Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #Safaitic

Most recents (10)

#Safaitic dictionary edit updates. At the N's, and this text it worth tweeting: Author of MAHB 2 states: wagada ʾaṯra ʾaśyāʿ-oh fa-naganna 'he found the traces of his companions and went mad (from grief)'. #Safaitic naganna <ngn> is the equivalent of #Levantine inžann...
The sense is of course to be Jinn possessed. There is no direct evidence for a belief in #Jinn among the pre-Islamic nomads, but this word could suggests that insanity was associated with being possessed by the supernatural creatures. There's more: related to this lemma is ...
the word <ʾtgnn> =ʾatgannana, is attested in an identical context: BS 880: wagada ʾaṯra ʾaśyāʿ-oh fa-ʾatgannana 'he found the traces of his companions and went mad (from grief)', this one similar to Classical Arabic taǧannana, same meaning.
Read 5 tweets
Hikma History asks whether there is historical evidence for #Mecca in the 6th CE or earlier. A fantastic question. Outside historical sources don't seem to mention the town. @iandavidmorris examines this material masterfully in this blog:…
But what about pre-Islamic Arabian sources? Do they give evidence for Mecca as a pilgrimage center? Most pre-Islamic texts from central Arabia are short, undated inscriptions containing personal names and enigmatic phrases. No toponyms are attested in these and therefore,..
They are not very useful for answering our question. The long and detailed texts from Ancient Yemen, however, do not mention any place called Mecca. Although numerous pilgrimage sites are attested, they all seem to be located in South Arabia.
Read 11 tweets
<The language of ancient #Tayma (mod. Saudi Arabia)> 1) mannū samiʿ li-ṣalm lā tawaya ‘whosoever heeds Ṣalm shall not perish’. This prayer is carved a number of times on stone around the oasis of Taymāʾ, in N. Saudi Arabia, in a long lost script and language called Taymanitic.
2) Its alphabet consists of 26 glyphs, and is related to, but not a descendant of, the Musnad script of Ancient Yemen. The language remains poorly understood. It nevertheless shares some interesting similarities with #Hebrew and other Northwest Semitic languages. Pic: WTay 20
3) Before we get to the language, let’s talk about what these texts say. Most appear to be graffiti, some left by soldiers during their military service. The inscriptions express devotion to a single god, named Ṣalm, literally ‘image’, 'effigy', = Arabic ṣanam. Pic: Esk 288
Read 19 tweets
The general sense of kitāb meaning 'writing' is well established in the epigraphic record, attested often in Nabataean and in the Safaitic and Dadanitic inscriptions. Below are a few examples:
#Safaitic C 4803 ends with this prayer: ʿawār le-ḏī yoʿawwer has-sefra wa-ḥayāy le-ḏī yeqraʾ hak-ketāba 'may he who effaces this writing go blind but long life to him who reads this writing (ketāb)'. (note, ketāba is the accusative of ketāb (ktb) and not kitābatun)
#Safaitic RSIS 126 contains a similar expression: ḥallāl le-ḏī yeqraʾ hak-ketāba wa-ʿawār le-maʿ-ʿawwara 'health to him who reads this writing but blindness to whosoever effaces (it)'
Read 9 tweets
This is an effaced #Safaitic inscription I discovered in 2017 with @QifaNabki. Elaborate curses exist to protect texts from vandalism, but this hooligan was apparently not deterred by superstition. You can, however, notice that s/he left part of the text intact. Why?
Many traditions venerate the written form of a god's name. Our vandal erased the name of the author and his prayer, perhaps rendering any power the written word had void, but s/he did not hammer over the name of the invoked deity, Roḍay.
Can we still read the damaged part? Yes, it is a short prayer: hā roḍay ʕeqāb men-nabaṭo 'O Roḍay, [grant] retribution against the Nabataeans'. Perhaps our vandal was a Nabataean or a member of an allied tribe, who decided to erase the offensive prayer.
