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SEMITIC LANGUAGES.

I. Name. Disappearance of Semitic Grammar; Phonetics ( 1) Il. Territory. Languages ( 4). Morphology and Syntax (2). In Historical Times ( 1). III. Divisions. Vocabulary and Style ( 3). The Original Home ( 2). Grouping ( 1). V. Literary Products. Foreign Influence ( 3). Use of Those Tongues ( 2). VI. Relation to other Families of IV. Characteristics. Languages.

I. Name: Up to the latter part of the eighteenth century, before Sanskrit was known to Europe, or attention had been directed to the Central and Eastern Asiatic tongues, or those of Africa (except Coptic), " Oriental languages " signified only Hebrew and its sister dialects: these alone, with the exception of Coptic, had been the object of scientific study. Up to this time all study of nonclassical languages was connected with the Bible; Biblical students accomplished all that was done in Hebrew, Arabic, Ethiopic, and the related tongues, for the preceding 300 years. But when the linguistic circle began to widen, and attempts were made at classification, the need of special names for different linguistic groups was felt; and, for the more general divisions, recourse was naturally had to the genealogies in the table of nations in Gen. x. The credit, if such it be, of having originated the name " Semitic " (from Noah's son Sem, or Shem) for

the Hebrew group, is to be given either to Schldzer or to Johann Gottfried Eichhorn (q.v.)-to which of the two is doubtful. The first known use of the term is in Schlozer's article on the Chaldeans, in Eichhorn's Repertorium (viii. 161, 1781), and he seems to claim the honor of its invention; but a similar claim is made by Eichhorn for himself, without mention of Schlozer, in his Allgemeine Bibliothek, vi. 772 (Leipsic, 1794), and Eichhom appears to have been accepted as the author of the name. In a short while, however, it was everywhere adopted, and is now the recognized name of this group of languages. In Germany and France, and to some extent at least in England (so Coleridge, Table-Talk, 1827), the form " Semitic " was employed (after Septuagint and Latin Vulgate, and Luther's " Sem," instead of Hebrew " Shem "); while some English and American writers prefer the form " Shemitic," after the more accurate transliteration of the Hebrew. Between the two there is little to choose, but the shorter form, now the more common one, is preferable to the other, because it is shorter, and inasmuch as it is farther removed from genealogical misconception. The once popular but unscientific threefold division of all the languages of the world into Japhetic, Shemitic, and Hamitic, is now abandoned by scholars. " Shemitic " is misleading, in so far as it appears to restrict itself to the languages spoken by the peoples mentioned in the table of nations as descendants of Shem, while it in fact includes dialects, as the Phenician and the Philistine, which are assigned in the table to Ham. The form " Semitic " (in English, but not in German and French), as farther removed than " Shemitie " from " Shexn," may, perhaps, be more easily treated as in itself meaningless, and made to accept such meaning as science may give it. On the other hand, as meaningless, it is felt by some to be objectionable; and

other names, expressing a geographical, or ethnical, or linguistic differentia of the languages in question, have been sought, e.g., Western Asiatic, Arabian, Syro-Arabian: but none proposed has been definite and euphonic enough to gain general approbation, and it is likely that " Semitic " will retain its place for the present. If a new name is to be adopted some such term as " Triliteral " would be the most appropriate, since triliterality of stems is the most striking characteristic of this family of languages, and is found in no other family.

II. Territory: In ancient times (1,000 B.C.) the Semites occupied as their proper territory the southwestern corner of Asia; their boundaries, generally stated, being-on the east, the mountain

range running south from about forty

r. In His- miles east of the Tigris River, and the torical Persian Gulf; on the south, the Indian Times. Ocean; on the west, the Red Sea,

Egypt, the Mediterranean Sea, and GSlieia; and on the north the Taurus or the Masius Mountains. The north and east lines are uncertain, from the absence of full data in the early Assyrian records. At least 1,500 years before the beginning of the Christian era, Semitic emigrants from Southern Arabia crossed the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb, and occupied the part of Africa lying just south of Egypt, their territory being about that of the modern Abyssinia: these were the Geez (" emigrants," or possibly " freemen "), or Semitic Ethiopians. The main Semitic region thus lay between the tenth and thirty-eighth degrees of north latitude and the fortyfourth and sixtieth degrees of east longitude, with an area of over a million square miles. Semitic colonies established thereselves early in Egypt (Phenicians in the Delta, and perhaps the Hyksos), and on the north coast of Africa (Carthage and other cities) and the south coast of France (Marseilles) and Spain, possibly (though this is uncertain) in Asia Minor and in Greece. In modern times Syrian Semites are found in Kurdistan, as far east as the western shore of Lake Urumiah (lat. 37 30' N.; long. 45 30' E.); but it is doubtful whether this region was Semitic before the beginning of the Christian era. A large part of Semitic territory was steppe or desert. Only those portions which skirt the banks of rivers and the shores of seas (with the exception of the city of Mecca and possibly one or two other small cities) were occupied by settled populations the desert was traversed by tribes of nomads, whose life was largely predatory. Semitic speech is interesting, not from the size of the territory and population it represents, but from the controlling influence it has exerted on history through its religious ideas.

