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Author Topic: A New Identity for Middle East Christians  (Read 977 times) Average Rating: 0
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Suryoyutho
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« on: July 19, 2012, 02:52:04 AM »

This is a good article. Of course the identity issues are a little more complex than what is said in the article but it is roughly that way http://spectator.org/archives/2012/07/18/a-new-identity-for-middle-east/
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2012, 03:41:13 AM »

What about Muslims? Do they identify basically just Arabs?
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« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2012, 03:53:46 AM »

Not Kurds, Turks, and Iranians/Persians but unless I'm forgetting someone the rest are pretty Arabized.

Then there are other religions too. There are Mandeans, the Yazidi, the Druze, etc.

There is also some Muslims called Mhallami who were Syriac before but at one point converted to Islam. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mhallami I know that some of them identify as Assyrian (they have hotels called Assur Hotel and such in Turkey).
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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2012, 05:07:57 AM »

Not all Muslims just identify as Arabs, even Arabic speakers. For example, there is quite a strong Berber movement in North Africa, some of whom do not speak a Berber language themselves. Also, I have noticed some (I am not sure how many) Muslim, Arabic speaking, Egyptians considering Egyptians to be distinct from (and culturally superior to) Arabs.
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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2012, 10:59:58 AM »

Thread resurrection!

Is there any difference between EO, OO, Nestorian and Catholics? Are they all trying reaquire their indigenous identities?
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Suryoyutho
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« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2012, 12:00:09 PM »

Here goes...

The Syriacs (Orthodox and Catholic), Chaldean Catholics, Church of the East (COE), and Maronites are most likely the same people from the beginning. However, in early Christianity the Syriacs (and those Syriacs who became Maronites) were on the Roman side of the border while the COE were on the Persian side (in the Roman-Persian war) so since then we have been split.

The Chaldean Catholics and Church of the East are definitely the same. The Chaldean name was just applied to distinguish the Nestorians who converted to Catholicism from those who stayed Nestorian (but today some Chaldeans are trying to make it as if they're from the ancient Chaldeans).

We're either Assyrian or Aramean ethnically. In the Syriac churches the Aramean name is majority (there's a good amount of Assyrian proponents as well though), in the Church of the East Assyrian is naturally a huge majority (they changed their church name to Assyrian Church of the East in the 20th century), the Chaldean Catholics also have a good amount of Assyrian proponents but many of them call themselves Chaldean, the Maronite church is being approached mostly by the Aramean proponents who are trying to get them on their side (some Maronites consider themselves to be from the ancient Phoenicians though). Some Melkites were probably also Syriacs from the start.

It's really the Greeks fault that we're in this mess today. If it wasn't for them the word Syria and Syrian probably wouldn't exist. They encountered Assyria with and without the initial vowel aleph (which is like the latin a) when they first came into contact with the Near East regions and rendered them as Assyria (Assuria, Assurios, etc.) and Syria (Suria, Surios, etc.) in Greek (so the word Syria is derived from Assyria) and at first they used the words interchangeably (in the beginning they pretty much called all people in Mesopotamia, Syrians/Assyrians, even if you were Aramean or something else). But with time each word got more specific meanings...

A couple of examples:

Justinus, 3rd century AD: "His successors too, following his example, gave answers to their people through their ministers. The Assyrians, who were afterwards called Syrians, held their empire thirteen hundred years. The last king that reigned over them was Sardanapalus, a man more effeminate than a woman."

Posidonius, 1st century BC: "The people we [Greeks] call Syrians were called by the Syrians themselves Arameans." (the Aramean proponents say that the word Syrian was taken up by us because of Greek influence at around the 4th century AD, before that we only used Aramean to designate ourselves)

It's people throwing quotes at each other to try to get people to their own movement (the Assyrian nationalist movement is older than the Aramean one though).

