Greek, Phoenician & Hebrew

Mon Mar 9 00:13:59 2009
Hebrew is a Semitic language. Greek is an Indo-European language. That is why the Greeks had to adapt the Phoenician alphabet to fit a very different language.

Curiously, the Hebrew alphabet does not come directly from Phoenician but from Aramaic. It was adopted some time after the Babylonian exile. The Archaic Greek alphabet is probably older than the Hebrew alphabet you are using.

The original Paleo-Hebrew alphabet, which eventually fell into disuse, was a more direct descendant of Phoenician. You can see the similarity in one of the last examples of Paleo-Hebrew on coins from the Bar Kokhba revolt (132–135 CE). The letters look very much like Phoenician and you can see some similarity with Greek, although it does not look much like modern Hebrew.


~ by severalfourmany on March 9, 2009.

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