ÜHTE VANEMAT KIRIKUT ÄHVARDAB KADU

Üks vanemaid kristlikke kogukondi - Iraagis umbes 1,5 miljonist assüürlasest koosnevad kirikud - on kadumise äärel. Enamik assüürlasi räägib tänaseni Jeesuse poolt kasutatud aramea keelt. Assüürlased kardavad, et konfliktides iiidi ja sunniidi moslemite ning ka erinevate kurdi grupeeringute vahel tehakse nad pihuks ja põrmuks.

Kui Iraagi demokratiseerumisprotsess ei vii eri rahvaste rahuliku kõrvutielamiseni, siis on oodata assüürlaste massilist väljarännet. Juba praegu põgenevad paljud kristlikud perekonnad, ütles Assüüria vaimulik Ken Joseph. Nad kardavad islami äärmuslasi, kes peavad kristlasi USA käsilasteks. Ka on kristlased pettunud üleminekuaja põhiseaduses, kus islam on kuulutatud ametlikuks usuks. Üleminekuvalitsuse ainus kristlane on emigratsiooniminister.

Enamik assüürlasi kuulub Kaldea kirikusse, kus on umbes 670 tuhat inimest. Selle kõrval on veel kolm kirikut - Assüüria, Süüria õigeusu ja Armeenia kirik. Protestantism jõudis Iraaki alles 1920. aastal Briti misjonäride kaudu. 1960. aastatel tekkisid ka väikesed evangelikaalsed kogudused.

HÄVITATI KIRIKUID JA KLOOSTREID

Pärast Baathi partei võimuletulekut Iraagis Saddam Husseini juhtimisel 1968. aastal vahistati ja hukati suuri kristlaste gruppe. 200 assüürlaste küla purustati, 150 kirikut ja kloostrit tehti maatasa. Iraani ja Iraagi sõja ajal tapeti 40 tuhat assüürlast. Lootus suuremale rahule Lahesõja järel moodustatud Põhja-Iraagi kaitsetsoonis osutus petlikuks, sest sageli sattusid assüürlased rivaalitsevate kurdi gruppide rinnete vahele.

Ka Saddam Husseini kukutamine ei ole olukorda eriti parandanud. Üleminekuaja põhiseadus andis küll esimest korda uuemal ajal assüürlastele olemasoluõiguse, kuid seadis enamiku nende küladest kurdi moslemite kontrolli alla, kes on korduvalt osutunud kristlaste tagakiusajateks.





NorthernWatch - The Story of Assyrians in North Iraq



Bagdadis tapeti assüüria-ortodoksi preester

05.04.2008 22:07

Iraagi pealinnas Bagdadis tulistati mööduvast sõidukist surnuks assüüria-ortodoksi usu preester Adel Youssef.

Iraagi kristlased on sageli langenud islamimässuliste ohvriks ning paljud neist on Iraagist pagenud, vahendas "Aktuaalne kaamera".

Kirikute juurde pandud relvastatud valvurid ei ole rünnakuid pühakodadele vähendanud. Hiljuti leiti Mosuli linnast nädalate eest pantvangi võetud kaldea-katoliiklaste peapiiskopi Paulos Faraj Rahho surnukeha.

Vaatlejate hinnangul on viimase viie aastaga Iraagist lahkunud ligi 800 tuhat kristlast.

Sven Randlaid ERR


Assüüria lipp.


Assüüria hümn
In Aramaic (Assyrian language)

ܩܵܐ ܪܘܼܡܪܵܡܵܐ ܕܫܸܡܵܐ ܪܵܡܵܐ
ܕܐܘܼܡܬܲܐ ܐܵܬܘܿܪ ܟܵܠܲܚ ܒܫܠܵܡܵܐ
ܗܿܝ ܕܗܘܸܐ ܠܵܗܿ ܕܲܪܓܘܼܫܬܵܐ ܕܡܲܪܕܘܼܬܵܐ
ܩܵܐ ܐܝܼܩܵܪܵܐ ܕܐܲܒܼܵܗܵܬܲܢ
ܐܵܢܝܼ ܕܦܪܸܣܠܗܘܿܢ ܠܡܸܬ ܥܲܡܪܵܢܝܼܬܵܐ
ܐܵܢܝܼ ܕܡܗܘܼܪܝܵܐ ܠܗܘܿܢ ܐܵܗ ܒܲܪܢܵܫܘܼܬܵܐ
ܕܥܵܡܪܵܐ ܗܘܵܐ ܒܫܠܵܡܵܐ ܗܲܠ ܐܵܒܵܕܘܼܬܵܐ
ܕܚܲܝܘܿܗܿ ܥܵܒܼܪܝܼ ܗܘܵܘ ܒܪܘܵܚܲܢܝܘܼܬܵܐ
ܕܝܵܪܡܵܐ ܗܘܵܐ ܒܡܵܪܝܵܐ ܓܵܘ ܥܸܠܵܝܘܼܬܵܐ

Translation into Assyrian-english

Qa Roomrama D-Shima Rama
D-Umtan Atoor Kalakh B-Shlama
Ay D-Veela Dargooshta D-Mardoota
Qa Eeqara D-Avahatan
Aney D-prisloon L-Mitamranita
Aney D-Mhoodyaloon Ah Barnashoota
D-Amrawa B-Shlama Hal Abadoota
D-Khayo Oree'wa B-Rwakhaniyoota
D-Yarmava B-Marya Go Elayoota


Translation into English

We stand in salute of our great nation Assyria.
We stand in honor of our forefathers who,
Spread across the earth and guided nations,
To live in peace, prosperity, and achieve greatness in God.

Ancient Assyrians Alive!
by Dr. Bhaskar Dasgupta

I nearly fell out of my chair when I stumbled over a tiny piece of news about the fact that August 7th is declared as the Memorial Day for Assyrian Martyrs.

Assyrians?

Surely somebody is pulling my leg or its April fool's day. Assyrians as a people died out millennia ago, and for a press release coming out commemorating August 7th as Martyr's day for them sounded a total joke to me. After I had managed to drag my carcass up from the floor, collected my jaw and settle down my oculars, I went digging into this strange and interesting news-story which I thought I would share with you dear readers. Here is what I found out.

There are approximately 1.8 million Assyrians scattered around the globe, but mainly in Iraq, USA and Syria. Previously inhabiting a swathe of territory ranging from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran and bits of the Caucuses, genocide and ethnic cleansing meant that a lot of them have emigrated to other countries. The link to the ancient Assyrians seems to be a bit weak and not very clear, but I suppose it is very difficult to establish it either way, even with DNA testing. What is interesting is that these modern day Assyrians have a different culture, language and religion to their Iraqi, Kurdish, Iranian and Syrian neighbors.

The language spoken by the Assyrians is Aramaic. If one is a movie goer or follows the tinsel-town news, one would know that Mel Gibson recently made a film about Jesus and used Aramaic in this film. Historians posit that the language of Jesus and the early Christians was Aramaic. Of course, any language would change over the course of couple of millennia, but it is apparently still heavily related to its roots of ancient Aramaic. The current day language borrows from Hebrew, Arabic, Syriac and Akkadian languages. The religion which they follow is Christianity, and they follow the Chaldean Church of Babylon in Iraq, the Assyrian Church or Chaldean or Assyro-Chaldean Church in Syria, and Church of the East in Iran. There seems to be some confusion but the Syrian Orthodox Church who also consider themselves as Assyrians or Arameans. Be that as it may, these are minor details. There has been much to'ing and fro'ing between the Roman Catholic Church of Rome with some elements of the Church of the East becoming catholic, while others have maintained their own unique church, liturgy and theological aspects.

