How to use Semites in a sentence
It seems quite evident that the city of Assur was originally founded by Semites from Babylonia at quite an early, but as yet undetermined date.
And the question whether the " Armenoid " conquerors of Egypt and founders of the kingdoms there, who came from Syria, were Semites still remains unanswered.
At the time of the great dynasty of Ur (c. 2400 B.C.) in Babylonia, the whole Argaeus region was occupied by these Semites, who seem to have been most kin to the Assyrians.
It may be that these belong in reality to the old Nilotic inhabitants, who were probably related to the true Semites of Arabia; but the hieroglyphic system seems to have developed in the Delta, and is very probably to be ascribed to the " Armenoids.
These were presented in the month Rajab, corresponding to Nisan (Smith, Religion of Semites, p. 210).Advertisement
The Semites who visited Egypt wore a larger and coloured cloth, ornamented with parallel stripes of patterns similar to those found upon some early specimens of Palestinian pottery.
But a close-fitting skirt or tunic was more usual, and the Semites on the famous Beni-Hasan tombs (about the 10th or 10th century B.C.) wear richly decorated cloth FIG.
Indeed Sumerian continued to be the language of religion and law long after the Semites had become the ruling race.
When the Semites first entered the Edin or plain of Babylonia is uncertain, but it must have been at a remote period.
The Semites of the XIIth Dynasty wore on their journeys sandals of black leather, those of the FIG.Advertisement
The fundamental type of the Arabic sanctuary can be traced through all the Semitic lands, and so appears to be older than the Semitic dispersion; even the technical terms are mainly the same, so that we may justly assume that the more developed ritual and priesthoods of the settled Semites sprang from a state of things not very remote from what we find among the heathen Arabs.
It was in the north, however, that the Semites first appear on the monuments.
If the former, then their names are surely to be read as Sumerian, while, if they were Semites, the signs with which the names are written are probably to be read according to their Semitic equivalents, though we may also expect to encounter Semites bearing genuine Sumerian names.
Among the nomadic Semites, to whom the Hebrews belonged before they settled in Canaan, there has never been any developed priesthood.
The con flexion between Carthage and Phoenicia is more certain, and the ancient Abyssinian kingdom was founded by Semites from south Arabia.Advertisement
In this rapid glance at some of the chief priesthoods of antiquity we have hitherto passed over the pure Semites, whose priesthoods call for closer examination because of the profound influence which one of them - that of the Jews - has exercised on Christianity, and so on the whole history of the modern world.
We are here moving in a realm of ideas prevailing in ancient Israel respecting holiness, uncleanness and sin, which are ceremonial and not ethical; see especially Robertson Smith's Religion of the Semites, 2nd ed., p. 446 foll.
We should thus have in the tablets evidence of the worship of Yahweh among the Western Semites at a time long before the rise of Israel.
In the Religion of the Semites (2nd ed., 1894) the theory was remodelled so as to overcome the difficulty pointed out above.
In fact, while Robertson Smith (in Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia, as well as his Religion of the Semites, followed by Stade and Benzinger) strongly advocated the view that clear traces of totemism can be found in early Israel, later writers, such as Marti, Gesch.Advertisement
The language and writing of the Semites who, at an unknown period, settled in what is now Abyssinia, show affinities with those of South Arabia, and these Semites may have been immigrants into Africa from that region.
The whole country was occupied by a variety of tribes, speaking agglutinative dialects for the most part, though the western districts were occupied by Semites.
A doubt also still exists in regard to a number of names of the older period because of the uncertainty whether their bearers were Sumerians or Semites.
But one theory which has had considerable currency requires notice, namely, that Yahweh, or Yahu, Yaho, 3 is the name of a god worshipped throughout the whole, or a great part, of the area occupied by the Western Semites.
However this name may have originally been pronounced, so much is certain, - that through Aramaic influences in Babylonia and Assyria he was identified with the storm-god of the western Semites, and a trace of this influence is to be seen in the designation Amurru, also given to this god in the religious literature of Babylonia, which as an early name for Palestine and Syria describes the god as belonging to the Amorite district.Advertisement
Robertson Smith (Religion of the Semites, 1894), " was a group of persons whose lives were so bound up together, in what must be called a physical unity, that they could be treated as parts of one common life.
His empire, if he founded one, was before long eclipsed, however, by the rising power of the Semites.
