The Historian Poseidonios from Apamea (ca. 135 BC - 51 BC), was a Greek Stoic philosopher, politician, astronomer, geographer, historian, and teacher. He says: "
"The people we Greek call Syrians, they call themselves Arameans"
From: See J.G. Kidd, Posidonius (Cambridge Classical Texts and Commentaries, 1988), vol. 2, pt. 2, pp. 955-956)
Strabo (born 63 BC or 64 BC, died ca. 24 AD), a Greek historian, geographer and philosopher is mostly famous for his Geographika ("Geography")
He says: "Poseidonius conjectures that the names of these nations also are akin; for, says he, the people whom we call Syrians are by the Syrians themselves called Arameans."
(From: The Geography of Strabo, translated by Horace Leonard Jones and published in Vol. I of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1917, Book I, Chapt. 2, 34)
Flavius Josephus (c. 37 – c. 100 AD (or CE)) was a 1st century Jewish historian and apologist of priestly and royal ancestry who survived and recorded the Destruction of Jerusalem in 70 and later settled in Rome. He says: ""Aram had the Arameans, which the Greeks called Syrians.""
(From: Antiquities of the Jews, translated by William Whiston in 1737, Book I, Chapt. 6)
Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 275 – May 30, 339), was a bishop of Caesarea in Palestine and is often referred to as the father of church history because of his work in recording the history of the early Christian church. He says: ""and from Aram the Arameans, which are also called Syrians"
(From: Sebastian Brock, "Eusebius and Syriac Christianity," in Harold W. Attridge and Gohei Hata, eds., Eusebius, Christianity, and Judaism (Leiden 1992), p. 226)
Abu Al-husayn 'ali Ibn Al-husayn Al-mas'udi, born 895 in Baghdad [Iraq] and died 957 in al- Fustat [Egypt], was a historian and traveler, known as "the Herodotus of the Arabs.” He was the first Arab to combine history and scientific geography in a large-scale work. On Tur Abdin he says: "Tur Abdin is the mountain where remnants of the Aramean Syrians still survive."
(From: Michael Jan de Goeje: Bibliotheca Geographorum Arabicorum III, Leiden 1906, 54, I)
Prof. Dietrich Hermann Hegewisch born Dec. 15, 1746 in Quakenbrück [Germany] and died April 4, 1812 in Kiel, was a prolific german historian at the University of Kiel with a wide span of interests. He says: "Do not the Syrians, as they are usually called, or the Arameans, as they in fact are termed, deserve more attention in world history than they are usually given?"
(From: D.H. Hegewisch: Die Aramäer oder Syrer; ein kleiner Beitrag zur allgemeinen Weltgeschichte, Berlinische Monatschrift, 2, 1794, p. 193)
On Page 197 he says: "The names Syria, Assyria, Mesopotamia, Babylon, etc. stem from the Greeks, who were not familiar with the true geography of these lands when the names first started to be used. Later, partly because of continuing ignorance and partly because of convenience despite having accurate knowledge, they persisted in using them since it would have required something of an effort to give up the old, familiar names and divisions of the countries and switch to the new ones, even if they were more accurate. The old, true, and single name of these lands is Aram; it is mentioned numerous times in the Bible of the Old Testament, and Greek scholars were also familiar with it and probably described the population of these areas as Arameans, though seldom, as they usually continued to use the term Syrian, which had been familiar to the Greeks."
On page 307 he says: "The Syrians or Arameans were not merely a numerous and large people, they were also a much cultivated people."
Prof. Theodor Mommsen born Nov. 30, 1817, Garding, Schleswig [now in Germany] died Nov. 1, 1903, Charlottenburg, near Berlin, was a German historian and writer, famous for his masterpiece about the History of Rome. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1902. He says: "the history of the Aramaean or Syrian nation which occupied the east coast and extended into the interior of Asia as far as the Euphrates and Tigris"
(From: The History of Rome, written between 1854 and 1856, Leipzig, by Theodor Mommsen, Book First, Chapter One)
"the Arameans defended their nationality with the weapons of intellect as well as with their blood against all the allurements of Greek civilization and all the coercive measures of eastern and western despots, and that with an obstinacy which no Indo- Germanic people has ever equalled, and which to us who are Occidentals seems to be sometimes more, sometimes less, than human."
