volumes published and the remaining
volumes in various stages of preparation, with close to two million file
cards - a database which is continually updated and which is accessible to
scholars and students who wish to consult it - the
Dictionary has become an invaluable source for the study of the
civilizations of the ancient Near East, their political and cultural
history, their achievements in the sciences of medicine, astronomy,
mathematics, linguistics, and the timeless beauty of their poetry.
Source: The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago
\ã-'sir-é-ä\ n (1998)
1: an ancient empire of Ashur
a democratic state in Bet-Nahren, Assyria (northern Iraq, northwestern
Iran, southeastern Turkey and eastern Syria.)
3: a democratic state that fosters the social and
political rights to all of its inhabitants irrespective of their religion,
race, or gender 4: a democratic
state that believes in the freedom of religion, conscience, language,
education and culture in faithfulness to the principles of the United
Nations Charter —
Ethnicity, Religion, Language
Israeli, Jewish, Hebrew
Assyrian, Christian, Aramaic
Saudi Arabian, Muslim, Arabic
\ã-'sir-é-an\ adj or n (1998)
1: descendants of the ancient empire of Ashur
2: the Assyrians, although representing but one single
nation as the direct heirs of the ancient Assyrian Empire, are now
doctrinally divided, inter sese, into five principle ecclesiastically
designated religious sects with their corresponding hierarchies and
distinct church governments, namely, Church of the East, Chaldean,
Maronite, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic. These formal
divisions had their origin in the 5th century of the Christian Era.
No one can coherently understand the Assyrians as a whole until he can
distinguish that which is religion or church from that which is nation
-- a matter which is particularly difficult for the people from the
western world to understand; for in the East, by force of circumstances
beyond their control, religion has been made, from time immemorial,
virtually into a criterion of nationality.
the Assyrians have been referred to as Aramaean, Aramaye, Ashuraya,
Ashureen, Ashuri, Ashuroyo, Assyrio-Chaldean, Aturaya, Chaldean, Chaldo,
ChaldoAssyrian, ChaldoAssyrio, Jacobite, Kaldany, Kaldu, Kasdu, Malabar,
Maronite, Maronaya, Nestorian, Nestornaye, Oromoye, Suraya, Syriac,
Syrian, Syriani, Suryoye, Suryoyo and Telkeffee. — Assyrianism
1: a Semitic language which became the lingua franca of
the Middle East during the ancient Assyrian empire.
2: has been referred to as Neo-Aramaic, Neo-Syriac, Classical
Syriac, Syriac, Suryoyo, Swadaya and Turoyo.