Aramaic is a family of languages or dialects, belonging to the Semitic family. More specifically, it is a part of the Northwest Semitic subfamily, which also includes Canaanite languages such as Hebrew and Phoenician.

The Aramaic script was widely adopted for other languages and is ancestral to both the Arabic and modern Hebrew alphabets. It was the lingua franca of the Neo-Assyrian Empire (911-605 BC), Neo-Babylonian Empire (605-539 BC) and Achaemenid Empire (539-323 BC), of the Neo-Assyrian states of Assur, Adiabene, Osroene and Hatra, the Aramean state of Palmyra, and the day-to-day language of Yehud Medinata and of Judaea (539 BC – 70 AD) and the language that Jesus probably used the most.


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