(ibid, Book Third, Chapter One)
Prof. Theodor Nöldeke born March 2, 1836 in Harburg near Hamburg, died December 25, 1930 in Karlsruhe, was the leading german semitic scholar, who studied at Göttingen, Vienna, Leiden and Berlin. He says: "The main body of the population of all these wide landscapes from the Mediterranean Sea to beyond the Tigris belonged to a certain nationality, that of the Arameans."
(From: Th. Nöldeke: Assyrios Syrios Syros, in Zeitschrift für klassische Philologie, Hermes 5, Berlin 1871, p. 460)
On page 461 he says: "It is well understandable that people have started to transfer the name of the country to the most important nationality and so the name 'syrian' was apprehended ethnological and was equated with 'aramaic'."
On page 468 he says: "Since the times of Alexander [the Great], if not already somewhat earlier, people have started to transfer the name of the Syrians exclusively over the prevailing in Syria nationality, and in this way this originally political-geographical term became an ethnological one that was identified with the local Arameans."
"From the time the Greeks came to have a more intimate acquaintance with Asia, they designated by the name of Syrians, the people who called themselves ´Arameans’.” (From: Th. Nöldeke, Kurzgefasste Syrische Grammatik (Leipzig, 1880), p. XXIX)
"Regarding the name of this nation and its language is the original 'Aramean’ in essence also the only one [sic], that for the employment of the present-day scholarship as yet strongly fits.” (From: Th. Nöldeke, "Die Namen der aramäischen Nation und Sprache,” in Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft 25 (1871), p. 131)
Karl Eduard Sachau born 20 July 1845 and died 1930 was a German orientalist. He was 1872 professor at the University of Vienna, and in 1876, professor at the University of Berlin, where he was appointed director of the new Seminar of Oriental languages in 1887. He is especially noteworthy for his work on Syriac and other Aramaic dialects. He says: "The nation of the Arameans: This national name later, mainly in consequence of Jewish-Christian literature influences, gave way to the Greek designation Syrians."
(From: Verzeichnis der Syrischen Handschriften der königlichen Bibliothek zu Berlin von Eduard Sachau 1. Abteilung, Berlin 1899, Vorrede I)
Aramean people: Aramean people (not to be confused with ‘Armenians’) speak Aramaic, the language spoken by Abraham, Moses and Jesus. They are the indigenous people of what was called in ancient times Aram- Nahrin, in our days it is called ‘Mesopotamia’.
Some Arameans today identify themselves with “Assyrians”, because of the spiritual colonial hate generating activities of the Western missionaries and diplomats in the Middle-East in 16th and 19th centuries. Other Arameans became known as “Chaldeans”. However all of them are Arameans.
The Arameans in Iraq
May 13, 2006 a article was published on KurdishMedia.com from the hand of Diayako Xarib (see below). This article of Mr. Xarib proves that there are indeed some educated persons within the Kurdish nation who do not stand for any nonsense of the fallacies, lies, myths and legends of the Western Spiritual colonization product ,,Assyrians".
Please find below the article of Mr. Xarib and some remarks we made to this article.
Is there an Assyrian cause in Iraqi Kurdistan?
Saturday, May 13, 2006
KurdishMedia.com - By Diayako Xarib (http://www.kurdmedia.com/articles.asp?id=12331)
Since the collapse of Saddam, we are hearing more and more Assyrian claims of abuse, and other conducts done to them by Kurds. It is a small fanatic group that desperately fabricates all kinds of propaganda against Kurds and the recent inaugurated Kurdish government.
The Question here is: Is there really an Assyrian problem in Kurdistan or it is again another minority that desperately wants to grab a piece of Iraqi power cake? First an introduction who the Assyrians really are: There has been a nation living in Syria and Anatolia since thousands of years called The Arameans. These Arameans have many world heritages on their name, despite their anonymity in the west.
The Catholic Church was a very powerful institution in the 15th century, with many kingdoms under their influence and strong resources and armies under their command. In that time missionaries started to influx Middle East and especially Kurdistan. It was that time that many Arameans left their East-Nestorian church for the catholic stream. This happened under influence of money and support of the Vatican. Their church was named the Chaldean church (this name has nothing to do with the ancient Chaldeans).
