A nation named to honor the One who is the Beginner of all things
God's Name and likeness are not known, Ashur is a descriptive reference chosen by God Himself &
Ashur image is a communication reference dating back to before the invention of cuneiform.
|In The Name of God (Ashur)
|A Case for Honoring Assyrian language,
In June and July 2010, I wrote two articles. One is about the late Rabi Youel A. Baba and his valuable work
for our nation. I have emphasized that according to the American linguist, Dr. K. David Harrison, a language
will survive if the people who still speak it have hope and if there are books for the young in that language. I have
argued that Youel Baba has raised the hope of our authors by publishing their books and thus providing valuable
books for the young Assyrians to read in Assyrian. So he must be praised.
In the second article, I have made the suggestion that our Assyriologists try to prepare scientific dictionaries
with scientific words our ancestors used that can be found on the cuneiform tablets. I have argued that our
ancestors were very advanced in every field of science and therefore had words for almost everything. I have
given the example of a tablet: the Babylonian cuneiform tablet Plimpton 322 that essentially contains a
remarkable table of secants. Howard Eves, mentions this tablet in his book: "An Introduction to the History
of Mathematics", 6th ed., Philadelphia, Saunders College Publishing, 1990, and says that "It may be that
modern investigations into the mathematics of ancient Mesopotamia will reveal an appreciable development of
Many modern Assyrians are not willing to speak in Assyrian for various reasons, for example because our
modern language is not scientific. Therefore, I have argued in my article, that we need such dictionaries to
enrich our modern language with scientific words used by our ancestors.
In both my articles, I have mentioned the words of the French author and the Nobel Prize Winner in
Literature in 1957, Albert Camus (1913 – 1960), who said: “Ma Patrie, c’est la langue Française” (The
French language is my homeland); and I've insisted that we, too, must consider our language to be our homeland
to preserve and guard it. Being spread in Diaspora, our language is the only means of preserving our identity,
unless you know of other ?
At the end I would like to thank Rabi Daniel Bet Benyamin, the great Assyrian writer (literary articles and
poems) and the editor of the Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies, for his valuable comments and help,
without which these two articles would not have come into existence.
Dr. Madeleine Davis