Beautiful Africa


During the reign of Cyrus and Darius, and as long as the seat of government was still at Susa in Elam, the language of the chancellory was Elamite. This is primarily attested in the Persepolis fortification and treasury tablets that reveal details of the day-to-day functioning of the empire.[78] In the grand rock-face inscriptions of the kings, the Elamite texts are always accompanied by Akkadian and Old Persian inscriptions, and it appears that in these cases, the Elamite texts are translations of the Old Persian ones. It is then likely that although Elamite was used by the capital government in Susa, it was not a standardized language of government everywhere in the empire. The use of Elamite is not attested after 458 BCE Following the conquest of Mesopotamia, the Aramaic language (as used in that territory) was adopted as a "vehicle for written communication between the different regions of the vast empire with its different peoples and languages. The use of a single official language, which modern scholarship has dubbed Official Aramaic or Imperial Aramaic, can be assumed to have greatly contributed to the astonishing success of the Achaemenids in holding their far-flung empire together for as long as they did."[82] In 1955, Richard Frye questioned the classification of Imperial Aramaic as an "official language", noting that no surviving edict expressly and unambiguously accorded that status to any particular language.[83] Frye reclassifies Imperial Aramaic as the "lingua franca" of the Achaemenid territories, suggesting then that the Achaemenid-era use of Aramaic was more pervasive than generally thought. Many centuries after the fall of the empire, Aramaic script and as ideograms Aramaic vocabulary would survive as the essential characteristics of the Pahlavi writing system.[84] Although O d Persian also appears on some seals and art objects, that language is attested primarily in the Achaemenid inscriptions of Western Iran, suggesting then that Old Persian was the common language of that region. However, by the reign of Artaxerxes II, the grammar and orthography of the inscriptions was so "far from perfect"[85] that it has been suggested that the scribes who composed those texts had already largely forgotten the language, and had to rely on older inscriptions, which they to a great extent reproduced verbatim. Akkadian (lisanum akkaditum, ak.kADu) (also Accadian, Assyro-Babylonian)[1] is an extinct Semitic language (part of the greater Afroasiatic language family) that was spoken in ancient Mesopotamia. The earliest attested Semitic language,[2] it used the cuneiform writing system, which was originally used to write ancient Sumerian, an unrelated language isolate. The name of the language is derived from the city of Akkad, a major center of Semitic Mesopotamian civilization, during the Akkadian Empire (ca. 23342154 BC), although the language predates the founding of Akkad. The mutual influence between Sumerian and Akkadian had led scholars to describe the languages as a sprachbund.[3] Akkadian proper names were first attested in Sumerian texts from ca. the late 29th century BC.[4] From the second half of the third millennium BC (ca. 2500 BC), texts fully written in Akkadian begin to appear. Hundreds of thousands of texts and text fragments have been excavated to date; covering a vast textual tradition of mythological narrative, legal texts, scientific works, correspondence, political and military events, and many other examples. By the second millennium BC, two variant forms of the language were in use in Assyria and Babylonia (known as Assyrian and Babylonian respectively).