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Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac people
Sūrāyē / Sūryāyē / Āṯūrāyē [1]
Assyrian people.jpg
Ashurnasirpal II · Ephrem the Syrian · A. Petros · F. Atturaya
Naum Faiq · Ammo Baba · Rosie Malek-Yonan · Ashour Asho
Total population
c. 3.3 million[2]
Regions with significant populations
  Iraq 150,000–830,000


  Syria 52,000–735,000 [4]
  Iran 10,500–103,000 [5]
  Turkey 4,000–70,000 [6]
  United States 83,000 [7]
  Sweden 80,000 [8]
  Jordan 77,000 [9]
  Germany 70,000 [10]
  Australia 25,000 [11]

(also various Neo-Aramaic dialects)
Arabic, Persian, Turkish

Related ethnic groups

Other Semitic peoples

The Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac people[12] (frequently known as Assyrians in English, besides Aramaeans, Syrians, Syriacs, Syrian Christians, Syriac Christians, Suroye/Suryoye[13] and other variants, see names of Syriac Christians) are an ethnic group whose origins lie in the Fertile Crescent. Today that ancient territory is part of several nations; the Assyrian/Syriac people have been minorities under other ethnic groups' rule since their empire fell in 612 BC. They have traditionally lived in Northern Iraq, Syria, Western Iran, and Turkey's Southeastern Anatolia.[14] Many have migrated to the Caucasus, North America and Europe during the past century. The major sub-ethnic division is between an Eastern group ("Syrian Nestorians" and "Chaldean Christians") and a Western one ("Syrian Jacobites").

Diaspora and refugee communities are based in Europe, the former Soviet Union, North America, Australia, New Zealand, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon. Emigration was triggered by such events as the Assyrian genocide in the wake of the First World War during the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, the Simele massacre in Iraq (1933), and the Islamic revolution in Iran (1979).[15]

Most recently the Iraq War has displaced the regional Assyrian community, as its people have been persecuted by militant Sunni Muslims. Of the one million or more Iraqis reported by the United Nations to have fled, nearly forty percent (40%) are Assyrian, although Assyrians comprise only three percent of the Iraqi population.[16][17][18]

The Syrian Malabar Nasrani, also known as the Saint Thomas Christians of Malabar, are another Syriac Christian group. They are ethnically distinct from the Assyrian people of the Middle East.



The Assyrian people trace their origins to the population of the pre-Islamic Mesopotamia, since the time of the Akkadian Empire. It was not until the Neo-Assyrian Empire that the Assyrians began to speak Aramaic, the language of the Aramaean tribes who had been assimilated into the Assyrian empire in the 8th century BC.[19] Mass relocations were enforced by Assyrian kings of the Neo-Assyrian period.[20]

The Assyrians became Christian in the 1st to 3rd centuries,[21] in Roman Syria and Persian Assyria.[22] They were divided by the Nestorian Schism in the 5th century, and from the 8th century, they became a religious minority following the Islamic conquest of Mesopotamia.

Celebration at a Syriac Orthodox monastery in Mosul, Ottoman Syria, early 20th century.

Culturally and linguistically distinct from, although quite influenced by, their neighbours in the Middle East—the Arabs, Persians, Kurds, Turks, and Armenians—the Assyrians have endured much hardship throughout their recent history as a result of religious and ethnic persecution.[23][24]

The most significant recent persecution against the Assyrian population was the Assyrian genocide, which occurred at the onset of the First World War. This led to a large-scale resettlement of the Assyrian people in countries such as Syria, Iran and Iraq, as well as other neighbouring countries in and around the Middle East.[25][26][27][28]

Leadership of Pan Arabism among others, has beeen persecuting Assyrians. [29]


Iraq War

Since the Iraq War started in 2003, social unrest and anarchy have resulted in persecution of Assyrians in Iraq, mostly by Islamic extremists. In places such as Dora, a neighborhood in southwestern Baghdad, an estimated 90% of Iraq's Assyrian population has either fled or been murdered.[citation needed]

Islamic resentment over the United States occupation of Iraq, and incidents such as the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons and the Pope Benedict XVI Islam controversy, have resulted in their attacking the Assyrian Christian communities. Since the start of the Iraq war, at least 46 churches and monasteries have been bombed.[30]



The Assyrians are considered to be one of the indigenous people in the Middle East. Their homeland was thought to be located in the area around the Tigris and Euphrates. There is a significant Assyrian population in Syria where an estimated 877,000 Assyrians live. In Tur Abdin, known as the homeland for Syriacs, there are only 3,000 left,[31] and an estimated 15,000 in all of Turkey.[32] After the 1915 Assyrian genocide many Assyrians/Syriacs also fled into Lebanon, Jordan, Iran, Iraq and into the Western world.

