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Monotheism and polytheism – West Asian religion

By |2018-09-23T06:26:07-07:00September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

The Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar or Inanna What is polytheism? The earliest people in West Asia were all polytheistic: they all worshipped many gods. From 3000 BC to 539 BC, the Sumerians, the Akkadians, the Assyrians and the Babylonians all worshipped pretty much the same set of gods, despite their cultural differences. The most important of these gods was Ea. Ishtar was the most important [...]

Where does Hebrew come from? Semitic languages

By |2018-04-07T17:04:54-07:00September 15th, 2017|History, West Asia|

Early alphabets and Hebrew Some time possibly around 4000 BC, as West Asian people settled down in towns and villages, each group of people began to develop their own special language. This was partly because the people of each region spoke to each other more often than they spoke to strangers, and it was partly a way [...]

What is Aramaic? An old West Asian language

By |2019-01-30T09:40:41-07:00September 14th, 2017|Bronze age, Literature, West Asia|

Aramaic language: Comparing different ancient alphabets When did Aramaic get going? As people began to settle down in towns in West Asia, about 4000 BC, they began to speak differently from their neighbors. Some people spoke Hebrew, some spoke Arabic, some spoke Akkadian. The people who lived in Syria spoke Aramaic. More about Arabic Who were the Akkadians? [...]

Amorites – Mesopotamia – West Asian history

By |2019-01-24T12:36:45-07:00September 13th, 2017|History, West Asia|

History of the Amorites: an Amorite jug, about 2200 BC Where did the Amorites live? About 2400 BC, the Amorites were living in what is now southern Turkey and Syria. Amorites means "westerners" in Sumerian, and that makes sense because the Amorites lived to the west of Sumer. They spoke a Semitic language, and lived partly [...]

Languages and Writing

By |2018-04-23T15:33:13-07:00July 27th, 2017|Literature|

Cuneiform tablet from West Asia Most people in the ancient Mediterranean and West Asian areas spoke languages that divided into two groups. One language group is Indo-European and the other group is Semitic. In southern Africa, most people spoke either a Bantu language or a Khoisan language. Indian people spoke Dravidian languages. Central Asian people spoke variations of Turkic [...]

Arabic language and literature

By |2019-01-30T07:53:33-07:00July 25th, 2017|Islam, Literature|

Arabic language: Sabataean writing Where did Arabic come from? Arabic is in the Semitic language group. Semitic languages seem to have gotten started before the beginning of writing. That would be before about 3000 BC. Probably Semitic languages developed from an earlier language somewhere near modern Syria. A different branch of that earlier language became [...]