|Syria vs. Assyria|
- Monday, April 16 2007, 20:15:16 (CEST)|
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Syria vs. Assyria
The nationalists thought to be clever in using facile explanations to account for the singular lack of any consciousness among the Nestorians that they were really the descendants of Shalmanessar all those years. Clever ain’t bright…it’s just clever.
The gambit of their’s I personally like best is the “Lost A” to explain that Assyria always existed, but was called Syria and the people of it “Syrians”. It was lost, we know not why, only to be “found” when needed. It’s a “deux ex machina”…a device of the gods, come in handy, just in time, to save the day…and as all such leaves an unsatisfactory taste behind it.
Why would the “A” get lost in the first place? How do you misplace the first letter of such an important word? Why lose the “A” only…why not other letters as well? Why wasn’t the “H” lost in Ebrew? Why didn’t the “S” get lost in Asanian? Why didn’t the “C” get lost from Haldean? Why didn’t the Greeks call themselves the Reeks…or call the Arabians the Rabians…how come that “A” remained? Who lost it? Surely the first one to leave out the “A” from Assyrian could have been easily corrected…or fired from his job for being such a clumsy scribe as to lose letters. And why would everyone else accept this “loss” and go on making that loss permanent? If the Chinese had occupied the United States and taken to calling us Amelicans, does it stand to reason that the people themselves would adopt this usage? Why didn’t “Assyrian pride” manifest itself, at the least, by retaining its own name for itself?
The Greeks get blamed for this. Their language, it is claimed, always loses the first “A” in words…but in the words of every other language they come in contact with? Did they call Adonis “Donis”? Was Pallas Athena known by her own people as Pallas Thena? That’s a singular way for this group of people, who are so lauded in every field of knowledge to behave. But would the descendants of the Assyrians themselves have adopted this usage…and why? Why did they start referring to themselves as Suraye instead of maintaining their pride as Ashuraye, or Atouraye?
And when have there ever been Asuryoyos, that were rendered Suryoyos, thanks to their original and later lost “A”?
The following quote might be helpful..or it might be discounted as the work of an “enemy”…an enemy graduated from Princeton University with a doctorate in Middle Eastern History…an enemy who taught at a major American college where he was professor Emeritus…an enemy who’s published books as well as articles…an enemy who’s been honored by his college and students by having a new International Studies building named for him…we should be so lucky to have more enemies like this and far less friends such as Fred Aprim.
“The designations Syria and Syrian were derived from Greek usage long before Christianity. When the Greeks became better acquainted with the Near East, especially after Alexander The Great overthrew the Achaemenian empire in the 4th century B.C., they restricted the name Syria to the lands west of the Euphrates.”
Now why, if Suraye “always” really meant Ashuraye was only the land of the Arameans, in and around Damascus, called Syria and remain Syria all these centuries….why didn’t that name also embrace Mesopotamia, or Iraq rather? It’s odd that the name of the actual homeland of the Assyrians would lose that designation, while the lands of the Arameans would keep it, with the “Lost A”.
But Syria and Syrian are the Greek versions, not of Assyria, but of Aram and Aramean….in the bible, when the Greek translation was made, the terms Syria and Syrian replaced Aram and Aramean….but Assyria and Assyrians remained. Why? If they really meant the same thing why did the bible make a distinction…why was there an Aram (Syria) side by side with an Assyria? If it was in Greek, and the Greeks are to be blamed for this usage, why did the Greek bible go on, with the “A” intact, calling the Assyrians, “Assyrians” and not Syrians…where in the Greek translation does it call Ashurbanipal a “Syrian” king? Why was Syrians used only for the people of Aram and later for the Arameans of geographical Assyria?
Just as “Arab” came to include people far removed from geographical Arabia, binding various ethnic groups together on the basis on a new and shared religion and language…so too did Aramaic pull together various ethnic groups, beyond the borders of Aramean lands, giving to them a common language and culture and, later, a shared religion, Christianity, by which they came to identify themselves as Syrians/ Suraye…speaking an Aramaic dialect, also called Syriac.
What’s so damn shocking about all this….except that it kicks the national legs right out from under modern Assyrians…but they haven’t managed to avoid knocking over their historical furniture all by themselves even before Dr Joseph wrote his book. All he’s done is provide the facts behind the national ploy. Any thinking person would know in his heart of hearts that this passle of Christians, so-called, have nothing in common with anything Assyrian.
Long before I read this book I made my own learned assessment….”Assyrians my arse”.
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