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Classical Syriac for Hebraists is intended for people who already have a basic knowledge of Biblical Hebrew and want to study Syriac, an important ancient Semitic language, a dialect of Aramaic. Syriac is the official language of the Syriac-speaking churches and has a vast amount of literature representing diverse areas of human knowledge: ancient translations of the Bible and related early documents, biblical commentaries, theological treatises, ecclesiastical histories, legends about saints, scientific texts covering philosophy, natural sciences, grammar, translations from Greek documents and many others. With previous knowledge of Hebrew assumed and related phenomenon in Hebrew frequently mentioned, the student can be expected to acquire reading knowledge of Syriac with reasonable ease and speed.
The chrestomathy presents a selection of eleven documents including not only passages of the Bible, but also biblical commentaries and theological discussions, humorous fables and a grammatical treatise, all original Syriac compositions. The texts are fully or partly vocalised, provided with grammatical annotations with constant cross referencing to the appropriate sections of the grammar. A glossary to facilitate studying of these texts is appended.