A dictionary of Assyrian

Assyrian is a dead language. It was last spoken about 2,000 years ago, and you can't get much deader than that. But over the last ninety years (!) a dedicated group of scholars have been studying inscriptions and compiling the world's first ever dictionary of Assyrian. And now, at last, the dictionary has been finished.

You might not know a lot about the Assyrian family of languages, but you've probably seen a lot of it, because Assyrian is one of the major languages you're reading when you see cuneiform on a clay tablet. (Cuneiform was a remarkably successful writing system and quite a few languages were written in it.)

The title of the dictionary!

I've had recourse to the dictionary only once, when I was checking on the origin of apples. If Assyrian had a word for apple, then I knew I was safe placing them in Ionia in classical times.

1 comment:

Trisha Leigh said...

This is so cool, although it will be awhile before I tackle another dead language.