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Friday, 20 November 2015


What about speech? From the Middle Ages onwards, the Jews of the diaspora created a number of unique 'combination' languages, Yiddish and Ladino being two survivors. But what about in antiquity?

The Jews of antiquity, however, did not. The common language of the Jews of the Roman empire (perhaps including Palestine) was Greek. Literate Jews (like Philo) spoke a literate Greek, while illiterate Jews spoke a Greek that was the target of sneers from the educated.

Just like today, then - the speakers of Estuary English attracting comments from those who aspire to Received Pronunciation :-)

A certain Roman emperor orderd the expulsion of all Egyptians from Alexandria in 215 CE; they could be recognised by their speech and manners. Cohen wryly concludes:

No Greek or Roman ever made such comments about Jews; Jews spoke Greek like everyone else.

Posted By Jonathan, 9:01am Comment Comments: 1

Friday, 20 November 2015
Comment -

Just like today ... the vanquished are highly encouraged to learn the language and customs of their conqueror ... Every German since WWII has had to learn English during their education. Sadly,the well educated learn the Queen's English while the less educated learn English slang, not unlike the population of the Isle. :-)

Posted By Harry Steck 03:24am