Semites is a term introduced into science by German scientists A. L. Schlötzer and I. G. Eichhorn in the 1780s to refer to ancient peoples characterized by belonging to a special family of languages, a common area of settlement, common features of a cult, similarity of material culture and life . Gathered from the Old Testament , where a number of peoples of the Middle East are united under the general name "sons of Shem ."
In modern science, the term "Semites" is used:
- in relation to the reconstructed ethnic community, which was the bearer of the Prasemitic language - the ancestor of the languages of many peoples who created a number of state entities in Asia Minor (Prasemites, Protosemites);
- in relation to the ancient and modern peoples speaking languages belonging to the family of Semitic languages .
Among modern Semitic peoples include Arabs , Jews , Maltese , Assyrians , descendants of the ancient representatives of the southern subgroup of southern Semites in South Arabia ( , Shahri , inhabitants of Socotra Island , etc.), Amhara , tiger , tigrai and several other nationalities Ethiopia  .
- 1 Origin of the name
- 2 History
- 2.1 Origin
- 3 See also
- 4 notes
- 5 Links
Abraham led his family from Shem, the eldest son of Noah . Because of this, in the biblical era, all the peoples of the Middle East , who considered themselves followers and descendants of Abraham, were called "the sons of Shem." The modern use of the concept of "Semites" was introduced into everyday life by the Russian - German historian A. L. Schlotser .
According to a widespread hypothesis, the ancestors of the Protosemitic speakers came to Asia Minor from Africa, where the ancestral home of the Afrasian languages was located . Based on some scientific data, it seems likely that the prasemites (nomads and herders) once inhabited northern Sahara , from where it was supposedly at the beginning of the 5th millennium BC. e. due to intense climate change, they began to move east.
According to some scholars (German T. Nöldeke , English W. R. Smith), the Semites gradually settled on the Arabian Peninsula , from where they then penetrated into the Mesopotamia and the Syrian steppe, onto the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea , for several millennia; some scientists (for example, I.M. Dyakonov , USSR) believe that after the Nile Delta crossed, some moved south and settled in Arabia, others went north and northeast. A number of scholars (for example, J. Kuppe, Belgium) believe that the Semites after leaving the Sahara for some time retained their commonality, populating the Syrian steppe, and it was from there that they began settling; some suggest that all the Semitic-Hamitic peoples came from Arabia. According to the semitologist J. Zarins , the Semitic languages arose on the territory of a nomadic shepherd complex in Arabia, which appeared during the period of climate drainage at the end of the pre-ceramic Neolithic in the ancient Near East ( Global cooling 6,200 BC ).
According to the most common opinion, at the end of IV - beginning of III millennium BC. e. the Semites were divided (by language) into two large groups - eastern and western.
The eastern (northeastern) group originally settled in the northern part of the South Mesopotamia, where it came into contact with the Sumerians (beginning of the 3rd millennium BC). Representatives of this group spoke Akkadian . From the middle of III millennium BC. e. Akkadians penetrate the southern part of the Southern Mesopotamia, and soon the language of the northeastern group of Semites supplants the Sumerian. The further fate of this group of Semites is connected with the history of Akkad , Babylonia , Assyria .
The Western group of Semites , in turn, is divided into two or three groups: the North-Western group settled in Canaan , Syria , Northern Mesopotamia in two waves. The first known representatives of this group (III – II millennium BC) were the Amorites , then the Phoenicians and Jews (from the end of the second millennium BC) and a special subgroup of the Semites — the Aramaeans ; individual Aramaic tribes (?) penetrated the Southern Mesopotamia ( Chaldeans ) and even crossed the river. Tiger The South Semitic group in the second millennium BC e. occupied the territory of the Arabian Peninsula. Its southern part at that time was probably made up of residents of ancient states in South Arabia, Maina, Saba, Kataban, Hadramauta (Mains, Hadramauts, Sabeans, Katabans, etc.). It is possible that it was the representatives of this subgroup who settled in I millennium BC. e. Ethiopia The northern subgroup of the southern Semitic group was in the II — I millennium BC. e. It is represented by Lyhnites, Samud, etc., united no later than the beginning of the 1st millennium BC. e. called Arabs. The exit of Arabs outside the Arabian Peninsula in the VII century. n e. (see. Arab conquests ) is considered as the last and largest wave of resettlement of the Semites  .
- Semitic languages
- Semites - article from the Great Soviet Encyclopedia .