As a counter-attack, the protestant church started to send missionaries to the rest of the Jacobite and Nestroian Arameans. We can definitely confirm that A.Grant, who was a protestant missionary, introduced the concept of the left Arameans being the descendants of ancient Assyrians, as an answer to the newly converted Arameans to Catholicism and adopting the Chaldean name.
We can conclude Grant’s unprofessional and speculative theories, from his book “The Nestroians of lost tribes”. In the book Grant refers to a group of Arameans as the descendants of ancient Assyrians and being one of the ten lost tribes of Israel. We all know the tribes of Israel suffered the most from Assyrian rule and they were fierce enemies of each other. Beside all the accounts that tell us the total destruction of Assyria by the Medes.
Another Protestant missionary who tried to emphasize the identity of this possible-Future -Protestant Arameans as the descendants of ancient Assyrians was W.A.Wigram.
There are piles of evidences that contradict these void claims. The “supposed to be Assyrians” of these days, claim and even scream it in every occasion to make the claim a reality. But we know their language is Aramean (Suriyani) which is totally different than ancient Assyrian language, beside the recent history of this term. But unfortunately many Kurds and Arabs know so little about history let alone the capitalist and commercially minded westerners.
A claim that many Assyrians make, that their name comes in historic accounts even by Kurdish accounts like the Sharafname. But this claim has been researched by historians, and concluded that people in middle East mostly refer to people to their region, like someone from Kirkuk, was named Kirkuki whether he was , Kurd, Turkmen or Aramean. So is the case with Assyrians or actually the “Athuris” that is how they are called in the region. That name is been used to label the Nestorian Arameans of Athur(Asur) region at the suburbs of Mosul. The term has no any relation with the ancient Assyrians and the modern Assyrians.
This claim of an existing Assyrian nation that is supposed to be the real heritor of what is now Iraq is obviously void. But nevertheless that does not mean that the Arameans does not have any history and claim of Iraqi territory.
The case of supposed-Assyrians is just a political manoeuvre, and one of the last pep drugs that this nation is using to survive being at the edge of extinction. There are many Assyrians and Chaldeans living in USA and Australia. These desperate and fanatic portion of these people is mobilising the Christian groups to save the Assyrians from alleged savagery of Muslim Kurds. While many of these two communities children are assimilating day after day in the Western society that they even forget where they come from. So you see only a small group that is trying from Diaspora to play the Robin Hood game and seek some popularity and attention to this marginalized and endangered group. Beside many Christians who Saddam called them Arab Christians, have never fought against such a terminology and even were active in Saddam’s apparatus, that were enjoying their privileges and doing too enthusiastically their duty in massacring Kurdish villagers like many Turkmens did who were active and most atrocious Baathist members in Kirkuk.
I think that Kurds should really cherish these minorities and even protect them from any influences that cause any threat to them. But by examining claims by western officials and human right watch committees, you can see there is no real basis for these claims.
Still we have to acknowledge that there are some atrocities happening these days to Assyrians and happened in the last 15 years. But it never happened because they were Assyrian!
There are some Kurdish mobs and mafia tribal figures who confiscate lands and blackmail farmers and merchants. The same mobs and gangs did those acts against Kurdish farmers and merchants too. So it is not legitimate to claim it as a Christian or an Assyrian issue. There have always been criminal and blood thirsty Kurds like in a every nation that sell their soul and nation for money. There were even tribes that collaborated with Saddam to murder their fella Kurds and even helped in the infamous Anfal campaign. How can you explain this!
There are Christians in Kurdistan that are wealthier and powerful than many Kurds. And Christians who are high officials and very respected politicians in Kurdistan. And for the average and normal Kurdish citizens, there have never been any hatred and discrimination against Christian (Assyrian or Chaldeans). Many Kurds in Diaspora are just shocked by the hatred of Some Assyrians towards them. And but still the situation in Kurdistan is peaceful and they are even surprised when these claims are been claimed by some sensational media outlets.
I hope that this desperate group of Diaspora Christians return back and be available in the field and try to mean something to their community, instead of being cyber heroes from their comfortable chairs and life-style in the west. These people claim the most ridiculous assumptions and get easy away with it, due to the ignorance of many people on this planet.