Read 13 tweets
#Crucifixion in #Safaitic and #Jesus: Crucifixion was a common method of capital punishment in the Roman Empire; the ancient Jewish historian Josephus mentions the crucifixion of thousands. Yet this terrible punishment is so far mentioned only twice in Safaitic.
Both of these texts are enigmatic and have lead to creative, yet ultimately unsupported, theories about the historical event to which they refer. HaNS 660 was written by a man named Marṭ ben Yaśkor, who states: wa-ṣoleba ḥabīb-oh ‘and his beloved was crucified’.
In the 2nd (AbJ), a man called śāhem dates his return from the desert to the year ṣlb h-yh[]dy ʾbkr. I haven’t vocalized this text because that depends entirely on our interpretation. A Jordanian scholar named Sabri Abbadi suggested that it refers to the crucifixion of Christ.
Read 17 tweets
<Thread> Allāh is the word for ‘God’ in Arabic. But where did this word come from? Muslim scholars have several views. Some regard it as a basic noun, others the definite form of the word “lāh”, ‘lofty’ or ‘hidden’, but most see it as a contracted form of al-ʾilāh, = ‘the deity’
Islamic tradition holds that the pre-Islamic pagans worshiped Allāh beside other gods = shirk ‘association’. Are there examples of this in the epigraphic record? Yes, but before we get to those, the corpus of 6th. CE Christian Arabic inscriptions continues to grow...
New texts suggest that Allāh, in this exact form, was not the common Arabic name of the monotheistic god in the century before Islam. In the Zebed inscription, the Christian god is called al-ʾilāh 'the God'.
Read 23 tweets
Last week, we looked at ancient Arabian pilgrimages and sacrifice in the #Safaitic inscriptions. If you missed that, see this thread: . Now, let's have a glance at pilgrimages in the ancient Ḥigāz, represented by the Dadānitic inscriptions.
Dadān was the ancient name of the oasis of al-Ula, in NW Ḥigāz. It is mentioned in cuneiform sources and the Bible, and was a center for the kings of Liḥyān, before it was eventually annexed by the Nabataeans. Pic:…
The oasis had its own script and language, Dadānitic. Its primary deity was called ḏġbt. The etymology of the name is uncertain. ḏ = ḏū 'master'. Some say ġbt = Arabic ġābat- 'oasis'; others have taken it as ġēbat 'unseen', = 'master of the unseen'. Insc: Al-Ḫuraybah 12.
Read 12 tweets
What is the earliest mention of #Damascus in Arabic? In 1995, Alulu discovered a fascinating #Safaitic inscription from southern Syria containing the name of the city. The enigmatic text is known only from a crude hand copy. Photo:…
The inscription is dated as to ‘the year lʾk qṣr ʾn myt ʿm rm w f t w qd dms²q; the original editor did not provide a convincing interpretation of its difficult language. The text is filled with hapax legomena (words attested only once) and Safaitic has no word dividers.
But let’s have a try anyway. There are multiple ways to understand this text; here is option 1: ‘the year (word) was sent to Caesar that the people of Rome died and Damascus burned = loʾeka qaysara ʾan mayeta ʿamm rūm wa-fa tawaqqada demaśq.
Read 14 tweets
Lunch on the hunt for new words in #Safaitic country. Nothing tastes as good as a can of tuna after hiking for hours through the basalt. @karojawo and I are wrapping up the 1st comprehensive dictionary of Safaitic. We've reached over 1500 entries -to appear with @BrillPublishing
But there are still significant gaps, as there always are with dead languages. I filled out the #swadesh 200 as best I could -- check it out and compare it to the Semitic languages you know.…
@PhDniX and @lameensouag are using this in a fascinating study on the lexical distances between the Semitic languages. I don't know the results yet, but they promise to be interesting! Stay tuned.
Read 3 tweets

Related hashtags

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!