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Aramaic

semitic language

Aramaic, Semitic language. It spread throughout Syria and Mesopotamia from the 8th century B.C. on, and was the official language of the Persian Empire. Aramaic was probably spoken by Jesus and the apostles, and parts of the Old Testament are in Aramaic. Aramaic survives only in isolated Lebanese villages and among some Nestorians of northern Iraq and eastern Turkey.

See also: Semitic languages.

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