Tuesday, October 15, 2013

6.Samaritan alphabet


The Samaritan alphabet was derived from the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet. According to the Bible, the Samaritans came originally from Mesopotamia, then moved to Palestine at the beginning of the 1st millennium BC and adopted the Jewish religion and culture. The Samaritans themselves claim descent from the northern tribes of Israel. Evidence from recent DNA tests supports this claim and shows they are related to the Israelites through the paternal line.
The Samaritan alphabet is still used by Samaritans in the city of Nablus and in the Samaritan quarter of Holon. There are currently just over 700 Samaritans.

Notable features

  • Type of writing system: abjad / consonant alphabet. Vowels indicated with diacritics.
  • Direction of writing: right to left in horizontal lines.

Used to write

Samaritan Hebrew, a descendant of Biblical Hebrew used by Samaritans as a liturgical language.

Samaritan Aramaic, a dialect of Aramaic used by the Samaritans in their sacred and scholarly literature.

Samaritan alphabet

Samaritan alphabet

Sample texts in the Samaritan alphabet

Sample text in the Samaritan alphabet
An extract from the Samaritan Bible (Leviticus)
Sample text - Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Samaritan


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)


Information about the Samaritan script
Information about the Samaritan people
Free Samaritan font


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