The Assyrian/Syriac people can be divided along geographic, linguistic, and denominational lines, the three main groups being:


Since the Assyrian Genocide, many Assyrians have fled their homelands for a more safe and comfortable life in the West. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the Assyrian population in the Middle East has decreased dramatically. As of today there are more Assyrians in Europe, North America, and Australia than in their former homeland.

A total of 550,000 Assyrians live in Europe.[33] Large Assyrian/Syriac diaspora communities can be found in Germany, Sweden, the USA, and Australia. The largest Assyrian/syriac diaspora communities are those of Södertälje, Chicago, and Detroit.


Assyrian flag (since 1968)[34]
Chaldean flag proposed in Dec 1999[35]

Assyrians are divided among several churches (see below). They speak, and many can read and write, dialects of Neo-Aramaic.[37]

In certain areas of the Assyrian homeland, identity within a community depends on a person's village of origin (see List of Assyrian villages) or Christian denomination, for instance Chaldean Catholic.[38]

Today, Assyrians and other minority ethnic groups in the Middle East, feel pressure to identify as "Arabs",[39][40] and "Kurds".[41] Assyrians in Syria are disappearing as an ethnic group, due to assimilation.[citation needed]

Neo-Aramaic exhibits remarkably conservative features compared with Imperial Aramaic,[42] and the earliest European visitors to northern Mesopotamia in modern times encountered a people called "Assyrians" and men with ancient Assyrian names such as Sargon and Sennacherib.[43][44][45] The Assyrians manifested a remarkable degree of linguistic, religious, and cultural continuity from the time of the ancient Greeks, Persians, and Parthians through periods of medieval Byzantine, Arab, Persian, and Ottoman rule.[46]

Assyrian nationalism emphatically connects Modern Assyrians to the population of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. A historical basis of this sentiment has been disputed by a few early historians,[47] but receives support from modern Assyriologists like H.W.F. Saggs, Robert D. Biggs and Simo Parpola,[48][49][50] and Iranologists like Richard Nelson Frye.[22][51]


The various communities of Syriac-speaking people of Iraq, Syria, and Turkey advocate different terms for ethnic self-designation:

The terminological problem goes back to colonial times, but it became more acute in 1946, when with the independence of Syria, the adjective Syrian referred to an independent state. The controversy isn't restricted to exonyms like English "Assyrian" vs. "Aramaean", but also applies to self-designation in Neo-Aramaic, the "Aramaean" faction endorses both Sūryāyē ܣܘܪܝܝܐ and Ārāmayē ܐܪܡܝܐ, while the "Assyrian" faction insists on Āṯūrāyē ܐܬܘܪܝܐ but also accepts Sūryāyē ܣܘܪܝܝܐ.

Alqosh, located in the midst of Assyrian contemporary civilization.

The question of ethnic identity and self-designation is sometimes connected to the scholarly debate on the etymology of "Syria". The question has a long history of academic controversy, but mainstream opinion currently favours that Syria is indeed ultimately derived from the Assyrian term 𒀸𒋗𒁺 𐎹 Aššūrāyu.[51][53][54] Meanwhile, some scholars has disclaimed the theory of Syrian being derived from Assyrian as "simply naive", and detracted its importance to the naming conflict.[55]

Rudolf Macuch points out that the Eastern Neo-Aramaic press initially used the term "Syrian" (suryêta) and only much later, with the rise of nationalism, switched to "Assyrian" (atorêta).[56] According to Tsereteli, however, a Georgian equivalent of "Assyrians" appears in ancient Georgian and Armenian documents.[57] This correlates with the theory of the nations to the East of Mesopotamia knew the group as Assyrians, while to the West, beginning with Greek influence, the group was known as Syrians.


Assyrian child dressed in traditional clothes.