Don't confuse the above Syria/Syrian with today's Syrian Arab Republic and it's population. Most Syriac Orthodox are from what today is Southeast Turkey originally. When most people read Syrian Orthodox they probably think: "Oh, Orthodox Christians from Syria", but that is wrong (that's why we changed it to Syriac, to not be confused with Syria and it's Arab population).
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« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2012, 01:03:16 PM »

One of the deacons at the church I was baptized in, named Bishoy, surprised me when he mentioned that he is Assyrian. I, being stupid but naturally interested in these things, asked for clarification: "So...you are Syriac Orthodox?" Seemed like a reasonable assumption, since there aren't going to be non-Orthodox serving as deacons in the Coptic Church. But I had chosen the wrong name, I guess. He didn't object to the "Orthodox" part, of course, but he apparently thought I misheard him. "No...Assyrian. My mother came from Iraq. She raised me speaking Assyrian. I am Assyrian." Er...alright. An Assyrian nationalist in the Coptic Church. I guess it makes sense, given the long relationship between the Syrians/Syriacs/Aramaeans/whatever you call yourselves and the Copts (Deir al-Surian), but it was the first and only time I'd ever met an Orthodox person with a sense of particularly Assyrian nationalism. The only others I've known who were like that were all ACOE or Chaldean.

I love all you guys, of course, no matter what you call yourselves, but you have to know that this stuff is confusing as heck to outsiders, and even I (who up until that point had wrongly prided myself on at least understanding the issues surrounding these divisions, since they have a real impact on my academic work in linguistics) have a hard time keeping it all straight. If you're going to have Assyrians named Bishoy and Chaldeans identifying as Arabs (see Sengstock's 1982 study on ethnic identity among Chaldean Americans)...well, I dunno what to do with that. Undecided
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« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2012, 01:34:42 PM »

Yes, it's confusing and I really appreciate the explanations.

There was a thread a while back where I was talking about how confusing it was that St. Isaac the Syrian was sometimes called Assyrian in Armenian, and I wasn't sure what the difference was:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,15328.0.html

So this is useful.

Another thing I would like to know about is the exact meaning of Suryoyo (Am I spelling it right?)
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« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2012, 01:35:58 PM »

Can most contemporary Assyrians speak the Syriac language?
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« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2012, 02:04:55 PM »

Salpy,

Not that this means anything, as I don't speak the language, but the only people I've ever interacted with who referred to themselves by that term were Orthodox. You'll also see it on websites related to the Church like this one. From listening to entirely too much Evin Aghassi, I've gathered that that ACOE folk refer to themselves as "Aturaye" or the like (though according to wikipedia, they also accept "Suryaye", and of course, now thanks to my friend Bishoy, I know that some Orthodox would prefer Assyrian, too). Though the only Chaldean that I personally know is rather indifferent about these things (he says he's "half Chaldean" and that many on the Chaldean side of his family identify as Arab), I know there is some kind of Chaldean nationalism out there that posits a unique identity for the Chaldean Catholics that is found in ancient Chaldea, rather than their attested historical origin in the 16th century schism with the (A)COE involving Shimun VIII Yohannan Sulaqa.

EDIT: There's also this awesome and absolutely right but probably ignored list of demands from the "Assyrian-Suryoye" people, indicating a level of cooperation among the people despite the confusing nomenclature. I'd like to know if the Assyrian-Chaldean-Syriac Union has a website somewhere. I could only find references to them other than that page via Arabic-language forums.  Sad

For what it's worth, the Maronites I've known who weren't completely Arabized have mostly rejected the whole "We're Phoenicians" thing that worked out so, so well for them in modern Lebanon (scarcasm) and have instead redoubled their efforts into learning Syriac. Granted, that amounts to all of about five people (most Maronites know nothing but the Arabic post-conciliar mess that is current in their communion, it seems), but hey...ya gotta start somewhere!

