Samaritan

Jewish

Syriac manuscript, 11th c. AD

Jewish
Developed from Aramaic by Jews around the 2nd c. BC to write Hebrew language.

Arabic
Developed from the Nabataean starting from the 6th c. AD

Ethiopian

Mandaic

Early Alphabetic Scripts
Nabataean Hatran Syriac
Appeared in c. 1st AD in North Syria & Upper Euphrates. Is the language of the Syrian Christians whose centre was in Edessa Upper Tigris (Harta is an oasis between the Euphrates and the Tigris)
Jewish (square Hebrew)

Greek
Archaic Greek existed in different local variations, but around the 4th c. BC, Ionian was adopted universally and became the classical Greek script.
Samaritan manuscript

Latin
Probably evolved from Etruscan, it became the script of Western civilization
Old Hebrew alphabet

600 500 400 300

Arabic

Syriac

Palmyrene

Greek

Latin

200

Developed by the Nabataean Arabs immigrated into the land of Edom and established their centre at Petra.
Mandaic, 5th-6th c.AD

Elymaic

Hatran

100

0 100 200

Palmyrene
North Syria & Upper Euphrates

Samaritan
Aramaic, Nabataean & Arabic alphabets

Hebrew (Old Hebrew)
Appeared in Judah & Israel around c. 10th BC. It was replaced by Aramaic after the Babylonian Exile and it ceased to be used at all by the 1st c. AD.
Proto-Sinaitic, Phoenician & Greek alphabets

300 400 500 600

Mandaic
Developed by the Mandaeans on the IraqIran border.

Evolved from the Old Hebrew.
Proto-Sinaitic inscription, Sinai Pennisula 1700 BC.

Elymaic
Evolved from Aramaic and adopted by the Elymais

700 800

Phoenician

Archaic Greek
The Alphabet was introduced to Greece by the Phoenicians between 1100800BC. The Greeks introduced vowel signs to improve the West Semitic consonantal system.

Ethiopian manuscript

900

1000

Aramaic
Originated in ancient Syria (Aram), it became the lingua franca of the Ancient Near East by the Assyrian Empire & later the Achaemenid Persian Empire.

1100 1200 1300

Phoenician
A "consonantal alphabet", a direct descendent of the ProtoSinaitic script.

Ethiopian
Evolved from the Old South Arabic script which was introduced by the South Arabians into nearby Africa across the Bab ElMandeb straits.

South-Arabic
The South Arabian alphabet was used primarily in the the area of the ancient kingdoms of Saba, Ma'in, Qataban, Ausan and Hadramauth. This type of writing was not limited to South Arabia only, some inscriptions were discovered in Babylonia.

Proto-Arabic
Proto-Arabic is the intermediate stage between ProtoCanaanite and SouthArabic. It is thought to have diverged from the Proto-Sinaitic alphabet as early as 1300 BC.

Proto-Canaanite

Proto-Canaanite
(Proto-Sinaitic) A descendant script from the Egyptian hieroglyphs and the first consonantal alphabet. Developed by West-Semitic population in Egypt. Early inscriptions were found in Sinai & Upper Egypt.

1400 1500

South-Arabic alphabet

1600 1700 Summary & Design by: Rafik Nassif
http://my-e-biblio.blogspot.com/

Based on “Early History of the Alphabet” by Joseph Naveh, 2005. Alphabets from www.ancientscripts.com

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