Textbook of Syrian Semitic Inscriptions - Vol. 3

Textbook of Syrian Semitic Inscriptions - Vol. 3

Textbook of Syrian Semitic Inscriptions - Vol. 3

Textbook of Syrian Semitic Inscriptions - Vol. 3

Excerpt

The present volume is devoted to inscriptions in the Phoenician language which, unlike Hebrew and Aramaic (see vols. I and II), is known to us almost entirely from unvocalized epigraphic sources. It is divided into two parts at about the 6th century BC, inscriptions prior to that being called Old Phoenician, those after it Phoenician simpliciter. The first part includes all but the most fragmentary of the extant Old Phoenician texts. It also contains a chapter on the two incantations from Arslan Tash, which are commonly classified as Old Phoenician but are in the view taken here more accurately regarded as artificial compositions which mix Aramaic forms with Phoenician. The second part is more selective in its contents, restricting itself to the longer and more important inscriptions and the more interesting of the shorter texts. A distinction is made in both parts between inscriptions in the dialect of Byblos and those (the majority) that are written (with some local variations, especially in Cyprus) in the dialect spoken in the region of Sidon and Tyre. The last named was the leading Phoenician city in the period of colonial and commercial expansion in the early 1st millennium BC, and it was in most cases its dialect that was transported overseas, though one or two inscriptions (notably those from Lapethos and Pyrgi) provide evidence that the people of Byblos, and at one remove, as it were, the Phoenicians of Cyprus, also had a share in that movement.

Regrettably it has not been possible within the limits of size and cost laid down by the Delegates of the Press to make room for inscriptions in Punic, the name given to the Phoenician dialect or group of dialects which developed in Carthage and the western Mediterranean from the 6th or 5th centuries BC onwards. Most of these take us beyond the early period on which the Textbook as a whole has concentrated; but I had hoped to include a small selection in order to introduce students to some of the unique epigraphic problems which they present, particularly in the spheres of orthography and phonology. This ambition has had for the time being to be postponed.

For the sake of consistency the title Syrian Semitic has been retained for the present volume; but I would like to announce that it will not be used in any future editions of the Textbook. It is, as several . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.