An interesting aside, the Assyrians literally believe in one passage in the Bible which says, "In that day there shall be a way from Egypt to the Assyrians, and the Assyrian shall enter into Egypt, and the Egyptian to the Assyrians, and the Egyptians shall serve the Assyrian. In that day shall Israel be the third to the Egyptian and the Assyrian: a blessing in the midst of the land, Which the Lord of hosts hath blessed, saying: "Blessed be my people of Egypt, and the work of my hands to the Assyrian: but Israel is my inheritance." (Isaiah 19:23-25)." This has been repeated in many Assyrian websites and mailing lists, it is an article of faith for them. Egypt is their promised land, and between Egypt and Israel, the Assyrians will be the lord and masters. Now the situation in the Middle East is difficult and convoluted enough to attempt to understand without bringing in more complexity like this.

Imagine me writing an alternative history of the region, or a fantasy tract. And then we have these Assyrians coming over the hills (or is that the Golan Heights?) and sweeping the Israeli's and Egyptian border pickets and armies away, the respective armies melting away, and a new Assyrian state is born in this region. Many have created a state in this area comprising of Israel major and Egypt in the past, such as the Romans, Ottomans, etc. but this one should be good and interesting. It will really set the local politics alight. I wonder what will happen to the various other 'promised land theories'? Actually, here's a theological quandary for you, if the God of the Christians, Jews and Muslims is the same, how did he manage to promise the same few kilometres of land to so many different people? And for crying out loud, out of the billions and gazillions of kilometres in the universe and on this earth, why in the name of all that's holy (no pun intended) did he have to pick those few concentrated kilometres?

But while these Assyrians, at least in this essay, have been portrayed as a single ethnic group, the reality was different in the last century. Even though they share the culture, history, language and religion, they had been fragmented to a large degree over language dialects, religious differences, historical backgrounds, etc., but recently with the rise of internet communications, and use of English as a common external language it is bringing this community together again. What is very impressive is that they have managed to keep an ancient language, Aramaic alive and in common use for such a long time. Think back on other ancient languages such as Latin and Sanskrit, which are unfortunately no longer in common usage.

This group of people have a rather interestingly and well documented history of being persecuted. A website I found notes the first persecution way back to 107 A.D. when the Parthian king Xosroes murdered the second bishop of Arbela (modern Arbil). In 448 A.D., King Yasdegerd II lead the Persians to knock off more than hundred thousand Assyrians in and around Kirkuk in modern day Northern Iraq or Kurdistan. And so on and so forth, being persecuted by the Jews, Muslims, Parthians, Mongols, Kurds, you name it. Between Iran, Iraq and Syria, the Kurds seems to have really got it in for them. And these Assyrians were also part of the group of Maronite Christians in current Lebanon and participated in the civil war which sadly seems to be picking up steam again. But these chaps have really suffered, so much so that they were  called as the Martyr's Church by Pope John Paul II, because no other church has been the unfortunate recipient of concentrated martyrdom, persecution and massacres just for belonging to this religion/church.

This church seems to have grown and it pops up in the most amazing of places. The South Indian church is linked to the Assyrians, where it is known as the Chaldean Syrian Church. Kerala, the southern state, has had long trading links with the Middle East and this is where it's believed (on very little factual basis mind you) that the Apostle Thomas landed and converted many locals to Christianity. The Portuguese tried to convert these people to Catholicism, but didn't really manage to do so, but guess what? There seems to be a right royal theological war going on between Catholicism and Syrian Christians in India, with the equivalent of a SWAT team being sent by Antiochene Church in Jerusalem in 1665 to help fight off these pesky Catholics. This church is also present in USA, Australia and New Zealand and in some smaller numbers in Russia and other countries.

When I started to research this and talking to my sister about it, it was almost like being an internet Indiana Jones. Fascinating to dig around and discuss this little nugget of information. But for these Assyrians, life is not that easy. They are dissipated across a vast landscape, persecuted by and in the states in the Middle East where they live, difficult language and communication problems. It will indeed be a shame for this amazing cultural and religious group to die out, but they will have to make extraordinary efforts to create a self identity and grow into a confident part of the greater comity of nations. The Assyrians should take the words of Irena Klepfisz, a famous Jewish poetess and writer to heart. Irena said about her people and language: "Yiddish acted as the cement that bound the Jewish community together on a socialist foundation. What language we spoke was critical. It reflected our identity, our loyalty, our distinctness not only from the gentile environment, but from other Jews as well. The use of Yiddish was an expression not only of love of a language, but of pride in ourselves as a people; it was an acknowledgment of a historical and cultural yerushe, heritage, a link to generations of Jews who came before and to the political activists of Eastern Europe. Above all it was the symbol of resistance to assimilation, an insistence on remaining who we were."

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt! . August 12, 2007



Iraagi kristlased vaatavad tulevikku rahutusega
Mart Linnart - 04. aprill, 2003 20:03

Iraagi sõja algusest saadik on palju räägitud seal elavate šiiidi moslemite ja kurdide probleemidest ja ootustest. Hoopis vähem on aga kõneldud Iraagi kristlastest, kellest enamikku tuntakse assüürlaste ja kaldealastena.
President George Bush lubas tuua vabadust ja demokraatiat kõigile Iraagi etnilistele ja religioossetele gruppidele. Koos Suurbritannia peaministri Tony Blairi ja Hispaania liidri Jose Maria Aznariga vastuvõetud ühisavalduses kinnitab ta, et toetab Iraagi rahva püüdlusi esindusprintsiibil moodustatud valitsuse poole, mis järgib inimõigusi ja seaduslikkust kui demokraatia alussambaid.

“Kõik Iraagi rahvad – sunni ja šiiia araablased, kurdid, assüürlased, kaldealased ja teised – peaksid saama nautida vabadust, jõukust ja võrdsust ühtses riigis,” öeldakse avalduses.

Tegelikkuses ei paista tulevik aga kaugeltki nii roosiline. Kurdide ja šiiitide probleemidest on palju juttu olnud, kuid üpris ebamäärane on ka assüürlaste-kalealaste tulevik, kes moodustavad põhiosa Iraagi kristlastest. Prantsuse Assüürlaste-kaldealaste Assotsiatsiooni juhtiv tegelane Naman Adlun ütles Raadio Vaba Euroopale, et USA juhitud interventsioon, mida ta nimetas ebaseaduslikuks, tekitab eksiilis elavates Iraagi kristlastes vastakaid tundeid.

“Meie tunded pole ühesed. Üldiselt oleme selle sõja vastu ja tahame, et see lõpeks nii kiiresti kui võimalik. Aga samal ajal me tahame Saddamist lahti saada,” selgitas Adlun. “Meie kogukond on jagunenud kaheks. Osad toetavad sõjalisi lööke Iraagi pihta, pidades neid vabaduse hinnaks. Kuid kas me tõesti peame vabaduse saamiseks nii kõrget hinda maksma? Teised on selle sõja vastu, mida USA on eelistanud diplomaatilisele ja rahumeelsele lahendusele.”

Iraagis elab praegu rohkem kui miljon kristlast. Enamik neist on asüürlased-kaldealased, kuid on ka armeenlasi, süürlasi ja kreeklasi – viimaste seas nii õigeusklikke kui katoliiklasi. Enamik neist elab Bagdadis ja selle ümbruses ning arvatakse, et kristlased moodustavad pealinna kuuest miljonist elanikust peaaegu kümnendiku.

Pärast pommitamiste algust on Bagdadist lahkunud umbes 250 kristlaste perekonda, kuid Lyoni Katoliikliku Ülikooli politoloogiaõppejõud Joseph Yacoub ennustab, et raskemad ajad on Iraagi kristlaste jaoks veel ees.

“Eriti Iraagi kristlaste kogukonna jaoks tähendab see sõda kasvavat ohtu, sest levib arusaam, et kristlik Lääs võitleb islamistliku Ida vastu,” ütles Yacoub. “Sellest tulenevalt võib Iraagi kristlikust kogukonnast saada patuoinas.”

11. septembri terrorirünnakute järel rääkis president Bush ristisõjast Talibani religioosse režiimi vastu, mis äratas islamimaailmas teravat protesti. Edaspidi on Valge Maja küll eitanud, et sõjaplaanidel võiks olla mingi religioosne taust, kuid neisse väidetesse suhtuvad moslemid umbusuga.

