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The Helsinki Neo-Assyrian Dictionary

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The Helsinki Neo-Assyrian Dictionary

Apr-21-2010 at 01:52 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

Last edited on 02/20/2014 at 11:36 PM (UTC3 Nineveh, Assyria)
The Helsinki Neo-Assyrian Dictionary
The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project
Editor in Chief: Dr. Simo Parpola

  • Hardcover, 356 pages, $50 US
  • English-Assyrian (pages 1 to 189)
  • Assyrian-English (pages 1 to 167)

Purchase Information:
Al-Itekal Bookstore
6224 N. Pulaski Road
Chicago, Illinois 60646 USA
Telephone: 773-463-4135
Assyrian Dictionary | The Helsinki Neo-Assyrian Dictionary
by The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, University of Helsinki.

(From the inside cover)

5000 years of Writing

Writing is Humankind's most far-reaching creation. No other invention has had a longer and greater impact. The history of writing and the history of mankind are synonymous. Everything that happened prior to the invention of writing we label prehistory. Non-verbal communication started with cave paintings. The oldest of these are found in Chauvet, a cave in France. The drawings there were made in 35,000 BC. Some five billion people can read and write today, about 85 percent of the world's population. The invention of writing provided a foundation upon which all subsequent intellectual and technological progress has been built. We enjoy the benefits of modem civilization today because of that foundation.

The transition from the spoken to the written word occurred because writing meets certain needs so much more effectively. Subway ads, priceless first editions, speedy e-mail — all can be traced to clay tokens, precursors of writing, used to count goods in the Middle East. It gradually became, among the people of Mesopotamia, first a form of memorandum, then a system for recording spoken language, and, above all, an alternative medium for communication, thought, and expression. Called cuneiform, it is a written form of the Sumerian language. Developed from pictographic script, when pictures represented words, cuneiform was a syllabic system. A wedge shaped instrument was impressed into soft clay tablets. Cuneiform was used for over 3,000 years. While cuneiform signs were spreading throughout Mesopotamia, other writing systems were appearing and being developed in nearby and distant lands. From one end of the world to the other, people, seeing writing as a divine gift, set themselves to record their past on stone, clay, and papyrus. Among many other significant achievements, the invention of cuneiform allowed the preservation of hymns, divination texts, and what we have to describe as literature. Writing permits analysis, precision, and communication with future generations in a way not possible via the spoken word. It has helped preserve the three major monotheistic religions. The invention of writing laid the foundation for the development of a system of formal education.

Once cuneiform writing was fully evolved, it was sufficiently flexible to be able to record other languages in addition to Sumerian, like Akkadian. In time this writing system became that of the mighty kingdom of Assyria and of the kingdom of Babylon, which rose to power in the 18th century BC. Written fragments have been recovered, largely from the library of Assyrian king Assurbanipal at Nineveh, of great Epics. These epics, which anticipate the great Greek myths, in particular the Labors of Hercules, also contain an extraordinary retelling of the flood story, which foreshadows the account in the Bible. Writing has become the vehicle for the recording of historical events and for the expression of the deepest religious and philosophical concerns of humanity.

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Assyria \ã-'sir-é-ä\ n (1998)   1:  an ancient empire of Ashur   2:  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 — Atour synonym

Ethnicity, Religion, Language
» Israeli, Jewish, Hebrew
» Assyrian, Christian, Aramaic
» Saudi Arabian, Muslim, Arabic
Assyrian \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.   3:  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 verb

Aramaic \ar-é-'máik\ n (1998)   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.

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