Assyrian culture is largely influenced by religion.[58] The language is tied to the church as well for it uses the Syriac language in liturgy. Festivals occur during religious holidays such as Easter and Christmas. There are also secular holidays such as Kha b-Nisan (vernal equinox).[59]

People often greet and bid relatives farewell with a kiss on each cheek and by saying "Peace be upon you." Others are greeted with a handshake with the right hand only; according to Middle Eastern customs, the left hand is associated with evil. Similarly, shoes may not be left facing up, one may not have their feet facing anyone directly, whistling at night is thought to waken evil spirits, etc.[60]

There are many Assyrian customs that are common in other Middle Eastern cultures. A parent will often place an eye pendant on their baby to prevent "an evil eye being cast upon it".[61] Spitting on anyone or their belongings is seen as a grave insult.

Children are often given Biblical names, and, by Assyrianist patriots, Assyrian names such as Ashur, Sargon, Shamiram, Nineveh, Ninos, Nimrod, etc. And to the contrary by the Aramaean/Syriac nationalists, Aramaean/Syriac names such as Abgar, Aram, Afrem, Aryu, etc. Baptism and First Communion are extensively celebrated events similar to how a Bris and a Bar Mitzvah are in Judaism. In the event of a death, three days after burial there is a gathering to celebrate them rising to heaven (as did Jesus), after seven days another gathering commemorates their passing. A close family member wears only black clothes for forty days and forty nights, or sometimes one year, as a sign of respect.[62]


Syriac alphabet
(200 BCE–present)
ܐ    ܒ    ܓ    ܕ    ܗ    ܘ
ܙ    ܚ    ܛ    ܝ    ܟܟ    ܠ
ܡܡ    ܢܢ    ܣ    ܥ    ܦ
ܨ    ܩ    ܪ    ܫ    ܬ

The Neo-Aramaic languages are ultimately descended from Old Aramaic, the lingua franca in the later phase of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, displacing the East Semitic Assyrian dialect of Akkadian. Aramaic was the language of commerce, trade and communication and became the vernacular language of Assyria in classical antiquity.[63][64][65]

By the first century AD, Akkadian was extinct, although some loaned vocabulary survives in Neo-Aramaic.[66][67]

Most Assyrians speak an Eastern Aramaic language whose dialects include Chaldean and Turoyo as well as Assyrian.[68] All are classified as Neo-Aramaic languages and are written using Syriac script, a derivative of the ancient Aramaic script. Assyrians also may speak one or more languages of their country of residence.

To the native speaker, "Syriac" is usually called Soureth or Suret. A wide variety of dialects exist, including Assyrian Neo-Aramaic, Chaldean Neo-Aramaic, and Turoyo. Being stateless, Assyrians also learn the language or languages of their adopted country, usually Arabic, Armenian, Persian or Turkish. In northern Iraq and western Iran, Turkish and Kurdish is widely spoken.

Recent archaeological evidence includes a statue from Syria with Assyrian and Aramaic inscriptions.[69] It is the oldest known Aramaic text.


Assyrians belong to various Christian denominations, some of which are the Church of the East, with an estimated 300,000 members[70], the Chaldean Catholic Church, with about 900,000 members[71], and the Syriac Orthodox Church (ʿIdto Suryoyto Triṣaṯ Šuḇḥo) which has 100,000 to 4,000,000 members around the world[72], and various Protestant churches. Mar Dinkha IV, who resides in Chicago Illinois, and Mar Addai II, whose headquarters are in Baghdad, are Patriarchs of the Assyrian Church of the East and the Ancient Church of the East respectively. Mar Emmanuel III Cardinal Delly, the Patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church, has become the first Patriarch to have been elevated to Cardinal when he joined the college of cardinals in November 2007. The current Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church is Ignatius Zakka I Iwas. The Syriac Orthodox Church's headquarters are located in Damascus.

Many members of the following churches consider themselves Assyrian. Ethnic identities are deeply intertwined with religion, a legacy of the Ottoman Millet system. The group is traditionally characterized as adhering to various churches of Syriac Christianity and speaking Neo-Aramaic languages. It is subdivided into:

A small minority of Assyrians accepted the Protestant Reformation in the 20th century, possibly due to British influences, and is now organized in the Assyrian Evangelical Church, the Assyrian Pentecostal Church and other Protestant Assyrian groups.


Assyrian/Syriacs playing Zoorna and Dahola

Zoorna (basic flute) and dahola (large two-sided drum) became the most common musical instruments for tribal music. Some well known Assyrian/Syriac singers in modern times are Habib Mousa, Josef Özer, Janan Sawa and Linda George.