I eagerly await Suryoyutho's corrections to this undoubtedly flawed understanding. Smiley
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Suryoyutho
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« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2012, 02:36:35 PM »

I love all you guys, of course, no matter what you call yourselves, but you have to know that this stuff is confusing as heck to outsiders
It's confusing to many insiders as well  Smiley

Here's a good read on the Syriac-Coptic relationship if you haven't seen it before. http://www.bethmardutho.org/images/hugoye/volume11/hv11n1farag.pdf

There was a thread a while back where I was talking about how confusing it was that St. Isaac the Syrian was sometimes called Assyrian in Armenian, and I wasn't sure what the difference was:

This is actually relevant in the on-going Assyrian/Aramean thing. The Assyrian proponents use "because we're called Asori by the Armenians we're Assyrian" as an argument. But the Aramean proponents say that Asori means Syrian...

They say that Assyrian = Asoristan/Norshirakan (can also mean Mesopotamia sometimes), Assyrian = Asorestantji/Asorestans'i, Syria = Asorik, Syrian = Asori, Syrians = Asoriner, Syriac language (Aramaic) = Asoreren

Another thing I would like to know about is the exact meaning of Suryoyo (Am I spelling it right?)

Yes, correct spelling. It probably means Syrian. The Aramean proponents say that we started using the word because of Greek unfluence in around the 4th century. The area where the Antioch church was at was called Syria so we adopted the Syrian name, the Greeks translated the word Aramean to Syrian in the Bible. They say that St Ephrem the Syrian never used the word Suryoyo in his writings, only Aramean (Oromoyo), while if you look after the 4th-5th century all our writers use Suryoyo.

So just because the word Syrian comes from Assyrian it doesn't mean that the people who were later called Syrians are Assyrians is what they're saying.

Here's directly from the Aramean proponents:

Quote
In the early centuries of the Christian era, the Syriac Christians were disconnected as a population first along geopolitical demarcations and soon after along religious boundaries as well. The Syriacs that resided in the Roman (later Byzantine) Empire were termed ‘West-Syriacs’, whereas their congeners who lived under Parthian (later Sassanid) hegemony were dubbed ‘East-Syriacs’.i

This traditional distinction, albeit roughly, between ‘Easterners’ and ‘Westerners’ has remained until the present day. Accordingly, the Syriac people can be classified as follows:ii

West-Syriacs: Syriac-Orthodox and Syriac-Catholics, Melkites and Maronites.
East-Syriacs: ‘Nestorians’ (or ‘Assyrians’)iii and Chaldeans.

...

The first-century historian Flavius Josephus, for example, confirms that “Aram,” the son of Sem, the son of the Biblical Noah (Genesis 10:22), “had the Arameans, whom the Greeks called Syrians.”v

...

The originally Greek calque ‘Syrian’ entered the Aramaic vocabulary somewhere between 390 and 430 A.D. as ‘Suryāyā’ (Suryoyo in the originally Tur ‘Abdin Aramaic pronunciation). At present, many Syriacs (especially the younger generation) prefer to avoid this name (they mean Syrian, not Suryoyo) as a result of the inevitable association or confusion with the chiefly Muslim citizens of the “Syrian Arab Republic.”

Can most contemporary Assyrians speak the Syriac language?

You mean all of us or just the COE adherents? It's very mixed, it depends on where you've been the last 100 or so years. Many Assyrians/Syriacs/etc. who moved to Syria don't speak Syriac anymore, they only speak Arabic. My parents are from the Syriac heartland in Southeast Turkey and we speak Syriac. Also note that we have two languages, Classical Syriac which is our literary language and our spoken language which some call Neo-Syriac, few can read and write classical Syriac outside of church people.
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« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2012, 02:51:07 PM »

Salpy,

Not that this means anything, as I don't speak the language, but the only people I've ever interacted with who referred to themselves by that term were Orthodox. You'll also see it on websites related to the Church like this one. From listening to entirely too much Evin Aghassi, I've gathered that that ACOE folk refer to themselves as "Aturaye" or the like (though according to wikipedia, they also accept "Suryaye", and of course, now thanks to my friend Bishoy, I know that some Orthodox would prefer Assyrian, too). Though the only Chaldean that I personally know is rather indifferent about these things (he says he's "half Chaldean" and that many on the Chaldean side of his family identify as Arab), I know there is some kind of Chaldean nationalism out there that posits a unique identity for the Chaldean Catholics that is found in ancient Chaldea, rather than their attested historical origin in the 16th century schism with the (A)COE involving Shimun VIII Yohannan Sulaqa.