They are not aware from the repercussion and the alienation that it will eventually affect their community in Kurdistan
Some remarks on the article of Mr. Xarib
1. The article is a good summary of scientific facts concerning the spiritual colonial product of jesus of the West.
2. It is a small fanatic group that desperately fabricates all kinds of propaganda
The word ,,propaganda" is too civilized and too good to describe these liars, full of falsehoods, forgers of Aramean history, forgers of Aramean language and any other bad and evil forgery you can imagine.
3. There has been a nation living in Syria and Anatolia since thousands of years called The Arameans. These Arameans have many world heritages on their name, despite their anonymity in the west.
If you want to learn more about the Aramean nation; we would be happy to send you a copy of the Multi Media project: The Hidden Pearl.
4. It was that time that many Arameans left their East-Nestorian church for the catholic stream. This happened under influence of money and support of the Vatican.
You are completely right! Money and bribery was one of the strongest pillars of Jesus of the West to plant his horrible ideology within the Aramean nation and to fragmentize them. It was the same ideology which initiated the crusades in the middle-east. In these and many other cases we have to distinguish between the Jesus Christ of the Bible and the jesus of the West; they are completely different.
5. We can definitely confirm that A.Grant, who was a protestant missionary, introduced the concept of the left Arameans being the descendants of ancient Assyrians, as an answer to the newly converted Arameans to Catholicism and adopting the Chaldean name.
6. But unfortunately many Kurds and Arabs know so little about history let alone the capitalist and commercially minded westerners.
Well, perhaps there is a challenge for you to collect more Kurdish, Arab and Shia intellectuals around you and to start a campaign to inform and educate them. As to the West, there are plenty of journalists who deliberately falsify our history for many of them are politically motivated!
7. That name is been used to label the Nestorian Arameans of Athur(Asur) region at the suburbs of Mosul. The term has no any relation with the ancient Assyrians and the modern Assyrians.
This is well-known scientific fact; not only testified by the modern scientists but als by the respected scholars of the Church of Antioch as well! Unfortunately, the impression is that Mr. Bush and his administration were unaware of these facts.
8. This claim of an existing Assyrian nation that is supposed to be the real heritor of what is now Iraq is obviously void. But nevertheless that does not mean that the Arameans does not have any history and claim of Iraqi territory.
If there would be more people like you within the Kurdish, the Shia and Arab nation, perhaps a little bit justice and fairness would be achieved in Iraq.
9. So you see only a small group that is trying from Diaspora to play the Robin Hood game and seek some popularity and attention to this marginalized and endangered group.
In this case we disagree with you to dishonor the name of Robin Hood in connection with these horrible forgers of history and Aramean language. Robin Hood was a person who did something good!
What these people in their daily life do is lying, cheating, falsifying and distorting of the historical facts. They have created in their minds their own "virtual reality" what they call,, Assyria"; a horrible reality which was invented, developed, promoted and took shape thanks to the zealous efforts of jesus of the West. At the moment you come up with independent scientific facts which undermines their virtual reality, they start - in agreement with their nature- a horrible hate campaign against you and accuse you of being a ,,liars, traitors, haters", "Zionists", "Jew", "Jewish extremist", "agent of the Mossad", "soldier of Zionists", "having secret plans towards the "Assyrians", "Sick Zionists etc.. etc..". Everything which does not "Match" with their imagination, thoughts and the "virtual reality" they have created with regard to "Assyria"; must be the work of one or another (of course "Jewish" or "Zionist") "secret" organization who want to destroy the "worshippers of this antique Empire".
10. But by examining claims by western officials and human right watch committees, you can see there is no real basis for these claims.
We don't know what you mean by "Western officials" or ,,human right watch committees"; however if you have any reports or complain from these people concerning their own product ,,Assyrians"; we would be happy to get a copy from you in order to be able to smash these documents against their own face concerning their criminal product ,,Assyrians".
11. I hope that this desperate group of Diaspora Christians return back and be available in the field and try to mean something to their community, instead of being cyber heroes from their comfortable chairs and life-style in the west.
Don't be naive; of course they will not return and let behind the luxury life in the West! In Iraq, perhaps they would have no ,,luxury" anymore to lie; falsify and distort the historical facts which they call,, freedom of speech, expression and democracy". These will be extra heavy to them when they will be confronted with independent facts like you have presented. Without lying, cheating, distortion of historical facts, there will be no life for them! It is very difficult to them to accept independent historical facts, lead a civilized and modest life and accept the reality.