Excavation in Mesopotamia may in time cast some light on the questions whether the Semites really reached Babylonia by way of Mesopotamia,' when, and whom they found there, and whether they partly settled there by the way.
Scholars of this opinion believe that this language, which has been arbitrarily called " Akkadian " in England and " Sumerian " on the European continent and in America, was primitively the speech of the pre-Semitic inhabitants of the Euphratean region who were conquered by the invading Semites.
The Agrarians tjons, believed that the Berlin Exchange was partly re sponsible for the fall of prices in corn; the Anti Semites laid stress on the fact that many of the financiers were of Jewish extraction; the Centre feared the moral effects of speculation.Advertisement
As a possible explanation of the facts, Erman supposes that a horde of conquering Semites, like the Arabs of a later day, imposed their language on the country, but disappeared, being weakened by the climate or absorbed by the native population.
While Anu, with whom there was associated as a pale reflection a consort Antum, assigned to him under the influence of the widely prevalent view among the early Semites which conceived of gods always in pairs, remained more or less of an abstraction during the various periods of the Babylonian-Assyrian religion and taking little part in the active cult of the temples, his unique position as the chief god of the highest heavens was always recognized in the theological system developed by the priests, which found an expression in making him the first figure of a triad, consisting of Anu, Bel and Ea, among whom the priests divided the three divisions of the universe, the heavens, the earth with the atmosphere above it, and the watery expanse respectively.
It has already been noted that the earliest deluge-fragment previously recovered dates from the latter half of the First Dynasty of Babylon, when the Western Semites had succeeded in establishing their authority throughOut the greater part of the country.
It has twenty-nine symbols, whereby it is enabled to differentiate certain sounds which are not distinguished from one another in the writing of the northern Semites.
Among the Semites and Tatars worshippers lacerate themselves before the god.Advertisement
His chief contributions to this branch of learning were his article Sacrifice in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, his Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia (Cambridge, 1885), and above all his Lectures on the Religion of the Semites (1st edition 1889, 2nd edition 189 4).
In 1886 he became university librarian, and in 1889 Adams Professor of Arabic. In1888-1891he delivered, as Burnett lecturer, three courses of lectures at Aberdeen on the primitive religion of the Semites.
It seems extremely probable that these Chaldaean Semites were so strongly influenced by the foreign civilization as to adopt it eventually as their own.
Robertson Smith (Religion of the Semites, new ed., 1894, pp. 191, 290, 411), who, regarding Adonis as the swine-god, characterizes the Adonia as an annual piacular sacrifice (of swine), "in which the sacrifice has come to be overshadowed by its popular and dramatic accompaniments, to which the Greek celebration, not forming part of the state religion, was limited."
Whatever may have been the ethnographical type of the early inhabitants, it must by the beginning of the second last millennium B.C. have included Hittites in the large sense of the term, probably Aryans, and certainly Semites of some of the types characteristic of early Assyrian history.Advertisement
In the early history of southwestern Asia the Semites form the most important ethnic group, which is primarily linguistic but also shares other remarkable characteristics.
Egyptian monuments depict Semites with long bordered tunics reaching from neck to ankle; they have sleeves, which are sometimes curiously decorated, and are tied at the neck with tasselled cords; some times there is a peculiar design at the neck resembling a cross (Muller, Asien and Europa, pp. 298 seq.).
It would not be at all surprising if, in the great movements of populations and shifting of ascendancy which lie beyond our historical horizon, the worship of Yahweh should have been established in regions remote from those which it occupied in historical times; but nothing which we now know warrants the opinion that his worship was ever general among the Western Semites.
The Negroid peoples, which inhabit the vast tracts of forest and savanna between the areas held by Bushmen to the south and the Hamites, Semites and Libyans to the north, fall into two groups divided by a line running from the Cameroon (Rio del Rey) crossing the Ubangi river below the bend and passing between the Ituri and the Semliki rivers, to Lake Albert and thence with a slight southerly trend to the coast.
Semites and Egyptians, Peruvians and Aztecs, slew human victims; Africa, especially the West Coast, till recently saw thousands of human victims perish annually; in Polynesia, Tahiti and Fiji were great centres of the rite - in fact, it is not easy to name an area where it has not been known.Advertisement
The earliest Sumerian records seem to be anterior to 4000 B.C. Shortly after that period Babylonia was invaded by Semites, who became the ruling race.
Smith, Religion of the Semites, p. 37; Schwally, Kriegsaltertumer, i.