Kristlased ei looda Iraagi tulevastes võimustruktuurides kuigivõrd olulist esindust saada. Londonis toimunud kohtumistel Ühendriikide esindajate ja Iraagi opositsioonijõude esindava Rahvuskongressi vahel arutati mitmeid võimaliku uue põhiseaduse variante, mis kõik olid aga selgelt islamikesksed.

Kurdistanis baseeruva Assüüria Demokraatliku Liikumise juht Adlun ütles, et demokraatlikku ja ilmalikku Iraagi riiki soovivates kristlastes tekitasid need projektid tõsist muret. Usuvähemuste küsimuse ekspert Joseph Yacoub ütles Raadio Vaba Euroopale, et 9 Lääne-Euroopas tegutsevat assüürlaste-kaldealaste organisatsiooni väljendasid president Bushile saadetud kirjas oma rahutust seoses võimalusega, et Iraaki võidakse hakata tulevikus valitsema islami šariaadiseaduse alusel.

“Londoni konverentsile esitatud põhiseaduse eelnõus oli viide islamile palju tugevam kui Iraagi praeguses konstitutsioonis. See kirjutati sisse mõnede šiiidi ja kurdi opositsioonigruppide survel,” selgitas Yacoub. “Praegune põhiseadus ütleb vaid, et islam on riigiusund. Seal pole sõnagagi mainitud, et šaria on seadusandluse alus. Londonis esitatud tekst oli aga selgelt islamistlik. See kirjeldas šariat kui õigusnormide alust ja see tekitab meis tõsist muret.”

Iraagi kristlased kardavad, et nii, nagu nad on olnud alaesindatud senistel opositsiooni kohtumistel, jäävad nende huvid tahaplaanile ka tulevases parlamendis ja valitsuses.

Praeguse Iraagi territooriumil tegutsevas Assüüria kirikus kasutatakse pühapäevadel ja kirikupühadel 7. sajandist pärinevat «apostel Addai ja Mâri anaphora’d». Vatikanis peeti seda vormelit kaua puudulikuks ning alles spetsiaalse komisjoni uurimine aastal 2001 tuvastas vastupidise. Selles liturgilises korras puuduvad nimelt armulaua osas seadmissõnad.

Iraagi kristlaste tulevik on ebaselge

Iraagis elab 1,2 miljonit kristlast, kellest enamuse moodustavad nestoriaanlik ja kaldea kirik. Iraagi kristlik traditsioon sai alguse juba esimesel sajandil, kui apostel Toomas ristis assüürlaste kuninga Abgari. Kristlus sai hiljem veelgi olulisemaks, kui näiteks 7. sajandil oli valdavalt kristlik ka Kurdistan; tänaseks on kristlastest kurde alles vaid mõnikümmend tuhat. Assüüria-kaldea kristlased räägivad ainsatena tänases maailmas Jeesuse kõneldud aramea keelt, mis on kurdi kristlaste vaimulikuks keeleks.

Iraagi territooriumil arenenud nestoriaanlik kristlus lõi viiendal sajandil lahku läänekristlikust kirikust, osa neist, nn kaldea kirik liitus 16. sajandil roomakatoliku kirikuga, assüürlased jäid aga iseseisvaks kirikuks. Assüüria-kaldea kristlased elavad peamiselt Niinive ümbruses, kuid kurdide ülestõusude ja Iraani-Iraagi sõja tõttu on paljud neist emigreerunud või asunud elama linnadesse – peamiselt Bagdadi, kus arvatakse elavat pool miljonit kristlast, ja Iraagi lõunapoolse piiri lähedal asuvasse Basrasse (50 000 kristlast), kus domineerivad šiiidid.

Kahe tuhande aastase religioonide rahumeelse kooseksisteerimise traditsiooni tulemusena on tänases Iraagis oluline koht judaismil ja mitmel sünkretistlikul usuvoolul. Seda traditsiooni on rikkunud aga sõjad, genotsiid, kurdide ja šiiitide ülestõusud, mille tõttu elab täna väljaspool Iraaki 4 miljonit assüüria-kaldea kristlast.

Saddam Husseini võimu ajal pole kristlaste käsi käinud sugugi kõige halvemini. Kristlane Tariq Aziz on olnud Saddam Husseini valitsuse ja Baathi partei tipp-poliitik juba vähemalt veerand sajandit. Praegune asepeaminister Aziz oli 1980. aastal Iraagi välisminister. Üheks toona Iraani-Iraagi sõjale viinud sündmuseks oli šiiitide katse teha Azizile atendaat.

1991. aasta Lahesõja ajal tõusid šiiidid USA innustusel Saddami vastu üles, kuid USA jättis nad lõpuks abita ning tulemusena on viimase kümnendi jooksul Iraagis tapetud kümneid tuhaneid šiiite. Saddam on ületanud igasuguse piiri šiiitide kohtlemisel, kuid ta on hoidnud islami äärmuslased kontrolli all ning kristlaste oluliseks probleemiks pole olnud Huntingtoni «tsivilisatsioonide kokkupõrge» moslemitega, vaid pigem rahvuslikul tasandil suhted kurdidega ja Baathi partei liigne surve rõhutada araabia keelt ja identiteeti.

Arutelus tulevase Husseini-järgse Iraagi konstitutsiooni üle on nii kurdid kui šiiidid nõudnud selgemat viidet islamile ja šariaadile kui Iraagi õigusallikale, kui see on Saddami re�iimis, kus praegune konstitutsioon näiteks üldse šariaadile ei viita.

Iraagi kristlaste tulevik on tume eelkõige kolmel põhjusel: suhted kristlaste ja moslemite vahel võivad pingestuda, kui Iraak muutub sisuliselt rohkem islamimaaks kui ta siiani on olnud; usuliste terminitega seostatud sõda võib põhjustada sõjajärgseid usuliselt motiveeritud konflikte Iraagis; kui Iraak saab demokraatlikuks, siis on vaid kuni 5% Iraagi elanikkonnast moodustavatel kristlastel küllalt vähe lootust riigi poliitikas senisel tasemel kaasa rääkida.

Alar Kilp



Assyrians after Assyria

The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project (State Archives of Assyria)

Posted: Monday, July 03, 2000 at 11:33 AM CT


Presented at The Assyrian National Convention in Los Angeles, September 4, 1999
Published in the Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies, Vol.  XIII No. 2, 1999

LegacyIn 612 BC, after a prolonged civil war, Assyria's two former vassals, the Babylonians and the Medes, conquered and destroyed Nineveh, the capital of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. The great city went up in flames, never to regain its former status. Three years later the same rebels razed Assyria's Western metropolis, Harran, crushing the last-ditch resistance of Assyria's last king,Ashur-uballit II. This event sealed the fate of the Assyrian Empire, and that is where the story of Assyria usually ends in history books.

What happened to the Assyrians after the fall of Assyria? This is a question that is not easy to answer for two reasons. Firstly, the issue has hardly been touched by Assyriologists. Most of them seem to tacitly agree with the idea of a more or less total wipe-out, as suggested by Sidney Smith in 1925: "The disappearance of the Assyrian people will always remain a unique and striking phenomenon in ancient history. Other, similar kingdoms and empires have indeed passed away but the people have lived on... No other land seems to have been sacked and pillaged so completely as was Assyria."

Secondly, in contrast to the abundance of information from the imperial period, information on post-empire Assyria and Assyrians is scanty and scattered. The near-total lack of information from Assyria itself would seem to support the idea of a genocide, which also seems to be supported by ancient eye-witness testimonies. When the Greek historian Xenophon 200 years after Nineveh's fall passed through the Assyrian heartland and visited the sites of two great Assyrian cities, he found nothing but ruin and could not retrieve much about them from the nearby villagers. The territory where these deserted cities lay was now Median, and the Greeks assumed that their former inhabitants had likewise been Medes.

