Aram (biblical region) | Wikipedia audio article

Aram is a region mentioned in the Bible located
in present-day central Syria, including where the city of Aleppo now stands. At its height, Aram stretched from the Lebanon
mountains eastward across the Euphrates, including parts of the Khabur River valley in northwestern
Mesopotamia on the border of Assyria. The region was known as The Land of the Amurru
during the Akkadian Empire (2335-2154 BC), Neo-Sumerian Empire (2112-2004 BC) and Old
Assyrian Empire (2025-1750 BC) in reference to its largely Amorite inhabitants. During the Neo-Assyrian Empire (911-605 BC),
Neo-Babylonian Empire (612-539 BC) and Achaemenid Empire (539-332 BC) Aram was known as Eber-Nari.==Etymology==
The etymology might be connected with the harami, arami, aramija or ahlamu, meaning
“bandits”. One standard explanation is an original meaning
of “highlands”. This has been interpreted to be in contrast
with Canaan, or “lowlands”.==Early references==
Judeo-Christian tradition claims the name is derived from the biblical Aram, son of
Shem, a grandson of Noah in the Bible.The name Aram can be found from many ancient sources. The toponym A-ra-mu appears in an inscription
at the East Semitic speaking kingdom Ebla listing geographical names, and the term Armi,
which is the Eblaite term for nearby Aleppo, occurs frequently in the Ebla tablets (c.
2300 BC). One of the annals of Naram-Sin of Akkad (c.
2250 BC) mentions that he captured “Dubul, the ensi of A-ra-me” (Arame is seemingly a
genitive form), in the course of a campaign against Simurrum in the northern mountains. Other early references to a place or people
of “Aram” have appeared at the archives of Mari (c. 1900 BC) and at Ugarit (c. 1300 BC). There is little agreement concerning what,
if any, relationship there was between the places or proof that the Aramu were actually
Aramaeans. The earliest undisputed mention of Aramaeans
as a people is in the inscriptions of the Assyrian king Tiglath Pileser I (1114–1076
BC) during the latter part of the Middle Assyrian Empire.Several of the Aramaean territories
located within Aram are also referenced in the Hebrew Bible. They include Aram-Naharaim, Paddan-Aram, Aram-Damascus,
Aram-Rehob, and Aram-Zobah.==History==
The Arameans appear to have displaced the earlier Semitic Amorite populations of ancient
Syria during the period from 1100 BC to 900 BC, which was a dark age for the entire Near
East, North Africa, Caucasus, Mediterranean regions, with great upheavals and mass movements
of people. The Arameans emerged in a region which was
largely under the domination of the Middle Assyrian Empire (1365-1050 BC), and soon after
appearing they were conquered by Tiglath-Pileser I (1115- 1077 BC) of Assyria, and were incorporated
into the Middle Assyrian Empire which encompassed much of the Near East and Asia Minor.However,
Assyria fell into a temporary decline from the second half of the 11th century BC until
the latter part of the 10th century BC, allowing the Arameans to establish a string of states
across the Levant. During the period 1050 – 900 BC Arameans
came to dominate most of what is now Syria but was then called Eber-Nari and Aramea. Two medium-sized Aramaean kingdoms, Aram-Damascus
and Hamath, along with several smaller kingdoms and independent city-states, developed in
the region during the early first millennium BCE. The most notable of these were Bit Adini,
Bit Bahiani, Bit Hadipe, Aram-Rehob, Aram-Zobah, Bit-Zamani, Bit-Halupe and Aram-Ma’akah, as
well as the Aramean tribal polities of the Gambulu, Litau and Puqudu. There was some synthesis with neo Hittite
populations in northern Syria and south central Anatolia, and a number of small so called
Syro-Hittite states arose in the region, such as Tabal. The east Mediterranean coast was largely dominated
by Phoenician city states such as Tyre, Sidon, Berytus and Arvad. With the advent of the Neo Assyrian Empire
(911-605 BC) however, the region once more fell fully under the control of Assyria. Large numbers of people living there were
deported into Assyria, Babylonia and elsewhere. A few steles that name kings of this period
