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Samaritan alphabet
Samaritan Leviticus.jpg
Type Abjad
Spoken languages Samaritan Hebrew, Samaritan Aramaic
Time period 600 BCE–present
Parent systems
Unicode range U+0800 to U+083F
Note: This page may contain IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode.
Ancient inscription in Samaritan Hebrew. From a photo c.1900 by the Palestine Exploration Fund.

The Samaritan alphabet is used by the Samaritans for religious writings, including the Samaritan Pentateuch, writings in Samaritan Hebrew, and for commentaries and translations in Samaritan Aramaic and occasionally Arabic.

Samaritan is a direct descendant of the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet, which was a variety of the Phoenician alphabet in which large parts of the Hebrew Bible were originally penned. That script was used by the ancient Israelites, both Jews and Samaritans. The better-known "square script" Hebrew alphabet traditionally used by Jews is a stylized version of the Aramaic alphabet which they adopted from the Persian Empire (which in turn was adopted from the Arameans). After the fall of the Persian Empire, Judaism used both scripts before settling on the Aramaic form. For a limited time thereafter, the use of paleo-Hebrew (proto-Samaritan) among Jews was retained only to write the Tetragrammaton, but soon that custom was also abandoned.

On 8 February 2008, the Samaritan alphabet was accepted for inclusion in Unicode at code points 0800–083F.[1]

Contents

The development of the Samaritan script

Development

The table at left shows the development of the Samaritan script. At left are the corresponding Hebrew letters for comparison. Column I is the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet. Column X shows the modern form of the letters.

Unicode

ࠀ ࠁ ࠂ ࠃ ࠄ ࠅ ࠆ ࠇ ࠈ ࠉ ࠊ ࠋ ࠌ ࠍ ࠎ ࠏ
ࠐ ࠑ ࠒ ࠓ ࠔ ࠕ ࠖ ࠗ ࠘ ࠙ ࠚ ࠛ ࠜ ࠝ ࠞ ࠟ
ࠠ ࠡ ࠢ ࠣ ࠤ ࠥ ࠦ ࠧ ࠨ ࠩ ࠪ ࠫ ࠬ ࠭ ࠮ ࠯
࠰ ࠱ ࠲ ࠳ ࠴ ࠵ ࠶ ࠷ ࠸ ࠹ ࠺ ࠻ ࠼ ࠽ ࠾ ࠿

Notes

External links

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