[B-Greek] Inscriptions

Sarah Madden sarah.r.madden at gmail.com
Tue Aug 31 22:10:18 EDT 2010


Hi, Kevin --
In reply to your last statement ("saying the eastern part of the Roman
Empire was Greek speaking is somewhat analogous to saying that India is
English speaking"), when I lived in New Delhi years ago, it was easy to find
English speakers among the Indian citizens -- both Hindi and English are
official languages of the country (and these days many English-speaking call
centers are based in India). The British left their mark in the language of
that country, as did the Greeks in other countries.

Sarah ><>
Maryland
sarah.r.madden at gmail.com

On Tue, Aug 31, 2010 at 8:47 PM, Kevin Riley <klriley at alphalink.com.au>wrote:

>  I am afraid, at least from my brief research, that the answer to the
> question of who spoke which language where is found scattered through a
> number of books.  Aramaic was the lingua franca of much of the middle east
> before Arabic rose to prominence and Greek did not replace it in most of
> that area.  You need to think in terms of di/triglossia for most of the
> region.  Aramaic was the liturgical language for the Christian churches in
> Palestine, Syria, Iraq and much of what is now Turkey.  From memory also in
> Iran, but I may have that wrong.  Outside the historically Greek areas,
> saying the eastern part of the Roman Empire was Greek speaking is somewhat
> analogous to saying that India is English speaking.
>
> Kevin Riley
>
>
> On 25/08/2010 11:45 AM, Eddie Mishoe wrote:
>
>> Is there any well-researched book that informs us about the main spoken
>> language of the empire in various places based on the preponderance of
>> inscriptions? Since Paul's churches in the West and East are both written in
>> Greek, can we assume that Greek was the lingua franca of all parts of the
>> empire?
>>
>> Why all the speculation about what was the main language spoken in various
>> parts. Was not even the church in Jerusalem Greek-speaking? I'm not sure how
>> important it would be for the non-Jew to speak Aramaic, since Greek would be
>> the medium of exchange, presumably.
>>
>> Any interesting articles on the Net would be helpful. Does not Stanley
>> Porter contend that Greek was basically spoken throughout the empire?
>>
>> Eddie Mishoe
>>
>>
>>
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>>
>>
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-- 
Sarah ><>
sarah.r.madden at gmail.com
work: 301.429.8189



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