Syriac language

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Syriac (ܠܫܢܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܐ leššānā Suryāyā) is a dialect of Middle Aramaic that was once spoken across much of the Fertile Crescent. Having first appeared around the 1st century C.E.[1], Classical Syriac became a major literary language throughout the Middle East from the 4th to the 8th centuries,[2] the classical language of Edessa, preserved in a large body of Syriac literature.

It became the vehicle of Syriac Orthodox Christianity and culture, spreading throughout Asia as far as the Indian Malabar coast and Eastern China[citation needed] and was the medium of communication and cultural dissemination for Arabs and, to a lesser extent, Persians. Primarily a Christian medium of expression, Syriac had a fundamental cultural and literary influence on the development of Arabic which replaced it towards the end of the 8th century. Syriac remains the liturgical language of Syriac Christianity.

Syriac is a Middle Aramaic language, and as such a language of the Northwestern branch of the Semitic family.

Syriac is written in the Syriac alphabet, a derivation of the Aramaic alphabet.

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