Yet it is clear that no such thing as a wholesale massacre of all Assyrians ever happened. It is true that some of the great cities of Assyria were utterly destroyed and looted -- archaeology confirms this --, some deportations were certainly carried out, and a good part of the Assyrian aristocracy was probably massacred by the conquerors. However, Assyria was a vast and densely populated country, and outside the few destroyed urban centers life went on as usual. This is proved by a recently discovered post-imperial archive from the Assyrian provincial capital Dur-Katlimmu, on the Chabur river, which contains business documents drawn up in Assyrian cuneiform more than a decade after the fall of Nineveh. Apart from the fact that these documents are dated by the regal years of a Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar II, nothing in their formulation or external appearance would suggest that they were not written under the Assyrian Empire. Another small archive discovered in Assur, written in a previously unknown, presumably Mannean variety of cuneiform, proves that Assyrian goldsmiths still worked in the city in post-empire times, though now under Median command.

Moreover, over a hundred Assyrians with distinctively Assyrian names have recently been identified in economic documents from many Babylonian sites dated between 625 and 404 BC, and many more Assyrians undoubtedly remain to be identified in such documents. We do not know whether these people were deportees or immigrants from Assyria; their families may have settled in Babylonia already under the Assyrian rule. In any case, they unequivocally prove the survival of many Assyrians after the empire and the continuity of Assyrian identity, religion and culture in post-empire times. Many of these names contain the divine name Ashur, and some of the individuals concerned occupied quite high positions: one Pan-Ashur-lumur was the secretary of the crown prince Cambyses under Cyrus II in 530 BC.

Distinctively Assyrians names are also found in later Aramaic and Greek texts from Assur, Hatra, Dura-Europus and Palmyra, and continue to be attested until the beginning of the Sasanian period. These names are recognizable from the Assyrian divine names invoked in them; but whereas earlier the other name elements were predominantly Akkadian, they now are exclusively Aramaic. This coupled with the Aramaic script and language of the texts shows that the Assyrians of these later times no longer spoke Akkadian as their mother tongue. In all other respects, however, they continued the traditions of the imperial period. The gods Ashur, Sherua, Istar, Nanaya, Bel, Nabu and Nergal continued to be worshiped in Assur at least until the early third century AD; the local cultic calendar was that of the imperial period; the temple of Ashur was restored in the second century AD; and the stelae of the local rulers resemble those of Assyrian kings in the imperial period. It is also worth pointing out that many of the Aramaic names occurring in the post-empire inscriptions and graffiti from Assur are already attested in imperial texts from the same site that are 800 years older.

Assur was by no means the only city where Assyrian religion and cults survived the fall of the empire. The temple of Sin, the great moon god of Harran, was restored by the Babylonian king Nabonidus in the mid-sixth century BC, and the Persian king Cyrus claims to have returned Ishtar of Nineveh to her temple in Nineveh. Classical sources attest to the continuity of Assyrian cults in other Syrian cities until late antiquity; in Harran, the cults of Sin, Nikkal, Bel, Nabu, Tammuz and other Assyrian gods persisted until the 10th century AD and are still referred to in Islamic sources. Typically Assyrian priests with their distinctive long conical hats and tunics are depicted on several Graeco-Roman monuments from Northern Syria and East Anatolia.

We know little of the political status of Assyria in the decades following its fall, but it seems that the western part of the Empire as far as the Tigris fell into the hands of the Babylonians, while the eastern Transtigridian areas, including the Assyrian heartland north of Assur, came under Median rule. Under the Achaemenid Empire, the western areas annexed to Babylonia formed a satrapy called Athura (a loanword from Imperial Aramaic Athur, "Assyria"), while the Assyrian heartland remained incorporated in the satrapy of Mada (Old Persian for "Media"). Both satrapies paid yearly tribute and contributed men for the military campaigns and building projects of the Persian kings. Assyrian soldiers participated in the expedition of Xerxes against Greece (480 BC) according to Herodotus, and Assyrians from both Athura and Mada participated in the construction of the palace of Darius at Susa (500-490 BC).

Interestingly, it was the "Median" Assyrians who executed the gold works and glazing of this palace, whereas the Assyrians from the satrapy of Athura provided the timber for the palace from Mt. Lebanon. In the Babylonian version of the Persian inscription, the name Athura is at this point rendered Eber nari, "land beyond the river (Euphrates)." This shows that the Western, originally Aramean, half of the Assyrian Empire was already at this time firmly identified with Assyria proper, an important issue to which we shall return later on.

We thus see that by Achaemenid times, Assyria, though split in two, had re-emerged as a political entity of considerable military and economic strength. In 520 BC, both Athura and Mada joined the revolt against Darius, trying to regain their independence. This revolt was a failure, but in a sense the Assyrian Empire had already been re-established long ago. Actually, in the final analysis, it had never been destroyed at all but had just changed ownership: first to Babylonian and Median dynasties, and then to a Persian one.

Contemporaries and later Greek historians did not make a big distinction between the Assyrian Empire and its successors: in their eyes, the "monarchy" or "universal hegemony" first held by the Assyrians had simply passed to or been usurped by other nations. For example, Ctesias of Cnidus writes: "It was under [Sardanapallos] that the empire (hegemonia) of the Assyrians fell to the Medes, after it had lasted more than thirteen hundred years. "

The Babylonian king Nabonidus, who reigned sixty years after the fall of Nineveh and actually originated from an Assyrian city, Harran, refers to Ashurbanipal and Esarhaddon as his "royal forefathers." His predecessor Nebuchadnezzar and the Persian kings Cyrus and Artaxerxes are correspondingly referred to as "Kings of Assyria" in Greek historical tradition and in the Bible. Strabo, writing at the time of the birth of Christ, tells us that "the customs of the Persians are like those of the Assyrians," and calls Babylon a "metropolis of Assyria" (which it, of course, in fact was too, having been completely destroyed and rebuilt by the Assyrians in the early seventh century BC).

The Babylonian, Median and Persian empires should thus be seen (as they were seen in antiquity) as successive versions of the same multinational power structure, each resulting from an internal power struggle within this structure. In other words, the Empire was each time reborn under a new leadership, with political power shifting from one nation to another.

Of course, the Empire changed with each change of leadership. On the whole, however, the changes were relatively slight, one could almost say cosmetic only. The language of the ruling elite changed, of course, first from Assyrian to Babylonian, Median, and Persian, and finally to Greek. In its dress the elite likewise followed its national customs, and it naturally venerated its own gods, from whom its power derived. Thus Ashur was replaced as imperial god first by the Babylonian Marduk, and then by the Iranian Ahura Mazda, Greek Zeus, etc.

On the whole, however, the old structures of the Empire prevailed or in the long run gained the upper hand. Cuneiform writing (now in its Babylonian, Elamite and Old Persian forms) continued to be used for monumental inscriptions. Aramaic retained the status of imperial lingua franca which it had attained under the Assyrian Empire. The gods of the new elites gradually became assimilated to Assyrian gods. The supreme god of the Persians, Ahura Mazda, was now represented by the winged disk of Ashur; the Iranian goddess Anahita acquired features of the goddess Ishtar and finally became to all practical purposes fully assimilated to her. The same happened to the god Mithra, who was transformed into the Iranian equivalent of the Assyrian savior gods Nabu and Ninurta.

The list could be made much longer. The Assyrian calendar and month names remained in use in the whole Near East, as they still do today. So did other imperial standards and measures, the taxation and conscription system, royal ideology in general, the symbolism of imperial art, organization of the court, court ceremony, diplomatic practices, and so on. The continuity of Assyrian imperial culture was certainly aided by the fact that the Babylonians and Medes had for centuries been vassals of Assyria, while the Persians, as former vassals of the Elamites and the Medes, had long been subjected to Assyrian cultural influence. Both conquerors of Nineveh, the Babylonian Nabopolassar and Median Kyaxares, had previously served as Assyrian governors in their respective countries.