EDIT: There's also this awesome and absolutely right but probably ignored list of demands from the "Assyrian-Suryoye" people, indicating a level of cooperation among the people despite the confusing nomenclature. I'd like to know if the Assyrian-Chaldean-Syriac Union has a website somewhere. I could only find references to them other than that page via Arabic-language forums.  Sad

For what it's worth, the Maronites I've known who weren't completely Arabized have mostly rejected the whole "We're Phoenicians" thing that worked out so, so well for them in modern Lebanon (scarcasm) and have instead redoubled their efforts into learning Syriac. Granted, that amounts to all of about five people (most Maronites know nothing but the Arabic post-conciliar mess that is current in their communion, it seems), but hey...ya gotta start somewhere!

I eagerly await Suryoyutho's corrections to this undoubtedly flawed understanding. Smiley
That's well-written actually.

There are some Assyrian-Chaldean-Syriac union groups that have popped up in later years but you won't see the Aramean side cooperate with them f.ex.

A lot of the ACOE folk call themselves Suraya as well, we Syriacs call/called ourselves Suroyo in our homeland, Suryoyo was actually only used in books, church and such and when we moved (fled) to the west we started using Suryoyo. Do you notice how close Suraya/Suroyo and Asuraya or Ashuraya sound? That's one of the arguments from the Assyrian side, Suraya/Suroyo was derived from Asuraya so we're Assyrians (the initial vowel was dropped). But there aren't any 100% proofs of anything.
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« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2012, 08:51:52 PM »


Can most contemporary Assyrians speak the Syriac language?

You mean all of us or just the COE adherents? It's very mixed, it depends on where you've been the last 100 or so years. Many Assyrians/Syriacs/etc. who moved to Syria don't speak Syriac anymore, they only speak Arabic. My parents are from the Syriac heartland in Southeast Turkey and we speak Syriac. Also note that we have two languages, Classical Syriac which is our literary language and our spoken language which some call Neo-Syriac, few can read and write classical Syriac outside of church people.

Outside of village people, can Assyrians from modern cities (Antakya, Istanbul, Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus) speak the language. Have these Syriacs assimilated into the cultures of the surroundings (Turkish, Persian, or Arab) or do they keep their own separate cultures (with exception to those who are from Syriac villages). Just curious Smiley 
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« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2012, 03:16:39 PM »

Outside of village people, can Assyrians from modern cities (Antakya, Istanbul, Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus) speak the language. Have these Syriacs assimilated into the cultures of the surroundings (Turkish, Persian, or Arab) or do they keep their own separate cultures (with exception to those who are from Syriac villages). Just curious Smiley 
Many of the ones in Syria and Lebanon speak Arabic now, in the bigger cities in Turkey and Iraq it might not be as bad. As for culture, that hasn't changed too much I believe (a big part of the culture is the Christian belief as well so). But the Maronites don't speak Syriac, almost none of them, no matter where they live (if you had them in mind as well). While in the villages in Southeast Turkey even some muslims speak Syriac. Check this video for example http://vimeo.com/37675766 the guy at around 23 seconds with the hat is a Kurd .
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« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2012, 03:48:02 PM »

As concerns Lebanon, private schools which teach Syriac are confessionally-based, meaning that the ACOE and Syriac Orthodox people are able to learn it in their own schools, while others like the Maronites are not (important to keep in mind, as the Maronites are the largest Christian group in Lebanon). Or, at best, as the linked article states, they can learn it to some limited degree as part of learning something else (Musicology, Iconography, etc.) at USEK. And yet, you can still find some who do speak it, like singer Jean Zahlawi, though their origins are probably ultimately elsewhere, since Syriac has not been the spoken language of the Maronites as a community for quite a few centuries by this point (I have seen some of the liturgical books that precipitated the switch to Arabic, dating from c.15th century, if I remember correctly). I am afraid that a similar fate awaits the Syriac-speakers in Lebanon, but at least they have their schools, which gives hope for the language to at least continue to be taught, even if more and more of them speak Arabic out of necessity.