The original seat of the Semites is unknown. There must have been a primitive Semitic race (with a primitive Semitic language), which existed before the historical Semitic peoples and dialects had taken

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403 RELIGIOUS ENCYCLOPEDIA Sidonius Sieffert respondent of Sidonius), and Firminus of Arles, the friend of Caesarius (q.v.). About a third of the let ters are addressed to ecclesiastics, thirty-six of them to bishops, and the sees of thirty-one of these are known. Perpetuus of Tours, a city which was still Roman, was a correspondent of Sidonius; there are letters to the bishops of Sens, Auxerre, Orldans, and to Lupus of Treves. Though passing by the bishop of Arles, Sidonius was in frequent correspondence with the suffragans of that see, the bishops of Orange, Vaison, and Marseilles; as a native of Lyons, he had a patriotic interest in it. There are letters to the suffragans at Autun and Langres, to the metropolitan of Aix and his suffragan at Riez, to Reims, Toul, and Geneva. His letters set the style for the circle of rhetoricians and the school of which he was a part, as is seen by the letters and writings of Ruricius, and of Alcimus Avitus and Ennodius (qq.v.); in a later period the interest in him arose anew, such men as Flodoard, Sigbert of Gembloux, Vincent of Beauvais, Peter the Vener able, Peter of Poitiers, and John of Salisbury (qq.v.) reading and admiring him. He was not without influence upon Petrarch. So far as the poems of Sidonius go, they might all have been written by one not a Christian; on the other hand, heathen mythology is for him but a means of adornment, monotheistic thoughts ap pear in noble form, and he set more His Sig- store by prayer than by the aid of the nificance. physician. However, the Christian writings do not seem to be of sufficient ly high value to him, possibly because of his en forced service to the external organization of the Church. He had a sort of contempt for the lower classes who " spoke bad Latin," though he always displayed a kindliness of disposition toward them. As a preacher and saver of souls his repute was not high. His knowledge of the Scriptures, and his dog matics were alike weak; he spoke, for instance, of the Holy Ghost becoming flesh in Christ. He had little knowledge of and as little interest in the dog matic controversies of his times. He was urged to apply his pen to the writing of history, but wisely estimated his powers and declined. His service to the better part of the nobility of Gaul is summed up in his advice to the effect that since the Roman state was breaking up, it were better for them to save their nobility in the hierarchy and to carry over their Roman heritage to church offices. And yet he himself failed in large measure to achieve the end he thus set before them, not realizing the oppor tunity to fill the rhetoric of the schools with a Christian spirit. (F. ARNoLD.) BIBLIOGRAPHY: Late editions of the works of Sidonius are: that of J. F. Grbgoire and F. Z. Collombet, 3 vols., Paris, 1836; in MPL, lviii. 443-748, with the notes of Sirmondi; E. Barret, Paris, 1879, with valuable introduction and dissertations, though typographical errors are numerous; ed. C. Luetjohann in MGH, Auct. ant., viii (1887), 1 264; ed. P. Mohr, Leipsic, 1895; cf. E. Geisler, Loci sim iles auctorum Sidonio anteriorum, Berlin, 1887. There is a Fr. transl. by E. Barret, Paris, 1888. Sources for a life are Gennadius, De vir. ill., xcii.; Greg ory of Tours, Hist. Francorum, ii. 21 sqq. Consult: P. Allard. Saint Sidoine Apollinaire, Paris, 1909; M. Fertig, Sidonius and seine Zeit, 3 vols., Wiirzburg and Passau, 1845-48 (with valuable essays, and includes some trans lations); G. Kaufmann, Die Werke des . . . Sidonius als

sin Quells fur die Geschichte seiner Zeit, GBttingen, 1864; idem, in Neues schweizerisehes Museum, pp. 1-28, Basel, 1865; idem, in GGA, 1868, pp. 1001-1021; idem, in Histotisches Taschenbuch, 1869, pp. 30-40; L. A. Chaix, S. Sidoine Apollinaire et son sickle, 2 vols., Clermont, 1866 (the fullest and most detailed account); F. Ozanan, Hist. of Civilization in the 6th Century, London, 1868; F. Dahn, Hanige der Germanen, v. 82-101, Wdrzburg, 1870; P. Mohr, In Apollinaris Sidonii epistulas et carmina observationes critic, Sondershausen, 1877; idem, Zu Sidonius carmina, Laubach, 1881; M. Budinger, Apollinaris Si. donius als Politiker, Vienna, 1881; T. Hodgkin, Italy and her Invaders, book iii., vol. ii., 4 vols., Oxford, 1880-85; L. Sandret, in Revue des questions historiques, xxxii (1882), 210-224; A. Esmein, Sur quelques lettres de Sidoine Apollinaire, Paris, 1885; T. Mommsen, De vita Sidonii, in MGH, Auct. ant., vifI (1887), pp. xliv.-liii.; idem, in SBA, 1885, pp. 215=223; L. Duval-Arnould, 9tudes d'hist. du droit romain . . . d'apr~s Us lettres . . de Sidoine Apollinaire, Paris, 1888; M. Miiller, De Apollinaris Sidonii latinitate, Halle, 1888; A. Ebert, Allgemeine Geschichte der Litteratur des Mittelalters, i. 419 148, Leipsie, 1889; W. Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography, iii. 817-819, London, 1890; W. S. Teuffel, Geschichte der romischen Litteralur, pp. 1194-1200, Leipsie, 1890; M. Manitius, Geschichte der christliehen lateinischen Poeaie, pp. 218-225, Stuttgart, 1891; E. Bracmann, Sidoniana et Boethiana, Utrecht, 1904; Wattenbach, DGQ, i (1894), 97-98; R. Holland, Studio Sidoniana, Leipsic, 1905; Tillemont, M~moires, xvi. 195-284; Gibbon, Decline and Fall, chap. xxxvi (important); Hauck, XD, i. 79 sqq., 83 sqq.; DCB, iv. 649-661 (detailed and thorough, but follows Chaix, ut sup.); ASB, Aug., iv. 597-624.

SIDONIUS, MICHAEL: Bishop of Merseburg. See HELDING, MICHAEL.

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