Thus, the Assyrian Empire continued to live on despite the fact that the Assyrians themselves were no longer in control of it. However, they still contributed to its government and expansion. From an analysis of the inscriptions of Nabonidus we know that this Babylonian king employed scribes who had been trained in Assyria and were familiar with its literary traditions; later on, the same scribes served the Persian king, Cyrus. The role of Assyrian artists in the construction of Susa and Persepolis has already been referred to. The governorship of the Persian satrapy Athura seems to have been often in the hands of Assyrians. The Book of Ezra (ca. 450 BC) refers to a governor with the name Sanballat (Assyrian Sin-ballit), and the Greek historian Xenophon writing in 400 BC mentions a governor with the Aramaic name Abracomas.

The Greek historian Thucydides reports that during the Peloponnesian wars (ca. 410 BC), the Athenians intercepted a Persian named Artaphernes, who was carrying a message from the Great King to Sparta. The man was taken prisoner, brought to Athens, and the letters he was carrying were translated "from the Assyrian language. " The language in question of course was Aramaic, which, as already noted, continued as the lingua franca in the Achaemenid Empire, as it had done in Assyria.

We thus see that two hundred years after its fall, the Empire created by the Assyrians and its language were still prominently associated with Assyria, and this with a markedly Aramaic tint. This state of affairs continued under the Macedonian rulers of the Seleucid Empire. The area of the Seleucid kingdom initially largely covered that of the Assyrian Empire, and its capital soon moved from Babylonia to Syria/Assyria. Despite the heavily Greek orientation of the ruling elite and the imposition of Greek as the official language, the Seleucid kings were commonly referred to in Greek sources as "kings of Syria," a designation that still retained a strong association with Assyria.

The Greek word Syria and the adjectives Syrios and Syros derived from it are originally simple phonetic variants of Assyria and Assyrios, with aphaeresis of the unstressed first syllable. The dropping of the first syllable is already attested in Imperial Aramaic spellings of Ashur, and the variation in Greek is thus likely to derive from corresponding variation in Aramaic. In Greek texts, both variants are usually freely interchangeable and can refer to both the Persian province Athura and the Assyrian Empire. For example, Strabo writes that "the city of Ninus was wiped out immediately after the overthrow of the Syrians," while his older contemporary Diodorus, quoting Herodotus, writes that "after the Assyrians had ruled Asia for five hundred years they were conquered by the Medes. " Only in Roman times, do the two forms start to acquire the distinct meanings that Assyria and Syria have today.

Syria and Assyria are still interchangeable and refer to the Assyrian Empire in the Geography of Strabo, who however makes a distinction between Assyrians at large and the Assyrian homeland on the Tigris, to which he refers to as Aturia/Assyria:

The country of the Assyrians borders on Persis and Susiana. This name is given to Babylonia and to much of the country all around, which latter, in part, is also called Aturia, in which are Ninus [...], Nisibis, as far as the Zeugma of the Euphrates, as also much of the country on the far side of the Euphrates ... and those people who in a special sense of the term are called by the men of today Syrians, who extend as far as the Cilicians and the Phoenicians and the sea that is opposite the Aegyptian Sea and the Gulf of Issus. It seems that the name of the Syrians extended not only from Babylonia to the gulf of Issus, but also in ancient times from this gulf to the Euxine... When those who have written histories of the Syrian empire say that the Medes were overthrown by the Persians and the Syrians by the Medes, they mean by the Syrians no other people than those who built the royal palaces in Babylon and Ninus; and, of these Syrians, Ninus was the man who founded Ninus in Aturia, and his wife, Semiramis, was the woman who succeeded her husband and founded Babylon. These two gained the mastery of Asia... But later the empire passed over to the Medes.

Two generations later, Pliny the Elder (ca. AD 70), while utilizing the work of Strabo, already prefers the name Assyria for the Empire. His contemporary Flavius Josephus likewise consistently refers to the Empire as Assyria, and uses Syria in referring to the Seleucid Empire and the Roman province of Syria. This terminology anticipates the situation after the reign of Trajan, who after his campaign against the Parthians (AD 116) created a province called Assyria in the east, probably annexing the semi-independent state of Adiabene which the Assyrians had succeeded in establishing in their ancient homeland.

The new distinction made between Syria (in the west) and Assyria (in the east) recalls the split of the Assyrian Empire into the Achaemenid satrapies Athura and Mada and can be explained as follows.

In the Strabo passage just cited, the adjective Syros is used both in a historical sense referring to inhabitants of the Assyrian Empire and as an ethno-linguistic designation referring to speakers of Aramaic who identified themselves as Assyrians. The area called "Syro-Media" was the Assyrianized part of Media where Aramaic was commonly spoken instead of Iranian languages. This entire Aramaic-speaking area, that is Assyria/Syria, had long been controlled by the Seleucid Empire. At the time when the Seleucid state was annexed to the Roman Empire, 64 BC, its area had however shrunken to encompass only the Transeuphratian part of Assyria/Syria, which now became the Roman province of Syria. As the remnant of the Seleucid Empire, this area still was strongly identified with Assyria; there was no need to distinguish it from ancient Assyria. Only later, when the Roman Empire expanded further eastward, there arose a need for further distinctions. The name Syria now became established for the Roman province, while Assyria was reserved for the Transtigridian Aturia/Adiabene and by and by for ancient Assyria as well. It is likely that this distinction reflects linguistic realities, the Aramaic words for Assyria having lost the initial syllable in the west but retained it in the eastern dialects.

To sum up the long discussion: whatever their later meanings, in Greek and Latin usage, Syria and Assyria originally both referred to the Assyrian Empire, while speakers of Aramaic were identified as Assyrians and the script they used as Assyrian script. How, when and why did this intrinsic association of Assyria and Assyrians with Arameans and Aramaic come about?

The Empire extended beyond the Euphrates already in the 12th century BC and from that point on Arameans constituted the majority of its population. In the 9th century BC, Assyrian kings initiated an active policy of assimilation and integration, the goal of which was to put a definite end to the endless revolts that had vexed the Empire in the past. The results of this new policy were soon to be seen. Rebel countries were now annexed to the Empire as new provinces, whereby hundreds of thousands of people were deported to other parts of the Empire and the annexed country was totally reorganized in Assyrian fashion. This involved imposition of a uniform taxation and conscription system, uniform standards, weights and measures, the conversion of the local royal city into an Assyrian administrative center, and, above all, the imposition of a single universal language and script, Aramaic.

By the end of the 8th century the provincial system covered the entire Levant from Palestine to central Iran, and it was further expanded in the seventh century. At this time Aramaic was already spoken all over the Empire, and Assyrian imperial culture had been dominant everywhere for centuries.

The Aramaization of Assyria was calculated policy aimed at creating national unity and identity of a kind that could never have been achieved, had the Empire remained a loose conglomeration of a plethora of different nations and languages. And it did pay off. Even though Akkadian retained its position as the language of the ruling elite and cuneiform script continued to be used for prestige purposes, Aramaic soon became part and parcel of the imperial administration too. It was by no means the language of subjected peoples only but fully equal with Akkadian, and eventually it became the language of the ruling class as well.

Men with Aramaic names are found in high state offices from the ninth century on, and by the eighth century, every official document was drawn up both in Akkadian and Aramaic. By the beginning of the seventh century the whole ruling class was certainly fully bilingual, for most of the administrative correspondence of the Empire was now carried out in Aramaic. Many scribes who wrote in cuneiform appear to have spoken Aramaic as their first language. For example, the scribe who wrote a beautiful copy of the first tablet of the Epic of Gilgamesh for the library of Ashurbanipal, made a mistake which only a speaker of Aramaic could have made: he used the cuneiform sign for "lord" for writing the word "son," Aramaic mara' "lord" being homophonic with Akkadian mara' "son."

It can be considered certain that by the end of the seventh century BC, Aramaic language and imperial culture had become essential parts of Assyrian identity. While Aramaic was the unifying language of the Empire, it was not spoken outside of it. The same also applies to the imperial culture and religion. While local gods continued to be worshipped in different parts of the Empire, the whole Empire shared the belief in a single omnipotent god and his earthly representative, the Assyrian king.

