The End and the Beginning of Hebrew

William M. Schniedewind

in A Social History of Hebrew

Published by Yale University Press

Published in print December 2013 | ISBN: 9780300176681
Published online May 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780300199109 | DOI:
The End and the Beginning of Hebrew

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This chapter concludes the discussion of Hebrew as a living language in the land. The social history of classical Hebrew comes to an end in about 200 CE after the two Jewish revolts. The revolts against Rome resulted in the displacement of the Hebrew speech communities of Roman Palestine. With the displacement of most Hebrew speakers, vernacular Hebrew waned. This was the end of Hebrew as a living language. Yet, Hebrew continued as a secondary vernacular among disparate Jewish communities as well as continuing as a religious and literary language. Early Rabbinic Hebrew (or, Tanaanic Hebrew) was the development of a new literary dialect as a textualization of oral tradition.

Keywords: Bar Kokhba; Rabbinic Hebrew; Diaspora; Tanaanic Hebrew; Oral tradition

Chapter.  5517 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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