Thanks be to God, the teaching of the language still goes on in Iraq (see also this interview), though there are serious threats to the its continued existence due to the continued threats against the people themselves in their own areas of the country. Lord have mercy on your people in the Middle East.
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« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2012, 04:39:48 PM »

Thank you and Lord have mercy on the Copts in Egypt as well.

That's interesting, didn't know that about Lebanon. For the record, in my post I was talking about the spoken Syriac language, if we're talking about literary/classical Syriac, very few people read/write it, even among people from the villages. The literary language is quite well documented though (there are scholars who are interested in it). The spoken language on the other hand isn't so it's very important that we don't let go of it in the diaspora.
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« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2012, 04:57:43 PM »

Yeah, sorry, I suppose I was mixing the two. For instance, no doubt the programs as USEK teach classical Syriac, not the modern language (which we call, on the macro level, "Assyrian Neo-Aramaic" in the linguistic literature, though I am purposely trying to avoid it in this thread in light of the recent discussion on use of various terms for the community). There really wouldn't be any reason for them to do otherwise, since the vast majority of Maronites wouldn't have any use for it, barring a serious effort to reintroduce the language as an official language of the country.

For the modern language, there is very little to be can be said that you wouldn't already know, Suryoyutho. I am personally interested in it, of course, but we can't all be weirdos (in the sense of non-Syriacs interested in the language outside of liturgical/historical study). Grin Using the University of Minnesota's Center for Advanced Research on Less Common Taught Languages database (a listing of courses in such languages offered in North America) shows that UCLA teaches elementary "Modern Aramaic" (so, I guess Western Aramaic, like they speak in Maaloula?) at the post-secondary level. Harvard teaches something called "Aremaic" (Roll Eyes), again at the elementary level, Many more places teach Syriac, and it's not clear that they always differentiate between the Modern and the Classical language.
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« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2012, 05:22:38 PM »

"Assyrian Neo-Aramaic" (some people wouldn't like that Assyrian in there) Grin It's called Modern Western Syriac and Central Neo-Aramaic as well.

Yes, it's not always clear what they mean. Here in Sweden one university calls it "Aramaic/syrian" and I believe it might be a course in both the classical and modern (definitely classical at least).

Could very well be the Maaloula dialect though.

In our language in the villages the literary language is called "Kthobonoyo" (literary means "Book language" or "Language of the book") and the spoken language is called "Surayt" (another word we wonder the origin of, add an "A" in front and it becomes "Asurayt" =P). "Kthobonoyo" is also called "Leshono Suryoyo" (Leshono means tongue (language)) and "Surayt" is also called "Turoyo" (in the diaspora we just call it "Suryoyo" as well though).
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« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2012, 05:46:03 PM »

"Assyrian Neo-Aramaic" (some people wouldn't like that Assyrian in there) Grin

I have more than a few books that drop the "Assyrian", like Heinrichs' (ed.) "Studies in Neo-Aramaic" (1990, Scholar's Press). Smiley I suppose I should have qualified that a bit better: As most modern dialects are strongly identified with certain national(ist) groups, it is very common to see "Assyrian Neo-Aramaic", as most of the research that deals with the modern spoken language is dealing with that group (or deals with that group in some fashion, at least), the same way that in previous eras you would often find things like Daniels' "Chaldean Dictionary" and nobody would bat an eye at them. More division-conscious studies will break it down further (as Heinrich's volume does, with separate papers on "Chaldean", by which I take them to mean the dialect of Alqosh, and other varieties), so that it truly makes sense to say "Neo-Aramaic", since it's not dealing with a particular variety. In works that are dealing with a particular variety, such as Odisho's "The Sound System of Modern Assyrian (Neo-Aramaic)" (1988), you get the modern dialect(s), and the political/national name that go along with it. Grin That isn't really a new phenomenon, either; witness, for instance, Orham's "Dictionary of the Stabilized and Enriched Assyrian Language" (1943). I'm pretty sure I have one of Bazzi's teaching texts that calls it something like "Sureth: Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac", too. Gotta cover all the bases!