All these features survived the fall of the Assyrian Empire and helped give its successors their specifically Assyrian stamp, despite the alien customs and cultural elements introduced by the new overlords. It can even be surmised that the foreign habits of the new rulers may rather have strengthened the Assyrian identity of the masses. This will have been the case especially in the areas longest attached to Assyria, that is, the later Achaemenid/Roman province of Athura/Syria and, of course, the Assyrian heartland itself.

It goes without saying that in the centuries following Assyria's fall, Assyrian imperial culture underwent significant changes. This is but natural; even under Assyrian rule, it had constantly absorbed new impulses from all sides. The successive periods of Persian, Macedonian, Roman, Byzantine, Sasanian, and finally Arab and Turkish rule each left their lasting traces in the Assyrian cultural heritage, which now is significantly different from what it was 3,000 years ago. But the same thing has happened elsewhere, too; the Greek culture of today is not the same thing as it was in antiquity, nor are the modern Greeks. The essential thing is that the Assyrians still preserve their ethnic, cultural and linguistic identity in spite of their loss of political power and the heavy persecutions they have experienced especially in the Christian Era.

Not even the thousand years of Greek rule under the Seleucids, Romans and Byzantium were able to annihilate Aramaic as a language and Assyrian cultural identity from the Near East. On the contrary, the Seleucid Empire soon became "Syro-Macedonian. " The Roman historian Livy, quoting two second century BC testimonies, Manlius and Titus Flaminius, observed that "the Macedonians of Seleuceia and Babylonia have degenerated into Syrians [and] into Parthians ... The armies of Antiochus III were all Syrians."

Several writers and philosophers of late antiquity born in Roman Syria identify themselves as Assyrians in their writings, for example the second-century bellestrist Lucian of Samosata, who introduces himself as "an Assyrian ... still barbarous in speech and almost wearing a jacket in the Assyrian style. " Another second-century writer, a certain Iamblichus who wrote a novel set in Babylonia, "was a Syrian by race on both his father's and mother's side, a Syrian not in the sense of the Greeks who have settled in Syria, but of the native ones, familiar with the Syrian language and living by their customs. " The famous namesake of this writer, the Neoplatonian philosopher Iamblichus also originated from Syria. The name Iamblichus is a Greek version of the Aramaic name Ia-milik, which is already attested in Assyrian imperial sources.

All these self-professed Assyrians were well-versed in Greek culture but at the same time perfectly aware of the greater antiquity and value of their own cultural heritage. The second-century Church Father Tatian, in his Oratio adversus Graecos, describes himself as "he who philosophizes in the manner of barbarians, born in the land of the Assyrioi, first educated on your principles, secondly in what I now profess," and then goes on to reject Greek culture as not worth having.

I take such expressions of Assyrian identity seriously, despite the communis opinio of classicists which sees in them simply references to the writers' linguistic background and doubts the persistence of Assyrian cultural traditions in the Hellenized Near East. Yet how could such traditions not have persisted, when we know that Greeks and Romans from Plato till late antiquity kept learning spirituality and science from the Assyrians and Babylonians? The cursive nature of the Syriac script alone, from its first attestations, implies the existence of an extensive Aramaean literary corpus in the post-Assyrian centuries. As noted by Fergus Millar, "the Syriac-speaking inhabitants of what had been ancient Assyria apparently did not suffer from historical 'amnesia'... [T]he Syriac Chronicle of Karka de bet Selok (present-day Kirkuk), written in about the sixth or seventh century, begins with the foundation of the city by an Assyrian king, mentions further building by Seleucus and goes on to speak of martyrdoms under the Sasanids. " Such historical details would not have been possible without written records reaching back to Assyrian times.

Since Late Antiquity, Christianity in its Syriac elaboration has constituted an essential part of Assyrian identity. As I have tried to show elsewhere, conversion to Christianity was easy for the Assyrians, for many of the teachings of the early Church were consonant with the tenets of Assyrian imperial religion. In fact, it can be argued that many features and dogmas of early Christianity were based on practices and ideas already central to Assyrian imperial ideology and religion. Such features include the central role of asceticism in Syriac Christianity, the cult of the Mother of the god, the Holy Virgin, and belief in God the Father, his Son and the Holy Spirit, formalized in the doctrine of the Trinity of God.

The Trinitarian doctrine enters Christian theology only in the third century AD. As late as in AD 260, Pope Dionysios of Rome could still be shocked by the idea of three hypostases proposed by Origen. Where did Origen get his ideas from? His teacher was Clement of Alexandria, who in his turn had been taught by an Assyrian, Tatian. We do not know exactly what part of Assyria/Syria Tatian came from, but we do know that he was an Assyrian and as such part of a religious tradition in which Trinitarian ideas had been current for centuries. I would submit there is a great likelihood that he is the ultimate source of Origen's Trinity.

For an outsider who does not know the facts it will be difficult to recognize the link between imperial Assyria and the oppressed and persecuted, Aramaic-speaking Christian Assyrians of today. And if this recognition is lacking, it will be all the more difficult for the Assyrians to regain their lost place among sovereign nations. For this reason it is imperative that the facts establishing the link be systematically collected and presented in a way that will settle the issue definitely.

To make this possible, the State Archives of Assyria Centre of Excellence of the University of Helsinki has initiated a long-term project called MELAMMU, "divine splendor," which aims at systematically documenting the continuity and transformation of Assyrian culture and ethnic identity in post-empire times until the present day. A central objective of MELAMMU is to create an electronic database bringing together all the relevant evidence and make it available worldwide on the Internet. The project has an international steering committee and a board of consultants representing several different branches of study, from Assyriology to classical, Iranian and religious studies. With the support of Assyrian institutions in the United States and Sweden, we hope to have the database ready and operational within a few years.

I am convinced that, once completed, MELAMMU will not only greatly boost research in Assyrian and Babylonian cultural heritage but also significantly help modern Assyrians in their struggle for a brighter future. I particularly hope that MELAMMU will become a source of inspiration for young computer-generation Assyrians and inspire them to work for the future of their nation. For they have plenty of reasons to do so with pride. They are descendants of a great nation which has given much to the culture of mankind and spread Christianity farther than any other people in antiquity.

Related Information...

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Assyrian National Petition
Prepared by Assyrian Information Management (AIM)
Posted:  August 7, 1999 at 05:36 PM

AssyriaThe Assyrian National Petition presented to the World Security Conference in San Francisco, California USA on May 7, 1945.  Printed by Kimball Press, New Jersey - USA on March 25, 1946.


PETITION IN BEHALF OF THE ASSYRIAN NATION
THE  PATRIARCHATE OF THE EAST • 6346 N. Sheridan Road • Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

To the Hon. Alger Hiss
Secretary-General
Veterans Building
San Francisco, California

Excellency:

THE ASSYRIAN NATION of today is the remnant of the once great Assyrian Empire, and the greatest missionary Church the world has ever known.  Their status as a millet, "nation", under the leadership of their Patriarch, known as the PATRIARCH OF THE EAST, was recognized and tolerated under the Parthians, the Sassanides, the Arab Khalifs, the Mogul Kahns, and the Ottoman Sultans.

Assyria

Until World War I, the Assyrian nation lived in the mountains of Kurdistan to the North of Beth-Nahreen (Mesopotamia) and around Lake Urumia, in Persia, under the spiritual and temporal leadership of their Patriarchs.

The Assyrians in Kurdistan, although nominally subjects to the Turkish Government, enjoyed a great measure of autonomy.   The Turkish Government satisfied itself with a tribute paid through the agency of the Patriarch, His Holiness the Mar Shimun, a title used by the successive Patriarchs to signify the foundation of the CHURCH OF THE EAST by saint Peter.