have been found, such as the 8th-century Zakkur stele. The Assyrians and Babylonians themselves adopted
a Mesopotamian form of Aramaic, known as Imperial Aramaic in the 8th century BC, when Tiglath-pileser
III made it the lingua franca of his vast empire. The Neo Aramaic dialects still spoken by the
indigenous Assyrians and Mandeans of northern Iraq, south east Turkey, north east Syria
and north west Iran, descend from this language. The Neo Assyrian Empire was riven by unremitting
civil war from 626 BC onwards, weakening it severely, and allowing it to be attacked and
destroyed by a coalition of its former vassals between 616 and 605 BC, although remnants
of the Assyrian military and administration may have clung on in some northern regions
until 599 BC.The region was subsequently fought over by the Babylonians and Egyptians, the
latter of whom had belatedly come to the aid of their former Assyrian overlords. The Babylonians prevailed and Aram became
a part of the short lived Neo-Babylonian Empire (612-539 BC) where it remained named Eber-Nari. The Persian Achaemenid Empire (539-332 BC)
overthrew the Babylonians and conquered the region. They retained the Imperial Aramaic introduced
by the Assyrians, and the name of Eber-Nari. In 332 BC the region was conquered by the
Greek ruler, Alexander the Great. Upon his death in 323 BC this area became
part of the Greek Seleucid Empire, at which point Greek replaced the Assyrian introduced
Imperial Aramaic as the official language of Empire, as were the names Eber-Nari and
Aramea. This area and other parts of the former Assyrian
Empire to the east (including Assyria itself) were renamed Syria (Seleucid Syria), a 9th-century
BC Hurrian, Luwian and Greek corruption of Assyria (see Etymology of Syria and Name of
Syria), which had for centuries until this point referred specifically to the land of
Assyria and the Assyrians, which in modern terms actually covered the northern half of
Iraq, north east Syria, south east Turkey and the north western fringes of Iran, and
not the bulk of modern Syria and Lebanon and its largely Aramean and Phoenician inhabitants. It is from this period that the later Syria
vs Assyria naming controversy arises, the Seleucids confusingly applied the name not
only to the Mesopotamian land of Assyria itself, but also to the lands west of Euphrates which
had never been part of Assyria itself, but merely Aramean, Phoenician, Neo-Hittite and
Sutean inhabited colonies. When they lost control of Assyria itself to
the Parthians, the name Syria survived but was dislocated from its original source, and
was applied only to the land west of Euphrates that had once been part of the Assyrian empire,
while Assyria-proper went back to being called Assyria (and also Athura/Assuristan). However, this situation led to both Assyrians
and Arameans being dubbed Syrians and later Syriacs in Greco-Roman culture. This area, by now called Syria, was fought
over by Seleucids and Parthians during the 2nd century BC, and later still by the Romans
and Sassanid Persians. Palmyra, a powerful Aramean kingdom arose
during this period, and for a time it dominated the area and successfully
resisted Roman and Persian attempts at conquest. The region eventually came under the control
of the Byzantine Empire. Christianity began to take hold from the 1st
to 3rd centuries AD, and the Aramaic language gradually supplanted Canaanite in Phoenecia
and Hebrew in Israel (the Roman Palestine). In the mid-7th century AD the region fell
to the Arab Islamic conquest. The Aramaic language survived among a sizable
portion of the population of Syria, who resisted Arabization. However, the native Western Aramaic of the
Aramean Christian population of Syria is spoken today by only a few thousand people, the majority
having now adopted the Arabic language. Mesopotamian Eastern Aramaic, which still
contains a number of loan words from the Akkadian language, as well as structural similarities,
still survives among the majority of ethnically distinct Assyrians, who are mainly based in
northern Iraq, north east Syria, south east Turkey and north west Iran.==See also==

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *