Syriac

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Syriac (sēr´ēăk´), late dialect of Aramaic, which is a West Semitic language (see Afroasiatic languages). The early Christians of Mesopotamia and Syria gave the Greek name Syriac to the Aramaic dialect they spoke when the term Aramaic acquired the meaning of "pagan" or "heathen." The oldest Syriac script, which dates back to the 1st cent. AD, evolved from the Aramaic alphabet. Syriac began to yield to Arabic after the coming of Islam in the 7th cent. AD Today it survives as the tongue of a few thousand people in the Middle East. It is also used as a liturgical language of the Syrian Orthodox Church (see Jacobite Church).

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Syriac Semitic language belonging to the eastern Aramaic group. In ancient times it was spoken in Edessa, now Urfa in se Turkey. Because of the importance of Edessa as a centre of Christianity in the 2nd century, the neighbouring Aramaic Christians adopted Syriac and it has been used ever since as a liturgical language by Oriental Christians of the Syrian rite. Syriac literature preserves many translations of Greek Christian texts that have not survived in the original Greek.

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Syriacaback, alack, attack, back, black, brack, clack, claque, crack, Dirac, drack, flack, flak, hack, jack, Kazakh, knack, lack, lakh, mac, mach, Nagorno-Karabakh, pack, pitchblack, plaque, quack, rack, sac, sack, shack, shellac, slack, smack, snack, stack, tach, tack, thwack, track, vac, wack, whack, wrack, yak, Zack •cardiac • zodiac •haemophiliac (US hemophiliac), necrophiliac, sacroiliac •umiak •bibliomaniac, dipsomaniac, egomaniac, kleptomaniac, maniac, megalomaniac, monomaniac, nymphomaniac, pyromaniac •insomniac • celeriac • Syriac •hypochondriac • Mauriac • theriac •amnesiac •aphrodisiac, Dionysiac •Dayak, kayak •Kerouac • bivouac