The first International Aramaic Music Festival was held in Lebanon from 1 August until 4 August 2008 for Assyrian people internationally.[73]


Assyrian/Syriac festivals tend to be closely associated with their Christian faith, of which Easter is the most prominent of the celebrations. Assyrian/Syriac members of the Assyrian Church of the East, Chaldean Catholic Church and Syriac Catholic Church follow the Gregorian calendar and as a result celebrate Easter on a Sunday between March 22 and April 25 inclusively.[74] While Assyrian/Syriac members of the Syriac Orthodox Church and Ancient Church of the East celebrate Easter on a Sunday between April 4 and May 8 inclusively on the Gregorian calendar (March 22 and April 25 on the Julian calendar). During Lent Assyrian/Syriacs are encouraged to fast for 50 days from meat and any other foods which are animal based.


Distinctively Assyrian language names are attested into the Sassanid period before they are replaced by Christian names.[75] Biblical names in English/Arabic/Syriac variants are Syriac tradition. Names like Daniel, David, Gabriel, George, Jacob, Josef, Thomas, Peter, James, John, Elias and Maria are of clear religious origin, although many of the mentioned names are in Aramaic.

French and Italian names are also given; Jean, Pierre, Lawrence. Names of Turkish and Arab origin are also prominent, for instance, in Turkey (ex. Tur Abdin, Midyat) have predominantly Turkish surnames as a result of the Turkish law that forbids Assyrians to baptize Assyrian names to their children.

The usage of names dating back to Assyrian and Akkadian Empire such as Sargon, Ashur, Ramsen, Ninos, Sanharib, Ninurta are also used by Assyrian/Syriacs.[76]


Late 20th century DNA analysis conducted by Cavalli-Sforza, Paolo Menozzi and Alberto Piazza, "shows that Assyrians have a distinct genetic profile that distinguishes their population from any other population."[77] Genetic analysis of the Assyrians of Persia demonstrated that they were "closed" with little "intermixture" with the Muslim Persian population and that an individual Assyrian's genetic makeup is relatively close to that of the Assyrian population as a whole.[78] Cavalli-Sforza et al. state in addition, "[T]he Assyrians are a fairly homogeneous group of people, believed to originate from the land of old Assyria in northern Iraq", and "they are Christians and are possibly bona fide descendants of their namesakes."[79] Regarding the homogeneity of the Assyrian people, according to a recent study by Kevin MacDonald, the Assyrians tend to encourage endogamy.[14] "The genetic data are compatible with historical data that religion played a major role in maintaining the Assyrian population's separate identity during the Christian era".[77]