Assyrian Nation in World War I

This was the state in which the Assyrian nation lived prior to the outbreak of the First World War.  The respective European powers -- England, Russia, and France -- had for many years been interested in the Assyrian nation in view of the strategic position which they held, and their undeniable quality as soldiers.  The representatives of these Powers made regular tours among the Assyrians, disseminating the propaganda of their respective governments -- an act which the Assyrians were unable to avoid and the Turkish Government (equally) powerless to prevent.

This naturally increased the suspicions of the old Turkish Regime against the Assyrians, suspicions which were for the most part unwarranted and grossly exaggerated; but the fact these suspicions did exist, and when the tragic hour struck in 1914, the small Assyrian Nation was among the first to suffer the tragic consequences over which it had no control.  In a document such as this, it is not possible to go into detail of the series of happenings which have already been documented by various writers.

 HolocaustHowever, whether with the knowledge of the central government or through instigation of local Turkish officials, the Mohammedan Kurds carried out a wholesale massacre of the Assyrians of the district of Albaq Gawar; men, women, and children alike were slaughtered, only young women being spared to suffer the worst fate of Harem life.  The then Patriarch, MAR BENYAMIN SHIMUN, alarmed by the tragedy, called a general meeting of all the leaders of the nation, composed of both the bishops and the Maliks who met in Diz on the 18th of April, 1915.

TurkeyAfter lengthy deliberations it was unanimously decided that -- in view of the fact that the Turkish Government had failed to observe its solemn obligation to safeguard the lives and property of the Assyrians -- the Assyrian nation accept the invitation of the Allies and particularly that of England, France, and Russia to join the common cause and to fight to the victorious end as their smallest Ally. 

 In reply to the ultimatum of the Assyrian nation, the Turkish Government informed the Patriarch Mar BENYAMIN Shimun that that if the Assyrians joined the Allies, his brother Hormizd, then a student at Constantinople (and held as hostage) would be put to death.  The Patriarch who had hitherto exhorted his people to be patient in suffering, remained unmoved by the threat.  Hormizd was accordingly put to death most cruelly.

RussiaIn the meantime, the Patriarch made a personal contact with Chernosoboff, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Eastern armies, who was then in Salmas in Northwest Persia and who informed him that due to pressure on the Western front, the Russian armies were then actually withdrawing from Persia, and therefore, the help promised to the Assyrians was not forthcoming.  It was at this time that the Assyrians around Lake Urumia suffered a terrible fate at the hands of the incoming Turkish armies and the Kurdish and Persian irregulars.  The Assyrians in Kurdistan, in the meantime, had set a line of resistance west to the Vilayet of Mosul and northwest on the Persian border.  They were attacked incessantly by powerful units of the Turkish army and swarms of Kurdish irregulars, yet they held on tenaciously for about four months, but being vastly outnumbered both in men and material, they finally had to retreat, and join the Russian Forces who had by now returned to Salmas and Urumia.  Here they were organized into regular units and armed by the Russians, and they distinguished themselves in many an engagement against the common foe.

However, the Russian Revolution of October, 1917, left the Assyrian nation stranded, and had from now on to fight alone against the Turks, the Persians, and the Kurds.  In fourteen major battles the Assyrians were victorious, but the incessant pressure of the Turkish Regulars and the Kurdish irregulars necessitated a shortening of the line.

This action on the part of the Turkish army was motivated by the fact that the Assyrian army was threatening seriously the northern flank of their armies that were engaged in a deadly combat with the British armies in Mesopotamia and Southern Persia...



Iidse akkadi keelsed sõnad kaasaegses assüüria keeles

Common Vocabulary in ancient Assyrian and Modern Assyrian

Akkadian Modern Eastern Assyrian Modern Western Assyrian Meaning
abalu labuli
to carry, to take
abatu evada
to do
abi abi or babi babi my father
abu aba or baba abo
father
abu-kku-nu babokhun or abokun
your father (plural)
adannu dana edono
appointed time, deadline
addu addeya eddo
now
agappu gulpa gefo
wing
agrabu agriba aqrebo
scorpion
aharru kharraya haroyo
to be the last
akalu kalla okhel
to eat
akhu akhuna aho
brother
akhatu khatta hotho
sister
ammtu amtta amtho
handmaid, female servant
anutee annee hani
these
arba'u arba arb’o
four
ardikhalu ardikhla ardikhlo
builder, architect
arkhu yarkha yarho
month
asu asya osio
physician
assuritu assuraita , atturaita, suraita ashuraito, othuraito, suraito
assyrian female
atta att hat
you
attunu ahtune hatu
you plural
bakhu bakha bokhe
to weep
banu bnaya or bnna bone
to build
baraqu braqa barqo
flash
bararu barra
glimer, to shine
battibatti batvatti
neighbourhood, households
beldababi baldvavi b’eldbobo
adverseries, enemies
bibbu bibva
drainage
birinni billan
between us
birgu birqa
lightning
birku birka barko
knee
bishu bisha bisho
evil
bi itu baita baito
house
buru beera biro
water well
buhur buhra (h =kh)
first born
daianu daiana
judge
daianutu daianuta daiono
judgeship
dammu demma admo
blood
dannu dannana
strong, mighty
daqqu daqiqa
tiny
darasu doosh
push away
dimtu dimeta
tear
dinu dyana
to judge
dishpu doosha daosho
honey
ebbubu abbueba or shabeba
flute
eberu ebara ’boro
to cross
egirtu egarta egartho
letter
eglu khagla haqlo
field
ekallu hakla hajklo
palace
ekaku khaka hjoko
to scratch
elippu elppa elfo
ship
elle all aal
on upon
elu elul ’eloyo
high
elulu ellul
to be high
emeru khemara hmoro
ass, donkey
enu eina aino
eye
enzu ezza ezo
goat
epiru epra afro
dust
esru esra asro
ten
etteru attera atiro
one who has in abundance, rich
ettiru nettara notar
to protect
gamkhu gamkha qamho
flour
gammalu gumla gamlo
camel
gamru gmira
complete
gappu gulpa
wing
garabu garbanta qaribo
to come near
garru garra or gyarra
to dig out
garnu garna qarno
horn
gashtu gishta qeshto
bow
gattu
gatta
hand, handle
gir-ba-an-nu gur-ba-an-na qorbono
offering
gishru gishra geshro
bridge
gushu gishya
cold
hadatu kudata hothotho
renewal, to be new
hadutu khaduta
joy
haddu khdda
to rejoice
hamsu (hamshu) hmsha hamsho
five
haru gyara
to dig out
harurtu harhirta
throat, laryrnx
hassinu hassina
ax
hashalu hshalla
crush
hatanu khitna hathno
son in law
hatu khtta htoyo
to sin
hittitu khtteeta htitho
sin, crime
hugu hoga
ladder's rung
iddu idda ido
side , hand
idu yeda yod’o
to know
iggu=ditch gyara
to dig
ikkaru akkara akoro
farmer, gardner
illidu yalidda yaludo
child
ilippu elppa
ship
ilutu elayoota
highness, divinity
imkhas mkhaya mahyo
to hit or stirke
immati imman ema
when
imnu yamina iamino
right hand
imaru khmara
donley
inbu anbee enbe
grapes
insabtu esagta
ring
inu ina
eye
isu gasa qaiso
wood
isku eshka shako
testicle
ittimalu timmal athmel
yesterday
kabadu kavda
liver
kakkabu kikhwa kokbo
star
kakkishu
kaksha