Quote
It's called Modern Western Syriac and Central Neo-Aramaic as well.

Indeed, as above. Smiley

Quote
Yes, it's not always clear what they mean. Here in Sweden one university calls it "Aramaic/syrian" and I believe it might be a course in both the classical and modern (definitely classical at least).

I briefly looked at the University of Uppsala (sp.), which seemed to have an interesting program. Can't remember what they called it or if it was the modern or the classical, but with all of the "Syrianer" in Sweden these days, it probably wouldn't be impossible to learn it naturalistically, which is always best anyway.
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« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2012, 11:01:25 AM »

Yeah, that University has "Aramaic/syrian". You even know about "Syrianer" :O. There are cases of young Swedes living in areas with a lot of Syriacs learning the language actually.
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« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2012, 11:23:10 AM »

One of the deacons at the church I was baptized in, named Bishoy, surprised me when he mentioned that he is Assyrian. I, being stupid but naturally interested in these things, asked for clarification: "So...you are Syriac Orthodox?" Seemed like a reasonable assumption, since there aren't going to be non-Orthodox serving as deacons in the Coptic Church. But I had chosen the wrong name, I guess. He didn't object to the "Orthodox" part, of course, but he apparently thought I misheard him. "No...Assyrian. My mother came from Iraq. She raised me speaking Assyrian. I am Assyrian." Er...alright. An Assyrian nationalist in the Coptic Church. I guess it makes sense, given the long relationship between the Syrians/Syriacs/Aramaeans/whatever you call yourselves and the Copts (Deir al-Surian), but it was the first and only time I'd ever met an Orthodox person with a sense of particularly Assyrian nationalism. The only others I've known who were like that were all ACOE or Chaldean.

I love all you guys, of course, no matter what you call yourselves, but you have to know that this stuff is confusing as heck to outsiders, and even I (who up until that point had wrongly prided myself on at least understanding the issues surrounding these divisions, since they have a real impact on my academic work in linguistics) have a hard time keeping it all straight. If you're going to have Assyrians named Bishoy and Chaldeans identifying as Arabs (see Sengstock's 1982 study on ethnic identity among Chaldean Americans)...well, I dunno what to do with that. Undecided
Somewhere here we have a thread on the Assyrians who were received into the Russian Orthodox Church, with their own bishops, in the 1800's.
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dzheremi
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« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2012, 04:15:25 PM »

I don't doubt it, Isa. Assyrians ended up in the USSR as a result of the persecutions in WWI, as I'm sure you know. If I recall, Assyrian activist and poet Dr. Freidoon Atouraya was executed in Tbilisi by hanging in the 1920s or thereabouts for being a "radical Assyrian nationalist". There are still Assyrians in many places in the ex-USSR, particularly in Russia and Georgia, but also (natively) in certain parts of Azerbaijan. Check out this nice Assyrian folk song from Azerbaijan. Suryoyutho, can you tell what dialect this is? Urmia? (Just a guess based on geographical proximity; there's probably some more specific local dialect in the area that I don't know about.)

Edit: Oops. I glossed over the "in the 1800s" part. They would've been in the USSR as a result of the Treaty of Turkmenchay in the 1820s, probably.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2012, 04:19:09 PM by dzheremi » Logged

vasnTearn
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« Reply #22 on: August 04, 2012, 11:20:35 AM »


This is actually relevant in the on-going Assyrian/Aramean thing. The Assyrian proponents use "because we're called Asori by the Armenians we're Assyrian" as an argument. But the Aramean proponents say that Asori means Syrian...