See also


  1. ^ also transliterated Sūrōyē / Sūryōyē / Ōṯūrōyē; all of ā, ō and word-final ē transliterate Aramaic Ālaph ܐ. Nicholas Awde, Nineb Limassu, Nicholas Al-Jeloo, Modern Aramaic Dictionary & Phrasebook: (Assyrian/Syriac) (2007), ISBN 9780781810876, p. 4; see also Names of Syriac Christians.
  2. ^ SIL Ethnologue, under "Aramaic". 0.5 million native speakers as opposed to 5.3 million "ethnic population". The Assyrian Universal Alliance on the UNPO website estimates 5.3 million.
  3. ^ SIL Ethnologue on Iraq "Assyrian Neo-Aramaic [aii] 30,000 in Iraq (1994). Ethnic population: 4,250,000 (1994). Chaldean Neo-Aramaic [cld] 100,000 to 120,000 in Iraq (1994)." CIA Factbook: "Arab 75%–80%, Kurdish 15%–20%, Turkoman, Assyrian, or other 5% [...]" [1], corresponding to an upper limit of some 830,000 Syriac Christians. See also Assyrians in Iraq, Christianity in Iraq. About 100,000 Assyrians are estimated to have dislocated from Iraq to Syria since 2003, see Refugees of Iraq#Christians, minorities in Iraq, Thousands of Christians flee Mosul, Iraq by Ed West, The Catholic Herald, October 2007..
  4. ^ SIL Ethnologue on Syria "Assyrian Neo-Aramaic [aii] 30,000 in Syria (1995). Ethnic population: 700,000. Turoyo [tru] 7,000 in Syria (1994). Ethnic population: 20,000 (1994). Western Neo-Aramaic [amw] 15,000 (1996)." See also Christianity in Syria; see also Tore Kjeilen's page
  5. ^ SIL Ethnologue on Iran "Assyrian Neo-Aramaic [aii] 10,000 to 20,000 in Iran (1994). Ethnic population: 80,000 (1994). Mandaic [mid] 500 (2001). Ethnic population: 23,000." See also Christianity in Iran.
  6. ^ SIL Ethnologue on Turkey (Asia): " "Turoyo [tru] 3,000 in Turkey (1994 Hezy Mutzafi). Ethnic population: 50,000 to 70,000 (1994). Hértevin [hrt] 1,000 (1999 H. Mutzafi). Originally Siirt Province. They have left their villages, most emigrating to the West, but some may still be in Turkey." See also Christianity in Turkey.
  7. ^ 2000 United States census
  8. ^ SvD
  9. ^ Immigration of Iraqi Chaldeans Abroad Passes through Jordan; see also Tore Kjeilen's page
  10. ^ 70,000 Syriac Christians according to REMID (of which 55,000 Syriac Orthodox).
  11. ^ [2]
  12. ^ so identified in the United States Census
  13. ^ an anglicization of the Aramaic name, also as Suraye/Suryaye; e.g. in Al-Ali et al., New Approaches to Migration? (Routledge 2002, p. 20) used synonymously with "Syriac Christians".
  14. ^ a b *MacDonald, Kevin (2004-07-29). Socialization for Ingroup Identity among Assyrians in the United States. Paper presented at a symposium on socialization for ingroup identity at the meetings of the International Society for Human Ethology, Ghent, Belgium. "Based on interviews with community informants, this paper explores socialization for ingroup identity and endogamy among Assyrians in the United States. The Assyrians have lived as a linguistic, political, religious, and ethnic minority in Iran, Iraq, and Turkey since the fall of the Assyrian Empire in 612 B.C. Practices that maintain ethnic continuity in the United States include language and residential patterns, ethnically based Christian churches characterized by unique holidays and rites, and culturally specific practices related to life-cycle events and food preparation. The interviews probe parental attitudes and practices related to ethnic identity and encouragement of endogamy. Results are being analyzed.". 
  15. ^ Dr. Eden Naby. "Documenting The Crisis In The Assyrian Iranian Community". 
  16. ^ "Assyrian Christians 'Most Vulnerable Population' in Iraq". The Christian Post. Retrieved 2006-12-05. 
  17. ^ "Iraq's Christian community, fights for its survival". Christian World News. 
  18. ^ "U.S. Gov't Watchdog Urges Protection for Iraq's Assyrian Christians". The Christian Post.'t_Watchdog_Urges_Protection_for_Iraq's_Assyrian_Christians.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-31. 
  19. ^ Parpola, Simo (2004). "National and Ethnic Identity in the Neo-Assyrian Empire and Assyrian Identity in Post-Empire Times" (PDF). Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies (JAAS) 18 (2): pp. 8-9. 
  20. ^ Hooker, Richard. "Mesopotamia, the Assyrians, 1170–612, The Assyrian Period". Washington State University. 
  21. ^ Parpola, Simo (2004). "National and Ethnic Identity in the Neo-Assyrian Empire and Assyrian Identity in Post-Empire Times" (PDF). Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies (JAAS) 18 (2): pp. 21. "From the third century AD on, the Assyrians embraced Christianity in increasing numbers". 
