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Ugaritic language

From Academic Kids

The Ugaritic language is known to us only in the form of writings found in the lost city of Ugarit in Syria since its discovery by French archaeologists in 1928. It has been extremely important for scholars of the Old Testament in clarifying Hebrew texts and has revealed more of how Judaism used common phrases, literary idioms, and expressions employed by surrounding pagan cultures.

Ugaritic was "the greatest literary discovery from antiquity since the deciphering of the Egyptian hieroglyphs and Mesopotamian cuneiform." Literary texts discovered at Ugarit include the "Legend of Keret", the "Aqhat Epic" (or "Legend of Danel"), the "Myth of Baal-Aliyan", and the "Death of Baal", all revealing a Canaanite mythology.

Ugaritic was a Semitic language written in cuneiform that was adapted for use as an alphabet. This Ugaritic alphabet, among the oldest that has been discovered, is different from all other cuneiform writings insofar as it is an alphabet rather than a syllabary. It has 30 different letters. (See the Ugaritic alphabet for an illustration.) To the casual observer, it appears very similar in appearance to Akkadian or Assyrian writing.

Ugaritic was used by a Canaanite culture, and the use of the term 'Canaanite' to refer to the Ugaritic language is sometimes found. It is closely related to the Canaanite languages. However, from the perspective of linguistic taxonomy, it is not viewed as a Canaanite language; rather, it is a close relative of the proto-language from which the languages termed Canaanite descend, and was spoken at about the same time as that language.

References

  • Template:Book reference at p. 99.
  • One edition of the mythological texts is Template:Book reference This contains Latin-alphabet transliterations of the Ugaritic texts and facing translations in English.
  • A much more affordable and up-to-date edition of many of the Ugaritic texts (including introductions, transcriptions, English translations, and notes) is Template:Book reference
  • The most recent and also the most extensive dictionary of the Ugaritic language in English is: Template:Book reference (2 vols), (originally in Spanish, translated by W.G.E. Watson).


See also

External links

eu:Ugaritiko he:אוגרית (שפה) pl:Język ugarycki sl:Ugaritščina

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