A wandering Aramean: collected Aramaic essays by Joseph A. Fitzmyer

By Joseph A. Fitzmyer

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LO ν δι[α τ\ην Έορτήν κα[ϊ μ]ή άλλω? ποιή-ση[τά\ι. 20 Σουμαίο? £ρρωσο Sou[mai]os to Jonathe, (son of) Baianos, and Ma-[s]abbala, greetings! S[i]nce I have sent to you A[g]rippa, make h[ast]e to send me b[e]am[s] and citrons. And furnish th[em] for the [C]itron-celebration of the Jews; and do not do otherwise. No[w] (this) has been written in Greek because a [des]ire has not be[en] found to w[ri]te in Hebrew. De[s]patch him quickly fo[r t]he feast, an[d do no]t do otherwise. Soumaios. 51 Two things are of importance in this letter.

C. C. , and became more abundant during the reign of Herod the Great, just before the Christian era. . They thus help to clarify the actual Aramaic of Jewish Palestine in the time of Jesus and the Apostles. D. 64 THE LANGUAGES OF PALESTINE 39 Between the final redaction of Daniel (ca. ), in which roughly six chapters are written in Aramaic, and the first of the rabbinical writings, Mëgillat Tacânît,65 dating from the end of the first Christian century, there had never been much evidence of the use of Aramaic in Palestine prior to the discovery of the Qumran scrolls and fragments.

Greek cities were founded in Palestine and older towns were transformed into poleis. Alexander himself ordered the reconstruction of Gaza. The names of some towns of the Decapolis, Pella and Dion, reveal the early Macedonian influence. Under Lagide domination Acco became Ptolemais and Rabbat-Ammon became Philadelphia, another town of the Decapolis. Philoteria was established under the same influence on the western shore of Lake Gennesareth, and Joppa was hellenized. C. and became Scythopolis. ).

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