  22. ^ a b Frye, Richard N. (1992). "Assyria and Syria: Synonyms". PhD., Harvard University. Journal of Near Eastern Studies. "The ancient Greek historian, Herodotus, wrote that the Greeks called the Assyrians, by the name Syrian, dropping the A. And that's the first instance we know of, of the distinction in the name, of the same people. Then the Romans, when they conquered the western part of the former Assyrian Empire, they gave the name Syria, to the province, they created, which is today Damascus and Aleppo. So, that is the distinction between Syria, and Assyria. They are the same people, of course. And the ancient Assyrian empire, was the first real, empire in history. What do I mean, it had many different peoples included in the empire, all speaking Aramaic, and becoming what may be called, "Assyrian citizens." That was the first time in history, that we have this. For example, Elamite musicians, were brought to Nineveh, and they were 'made Assyrians' which means, that Assyria, was more than a small country, it was the empire, the whole Fertile Crescent." 
  23. ^ Parpola, National and Ethnic Identity in the Neo-Assyrian Empire and Assyrian Identity in Post-Empire Times, pp. 21
  24. ^ "Assyrians". World Culture Encyclopedia. 
  25. ^ The Plight of Religious Minorities: Can Religious Pluralism Survive? - Page 51 by United States Congress
  26. ^ The Armenian Genocide: Wartime Radicalization Or Premeditated Continuum - Page 272 edited by Richard Hovannisian
  27. ^ Not Even My Name: A True Story - Page 131 by Thea Halo
  28. ^ The Political Dictionary of Modern Middle East by Agnes G. Korbani
  29. ^
  30. ^ "Church Bombings in Iraq Since 2004". Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  31. ^ *SOC News report , He was documenting life in the Tur Abdin, where about 3,000 members of the Aramean minority still live.'
  32. ^ Statement on Assyrians/Syriacs in Turkey/Iraq
  33. ^
  34. ^ "Assyria". Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  35. ^
  36. ^ "Syriac-Aramaic People (Syria)". Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  37. ^ Florian Coulmas, The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Writing Systems 23 (1996)
  38. ^ Note on the Modern Assyrians
  39. ^ Iraqi Assyrians: A Barometer of Pluralism
  40. ^ "Arab American Institute Still Deliberately Claiming Assyrians Are Arabs". Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  41. ^ "In Court, Saddam Criticizes Kurdish Treatment of Assyrians". Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  42. ^ J.G. Browne, "The Assyrians", Journal of the Royal Society of Arts 85 (1937)
  43. ^ George Percy Badger, The Christians of Assyria Commonly Called Nestorians (London: W.H. Bartlett, 1869)
  44. ^ J.F. Coakley, The Church of the East and the Church of England (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992), pp. 5, 89, 99, 149, 366–67, 382, 411
  45. ^ Michael D. Coogan, ed., The Oxford History of the Biblical World (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), 279
  46. ^ "Parthia", in The Cambridge Ancient History: The Roman Republic, 2nd ed., vol. 3, pt. 2 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 597–98; Patricia Crone and Michael Cook, Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980), 55–60; "Ashurbanipal and the Fall of Assyria", in The Cambridge Ancient History: The Assyrian Empire, vol. 3 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1954), 130–31; A.T. Olmstead, History of the Persian Empire (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1948), 168; Albert Hourani, Minorities in the Arab World (London: Oxford University Press, 1947), 99; Aubrey Vine, The Nestorian Churches (London: Independent Press, 1937); Flavius Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews, trans. William Whiston (1737), bk. 13, ch. 6,; Simo Parpola, "National and Ethnic Identity in the Neo-Assyrian Empire and Assyrian Identity in the Post-Empire Times", Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies 18, 2 (2004): 16–17; Simo Parpola, "Assyrians after Assyria", Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies 12, 2 (2000): 1–13; R.N. Frye, "A Postscript to My Article [Assyria and Syria: Synonyms]", Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies 11 (1997): 35–36; R.N. Frye, "Assyria and Syria: Synonyms", Journal of the Near East Society 51 (1992): 281–85; Michael G. Morony, Iraq after the Muslim Conquest (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1984), 336, 345; J.G. Browne, "The Assyrians", Journal of the Royal Society of Arts 85 (1937)
  47. ^ Smith, Sidney (1925). "Early History of Assyria to 1000 B.C.". "The disappearance of the Assyrian people will always remain a unique and striking phenomenon in ancient history. Other, similar kingdoms and empires have indeed passed away but the people have lived on... No other land seems to have been sacked and pillaged so completely as was Assyria." 
  48. ^ Saggs, The Might That Was Assyria, pp. 290, “The destruction of the Assyrian empire did not wipe out its population. They were predominantly peasant farmers, and since Assyria contains some of the best wheat land in the Near East, descendants of the Assyrian peasants would, as opportunity permitted, build new villages over the old cities and carry on with agricultural life, remembering traditions of the former cities. After seven or eight centuries and various vicissitudes, these people became Christians.”