rat
kakku kacha
weapon
kalbannatu kalbanita
axe
kalbatu kalibta kalbtho
bitch
kalbu kalba kalbo
dog
kallatu kalta kaltho
daughter-in-law
kalu kuli kole
all
kalu kla
to stand, to hold back
kalmatu (feminine) galma (male)
louse, a wingless parasitic insect
kapapu kyapa
to bend, to bow
karabu
grava (communion)
to bless
karmu karma karmo
vineyard, orchard
karru kraya karryo
to be short
karsu kersa karso
belly, abdomen
kasaru asarra
to bind, tie
kashtu keshta
bow
kaspu kispa
silver
khabu khabbib
to love
khallu khalla
vinegar
khammatu khammta
female
khanugu khannig hnoqo
to strangle
khashlu khshala
to crush
khasinu khasina
ax
khattanu khitna
son-in-law
khatu khtama hthomo
to end
khuturu khutra
scepter
kiddatu khaduta
joy, happines
kima kimad
according to, as much as
kinnatu kinnuta kinotho
justice
kinnu kinna kino
just
kinnutu kinnuta
justice
kinnu kinna
nest
kirmu karma karmo
orchard, garden
kistu kaissa
wood
kudurru kuduri - khadervanee
boundry
kullu kulli kole
all
kurru kurra
furnace
kussi kursi kursio
chair
kussitu kusitta
hat, garment hood
kutallu gdalla qdolo
back of the neck
la la lo
no
labashu lebasha lbosho
to cloth
lagattu lgatta
to pick, pluck
libbi libbi lebi
my heart
libbu libba lebo
heart
lishannu lishanna leshono
toungue, langauge
lumu loma
bad luck, ill faith
ma-alku malka=king malko
prince
ma-alke malke=kings malke
princes
maalkatu
malikta
malektho
queen
maanu maaney manyo
who
magaru myaguri myaqar
to favour, obey, respect
maglutu
magluta
broiled
makharu makhara
architect, surveyor
makhasu mkhaya
to smite
malu mla mole
to fill
mamitu momita
oath
manu mnaya bnoyo
to count, count
mannu maney
who
manzaltu mozalta mazlo
orbit, position of star
marsu mirya
sick
marsutu mrayta
sickness
mashmashu shamasha shamosho
deacon
mashu manshuyee
to forget
mashu machuhi
to find
massu'u msaya
to clean to wipe
mashtitu shtaita shtoyo
a drink
mattati
matvati

lands, villages
matu myata maoto
to die
matu mata motho
land, country
meshu meshaya
to clean - to wahsh
messu msayya
to wash cloths
migru miugra miaqro
favorite, honorable
milku milka
counsel
minna minna or binna menyo
what
minu minyana menyono
number
mishikhtu mshukhta
measurement
mittu mitta mitho
the dead
mu mia maye
water
mudutu dayta ida’tho
knowledge
murru mora
myrah
muskenu meskeena meskeno
destitute
mutanu
mota
death
mutu mota
death
naasharu nishra nishra
eagle
nabu nabuyee
to speak (in prophecy) to utter
naggaru najar nagoro
carpenter
nakharu nukhra nekhroyo
foreign
nakhu nakha
to rest
namaru nora
mirror
napahu
npakha nfoho
to blow
napishtu napsha
life, breath of life
naptu nupta
naptha
narrati naravati nahre
rivers
narkabtu markabta markabtho
chariot
narru narra nahro
river
nassaru nattar
to guard
nashagu nshaga nshoqo
to kiss
nihtu (f) nyehta
peaceful, at rest
nihu (m) nikha
restful, peaceful
nirru nirra
yoke
nishi nashi noshe
people
nishu nasha nosho
person
nash-nakhar nasha-nakhraya
nosho nekhroyo
foreigner
nunu nuna nuno
fish
nuarmu armunta
pomegranate
nuru nura nuro
light, fire
pagru pagra faghro
corpse, body
pakadu pgada
to appoint, to command
parasu prasha frosho
to separate
paraku prakha
to fly
pashahu pshakha
to be at rest
parzillu prizla
iron
pasharu pshara fshoro
to dissolve
patu ptakha
to open
pillakku pillga
spindle
pirru/pillu pilla filo
elephant
pitu ptakha
to open
pu puma
mouth
putu patta fotho
face
qabaru qbara (soft b) qboro
to bury
qalalu qaloola qalilo
small, tiny, light-weight
qalati galiatee
alkali
qannu or qinnu qinna qeno
nest
qarabu qravtana
war, soldier, enemy
qarnu qarna
horn
qastu qishta
bow
qatu qatta
hand (handle)
qemku qemha
flour
qeribu qerbune
to draw near
raatu rehtta
water course
rabshag rubshaga
cup-bearer or chief butler
rabu raba rabo
great, large
rakabu rekaba
to ride
raqadu reqada rqodo
to dance
re'u raya re’yo
shepherd
re' utu ra' uta
shephership
remu rekhma rahme
mercy
reshu resha risho
head, beginning
rikku raikha riho
smell
rimmu rimma
wild bull, buffalo
ruaqu ragga
to be distant, to escape
rubbo rub
chief, leader
ruku rikgga
distant, far
rukhtu rvikta
extensive
rupsu rupsha, rupshta
shoulder, shovel
sabiru (male) shibirta (fem)
bracelet
sadaru sedra
list, to order
sagu syaga sloqo
climb, to go high
saharu sura z’uro
small
salmu salma salmo
image
salu saluee slutho
to pray
samamu shmayya shmayo
heaven, sky
sammu smugga semoqo
red
sananu sanyana
rival, hater
sanu tanee
to repeat, tell
saptu sipta saptho
lip, edge
sarahu srakha
to utter cries of mourning, uncontroled anger
sarapu srapa
to burn, refined silver
sebu (shebu) shavva shau’o
seven
seheru sura
small, to be young
shaggalu tgalla
to weigh
shakhanu shkhana shahino
to be warm
shalamu shlama
peace, greeting
shalamu shlama shlomo
to be well
shalatu shultana sheltono
to rule
shalmish b' shlama
peacefully
shaluhu shalukee
to strip off
shamanu tmanya tmanyo
eight
shamatu shameta
birth mark, brand
shamshi shimsha shemsho
the sun
shamu shmaya shmayo
heaven
shanati (female) sheeni (male) shne
years
shapahu shpaha
spread, scatter, spill
shatu shta
to drink
shatu sheeta shtoyo
year
shebabbi shbabbi shbobe
neighbors
shebu shavva
seven
shedu shedda shido
demon, evil spirit
shemu shma shma’
to hear
shinesar teryesar tra’sar
twelve
shuptu shopa
place, dwelling, seat
shulmu shlama
peace
shumu shema eshmo
name
shutapu shotappa
partner, partaker
siamu syamma
insegnia, writing
siaqu eeqa iqo
narrow, tight
sibutu saibuta sobutho
old age
simmiltu simmalta
ladder
sippu sippa
edge, treshold
sipru sipra
writing
siru bisra basro
meat
sissu suissa sessyo
horse
sittu shinta shantho
sleep
sulamu shulama
completion
sumelu simmala semolo
left
sumu shimma
name
surru sharee
to begin
turu tora taoro
bull
taaru dyarra d’oro
to return
tabaku tpakha
to pour out, shed
tabtu tobta tubtho
goodness, kindness
tabu tava tobo
good, pleasant
tahumu tekhuma thumo
boundry
talmidu talmidda talmidho
student, apprentice
tamaru tamer
bury
tamati yamti
seas
tamtu yamta yamo
sea
tamitu mamita
oath
tamu mami
to swear
taniku tannukee
to sigh
tapahu tpakha
to pour out
taradu trrada
to send, expel
targmanu targemana targmono
translator
targmon targmanna
dargoman
taru dyara
return
tayartu dyarta
to return
tegal tgalla
to weigh
temuru tamuree
to bury
tesliti sluti
my prayer
teslitu sluta
prayer
tibnu tuyna
straw
tillu tilla
hill, mound
tinuru tanura tanoro
oven
tishu tishaa tisho
nine
u = oo oo oo
and
ummanu ummana
artist
ummu yema
mother
umu uma
day
umushu umait
daily
urhu urkha urho
road, way
uru ura
stall
wabalu labuli
to take, to carry away
zakhiru (male) zkhura
small
zakhirtu (female) zkhurata
small
zamaru zmara
to sing
zammeru zammara
singer (male)
zammertu zammarta
singer (female)
zeru zerra
seed
zeru zarra
descendant
zekhru dekhra
male
zingnu digna
beard
zuprinu zapraana
safran
zuzu
zuza zuze
money
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