October 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

And I heard him say – God be pleased with him: “The Syriac language is diffused within all languages the way water is diffused within wood, because the letters of the alphabet in every word in every language are elucidated in Syriac and in Syriac they have been given special meanings that were referred to earlier.”


And I heard him say – God be pleased with him: “If someone observes closely the speech of small children, he’ll find much Syriac in their speech. The reason for this is that learning something in childhood is like an inscription in stone. Adam – peace be upon him – spoke to his children when they were small and calmed them down in Syriac and he told them the names of different kinds of food and drinks in Syriac. They grew up with the language and taught it to their children, and so it continued. When change occurred in the language and it became neglected, among the adults nothing of it remained in their speech but among the children what remained of it has remained.”

– Ahmad b. Mubarak al-Lamati, Pure Gold (al-Dhabab al-Ibriz) from the Words of Sayyidi ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Dabbagh, trans. John O’Kane and Bernd Radtke (Brill, 2007), 425 and 427-428.

This Syriac (suryani) is of course not the Syriac we know today but the primordial angelic language whose echoes still deeply resonate in the human languages we know today. The pen has been lifted and the ink has dried, the vessels are broken and their shards darkly gleam.


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