  49. ^ Biggs, Robert (2005). "My Career in Assyriology and Near Eastern Archaeology" (PDF). Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies 19 (1).  pp. 10, “Especially in view of the very early establishment of Christianity in Assyria and its continuity to the present and the continuity of the population, I think there is every likelihood that ancient Assyrians are among the ancestors of modern Assyrians of the area.”
  50. ^ Parpola, National and Ethnic Identity in the Neo-Assyrian Empire and Assyrian Identity in Post-Empire Times, pp. 22
  51. ^ a b Frye, R. N. (October 1992). "Assyria and Syria: Synonyms" (PDF). Journal of Near Eastern Studies 51 (4): 281–285.  pp. 281-285
  52. ^ "Eastern Churches", Catholic Encyclopedia, see "Eastern Syrians" and "Western Syrians" respectively. Modern terminology within the group is Western Assyrians and Eastern Assyrians respectively, while those who reject the Assyrian identity opt for Syriacs rather than Assyrian or Syrian.
  53. ^ Rollinger, Robert (2006). "The terms "Assyria" and "Syria" again" (PDF). Journal of Near Eastern Studies 65 (4): 283–287. 
  54. ^ Parpola, National and Ethnic Identity in the Neo-Assyrian Empire and Assyrian Identity in Post-Empire Times, pp. 16
  55. ^ Festschrift Philologica Constantino Tsereteli Dicta, ed. Silvio Zaorani (Turin, 1993), pp. 106-107
  56. ^ Rudolf Macuch, Geschichte der spät- und neusyrischen Literatur, New York: de Gruyter, 1976.
  57. ^ Tsereteli, Sovremennyj assirijskij jazyk, Moscow: Nauka, 1964.
  58. ^
  59. ^ The Assyrian New Year
  60. ^ Chamberlain, AF. "Notes on Some Aspects of the Folk-Psychology of Night". American Journal of Psychology, 1908 - JSTOR.
  62. ^ Chambers, C. End-of-Life Rituals. 2006. Cherrytree Books. pp 76-81.
  63. ^ "Microsoft Word - PeshittaNewTestament.doc" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  64. ^ Bae, C. Aramaic as a Lingua Franca During the Persian Empire (538-333 BCE). Journal of Universal Language. March 2004, 1-20.
  65. ^ Aramaic Documents of the Fifth Century B. C. by G. R. Driver
  66. ^ Akkadian Words in Modern Assyrian
  67. ^ Kaufman, Stephen A. (1974),The Akkadian influences on Aramaic. University of Chicago Press
  68. ^ The British Survey, By British Society for International Understanding, 1968, page 3
  69. ^ A Statue from Syria with Assyrian and Aramaic Inscriptions
  70. ^ [3]
  71. ^ [J. Martin Bailey, Betty Jane Bailey, Who Are the Christians in the Middle East? p. 163: "more than two thirds" out of "nearly a million" Christians in Iraq.]
  72. ^
  73. ^ » Blog Archive » The First Aramaic International Music Festival in the Open Air
  74. ^ The Date of Easter. Article from United States Naval Observatory (March 27, 2007).
  75. ^ Parpola, Simo (1999). "Assyrians after Assyria". Assyriologist. Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies, Vol. XIII No. 2,. "Distinctively Assyrians names are also found in later Aramaic and Greek texts from Assur, Hatra, Dura-Europus and Palmyra, and continue to be attested until the beginning of the Sasanian period. These names are recognizable from the Assyrian divine names invoked in them; but whereas earlier the other name elements were predominantly Akkadian, they now are exclusively Aramaic. This coupled with the Aramaic script and language of the texts shows that the Assyrians of these later times no longer spoke Akkadian as their mother tongue. ... It is also worth pointing out that many of the Aramaic names occurring in the post-empire inscriptions and graffiti from Assur are already attested in imperial texts from the same site that are 800 years older." 
  76. ^ Minorities in the Middle East: A History of Struggle and Self-expression" By Mordechai Nisan. Page 181.
  77. ^ a b Dr. Joel J. Elias, Emeritus, University of California, The Genetics of Modern Assyrians and their Relationship to Other People of the Middle East
  78. ^ M.T. Akbari, Sunder S. Papiha, D.F. Roberts, and Daryoush D. Farhud, ‘‘Genetic Differentiation among Iranian Christian Communities,’’ American Journal of Human Genetics 38 (1986): 84–98
  79. ^ Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Paolo Menozzi, Alberto Piazza, The History and Geography of Human Genes, p. 243 [4]

Further reading

External links

Simple English

Assyrians are an ethnic group whose origins remain in what is today Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria, but who have gone to the Caucasus, North America and Western Europe during the past century. Hundreds of thousands more live in Assyrian diaspora and Iraqi refugee communities in Europe, the former Soviet Union, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon.

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