SURYOYO


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Speaker, mono channel audio, rock, sand . Variable dimensions. 2015


Syriac is a form of Aramaic, a language whose many dialects have been used continuously since the 11th century BCE. Originally the language of the Arameans, it was used as the lingua franca of the Near East until the 6th century BCE. 


In the ancient Roman province of Syria, the disciples, who were the first priests of Christianity, spoke Syriac. In the first centuries, when it was revealed that these disciples spoke this language, all of the Arameans who accepted their teachings and had converted to Christianity changed their original identity from Aramean to Syriac.


The Syrian Orthodox Church is one of the most ancient Christian churches, whose origins go back to the Antiochian Orthodox Church founded by Peter the apostle. It was in this early church where it was decided that singing and praying would be done in Aramaic.


Up until the 14th century, the Syrians translated Greek treatises of philosophy, logic, medicine, mathematics, astronomy, and alchemy into Aramaic to be later translated into Arabic on their behalf. However, starting in the 6th century CE, they have been persecuted in the MIddle East by the Byzantine Empire, the crusaders, the Mongols, the Ottoman Turkish, the Kurds, etc.


Today this harassment continues, and the attempt to preserve the Syriac language is not just a mere linguistic issue, but an act of resistance.