Asori in Armenian is the name of the nation which speaks "asoreren", that is, Syriac in ALL of its dialects. So Asori doesn't mean Syrian, if by the latter word one means someone from Syria. Asoris are both Assyrians and Syrians, and whatever else you call yourselves. We don't distinguish between the various Syriac or Aramaic speaking people.

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They say that Assyrian = Asoristan/Norshirakan (can also mean Mesopotamia sometimes), Assyrian = Asorestantji/Asorestans'i, Syria = Asorik, Syrian = Asori, Syrians = Asoriner, Syriac language (Aramaic) = Asoreren

Asorestan is the Armenian for the country of Assyria. It's a geographical term only. And Asorik means Syria. But the people of both Asorestan (Assyria) and Asorik (Syria) are asoris, that is, considered the same people. Even the names of these countries are in fact the same in Armenian: the suffixes are different, but the root is the same.

Asori+k -> Asorik (Syria)
Asori+stan -> Asorestan (Assyria)

Linguistically these two words mean the same, because the suffixes -k and -stan have the same meaning, they are pluralizing suffixes. Compare: Armenia in Armenian is called both Hayastan and Hayk, no difference.

And in ancient Armenian there aren't the words Arameatsi (Aramean) or Arameeren (Aramaic). So everyone who spoke Aramaic/Syriac or any of its dialects was considered "asori" by the Armenians, not Aramean.

Conclusion: for both the ancient and modern Armenians, you are all (Assyrian Nestorian, Syriac Orthodox, Melkites, Chaldeans etc etc) considered the same people, regardless of your religion and place of living. I wish you had the same understanding and united one day under whichever name you want to.

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Salpy
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« Reply #23 on: August 04, 2012, 11:39:03 AM »

How about "Sooryatsi"?  Would that just refer to the modern citizens of Syria?
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vasnTearn
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« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2012, 11:53:10 AM »

How about "Sooryatsi"?  Would that just refer to the modern citizens of Syria?

Yes. Sooryatsi in modern Western Armenian and Siriatsi in modern Eastern Armenian mean Syrian=a citizen of Syria.
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Salpy
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Pray for the Christians of Iraq and Syria.


« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2012, 12:53:30 PM »

Thanks.  That clears things up.   Smiley
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"They mean it as a mark of shame, we must then wear it as a mark of hope..."
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« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2012, 03:55:12 PM »

dzheremi, yes, that should be of the Urmia group.

vasnTearn, thank you, that's interesting. In 1844 an American missionary visited the Syriac Orthodox in Turkey and wrote:

"I observed that the Armenians did not know them under the name which I used, SYRIANI; but called them ASSOURI, which struck me the more at the moment from its resemblance to our English name ASSYRIANS"

How things can go wrong.

This study is very interesting to read on this whole issue: http://kops.ub.uni-konstanz.de/xmlui/bitstream/handle/urn:nbn:de:bsz:352-opus-103792/Weltecke_Michael_Syrian.pdf

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Of course there is the one integrating, non-ethnical and universal self-designation: mhaymne, the believers. which is used by Michael and by other chroniclers writing in Syriac. Mhaymne are usually Syriac Orthodox, but often members of the larger Miaphysite party. also designated as 'Egyptians' or 'Armenians' respectively. Mhaymno could also be some very trustworthy person. The term mhaymne, then, points towards the continuing importance of che religious identity at that time and towards some limits of ethnicization. Someone who apostatized to Islam or to Greek Orthodoxy stopped being mhaymno.

Also shows the relationship with the Rum/Greek Orthodox at the time.
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The Tur Abdin Timeline - A timeline of Tur Abdin (Syriac for "the Mountain of the Servants [of God]"), the heartland of the Syriac Orthodox Christians, a hilly region located in upper Mesopotamia, between the Tigris and Euphrates.
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