As you already perhaps have noticed; they have in agreement with their instinct and nature again wrote a very big story regarding your article. Of course this is their way of life! They can't get enough of it!
Arameans of Syria: http://www.aramnahrin.org/English/Arameans_Of_Syria.htm
Arameans of Iraq: http://www.aramnahrin.org/English/iraqichristians.htm
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You have the permission to publish this article only if you mention the whole link to it..
Jacob of Urhoy (Urfa, in Turkey)
Professor Dr. John Joseph.
5-7-2008: Assyria and Syria: Synonyms?
In a letter to the author (John Joseph), dated June 11, 1997, Patricia Crone wrote that she and Cook “do not argue that the Nestorians of pre-Islamic Iraq saw themselves as Assyrians or that this is what they called themselves. They called themselves Suryane, which had no greater connotation of Assyrian in their usage than it did in anyone else…. We take it for granted that they got the modern Assyrian label from the West and proceeded to reinvent themselves… Of course the Nestorians were Arameans.”
(Page 27, footnote 94)
Professor Dr. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis
The deep and hidden reason of the tyrannical oppression practiced throughout the Middle East is the imposition by France and England of pan-Arabic nationalist cliques that intend to dictatorially arabize the various peoples of the Middle East, who are – all – not Arabs
The basic fact is that all these populations are only Arabic – speaking; they are not Arabs. Their ethnic historical identity is Aramaic. Aramaeans are Semitic, but as distant from the Arabs as the Ancient Hebrews were from the Babylonians. For reasons we are going to explain, these Aramaean populations got gradually arabized, but the arabization phenomenon took place at the linguistic level only, not at the ethnic, national, cultural levels
Out of it, colonial missionaries, political agents, and diplomats made a huge lie (namely that these Aramaeans are not Aramaeans but 'Assyrians') with which they disconnected the Nestorian Aramaeans from their Aramaic identity
What is the correct national name of the Modern Aramaeans? Why are there Aramaeans, who despite the fact that they speak Aramaic, insist on calling themselves 'Assyrians'? Why other Aramaeans stick to a third name, 'Chaldaeans'? Is it proper to use the name 'Syriac' that usually describes a late form of Aramaic language and scripture (from which Arabic derived) as national name of the Aramaeans?
Contrarily to the farfetched – and well financed – inaccuracies of Simo Parpola, there is not a single element in the defunct before 2600 years Assyrian Cultural and National Heritage to resemble in anything with the genuinely Aramaean culture of today’s Aramaeans, irrespective of the appellation that they use to designate themselves, Aramaeans, Chaldaeans, Assyrians or Zulu.............
Patriarch Emmanuel III Delly
But this claim has been researched by historians, and concluded that people in middle East mostly refer to people to their region, like someone from Kirkuk, was named Kirkuki whether he was , Kurd, Turkmen or Aramean. So is the case with Assyrians or actually the “Athuris” that is how they are called in the region. That name is been used to label the Nestorian Arameans of Athur(Asur) region at the suburbs of Mosul. The term has no any relation with the ancient Assyrians and the modern Assyrians
As for the terms "Assyrians" and "Chaldaeans," which are used to describe non-Arab Christians (other than Armenians), there is absolutely no historical reference of their association with the Assyrians and Chaldaeans of ancient Mesopotamia
“The Church of the East and the Church of England: A History of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Assyrian Mission “ is the title of the book written by J.F. Coakley and published in 1992.
On page 147 Coackly reports about a dispute between Arthur Maclean, head of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Assyrian Mission from 1886 to 1891, and Hormuzed Rassam, the brother of Christian Antun (Isa) Rassam; a Chaldean family from Mosul. We read: “As he (Maclean) insisted, the ‘Syrians’ called themselves that, never ‘Assyrians’; …… to apply the name ‘Assyrians’ to these Eastern Syrian Christians appears to me either an error, or else pedantry. There is really as far as I know no proof that they had any connection with the Old Assyrians. ....... ..... Why should we invent a name when we have such a very convenient one, used for centuries, at our hand? I can understand that one living close to the ruins of Nineve should have a fit enthusiasm of Old Assyria; but is it common sense to cast aside a name used by the people themselves, and to invent another for them of very doubtful applicability? “