[Leaf from a West Syriac Liturgical Commentary Manuscript in Garshuni]

Syriac_Manuscript_Leaf-Loaned_by_Kiraz-01.jpg
Syriac_Manuscript_Leaf-Loaned_by_Kiraz-02.jpg
Circa 18th-19th centuries

The Syriac script is an Aramaic alphabet derived from earlier Northwest Semitic scripts (a family of languages which has flourished for over 3 millenia). Over time, three distinct Syriac scripts developed. The oldest literary script, Estrangela, was used widely until the 8th century A.D. By this point a strong division between Eastern and Western Syriac dialects had developed leading to separate “cursive” scripts and systems of vowels serving East and West Syriac. The manuscript shown here is written in the Serto (or Western) script. The language of this manuscript is not Syriac, but Arabic written in Syriac characters. This practice, referred to as “Garshuni,” reveals the versatility of the Syriac script and the influence it had on other languages. For example, early alphabets for Middle Persian, Sogdian, Uyghur, and Mongolian were all derived from the Syriac alphabet.

Title

[Leaf from a West Syriac Liturgical Commentary Manuscript in Garshuni]

Date

Circa 18th-19th centuries

Description

The Syriac script is an Aramaic alphabet derived from earlier Northwest Semitic scripts (a family of languages which has flourished for over 3 millenia). Over time, three distinct Syriac scripts developed. The oldest literary script, Estrangela, was used widely until the 8th century A.D. By this point a strong division between Eastern and Western Syriac dialects had developed leading to separate “cursive” scripts and systems of vowels serving East and West Syriac. The manuscript shown here is written in the Serto (or Western) script. The language of this manuscript is not Syriac, but Arabic written in Syriac characters. This practice, referred to as “Garshuni,” reveals the versatility of the Syriac script and the influence it had on other languages. For example, early alphabets for Middle Persian, Sogdian, Uyghur, and Mongolian were all derived from the Syriac alphabet.

Rights

Public domain

Files

Syriac_Manuscript_Leaf-Loaned_by_Kiraz-01.jpg
Syriac_Manuscript_Leaf-Loaned_by_Kiraz-02.jpg

Citation

“[Leaf from a West Syriac Liturgical Commentary Manuscript in Garshuni],” Gallery, accessed September 18, 2019, https://gallery.library.vanderbilt.edu/items/show/2568.