Browncast episode 37: Arabian Linguistics, pre-Islamic Arabia

Another BP Podcast is up. You can listen on LibsyniTunesSpotify,  and Stitcher. Probably the easiest way to keep up the podcast since we don’t have a regular schedule is to subscribe at one of the links above.

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Picture for al-jallad.1In this episode we talk to Dr Ahmed Al Jallad, Sofia Chair of Arabic Studies at Ohio State University. Dr Jallad is an expert on the languages and scripts of pre-Islamic Arabia. We talk about the origins of Arabic (most likely in the Northwest of the peninsula and not in the South as previously believed), the development of the Arabic script (most likely from Nabatean Arabic) and the inscriptions of the region (In the 6th Century CE the ones that do reference a religion mostly reference Christianity, not the pagan gods of pre-Islamic Arabia that dominate our vision of the “era of Jahiliya”..

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Omar Ali

I am a physician interested in obesity and insulin resistance, and in particular in the genetics and epigenetics of obesity As a blogger, I am more interested in history, Islam, India, the ideology of Pakistan, and whatever catches my fancy. My opinions can change.

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Milan Todorovic
Milan Todorovic
5 years ago

Minoan Arabia – the capital was Karana (now Karnal-Manazil) – Serbian tribes from Crete came during the Mino dynasty.

Sabeyska (Sabeian) Arabia, south from Minoan Arabia, (the capital was Saba today Sable) – Serbian tribes (names: Seba, Saba, Sabta, Sabteka mentioned in Old Testament) came from Lycia in Asia Minor.

Both, Minoan and Sabeian Arabia composed Happy Arabia.

Milan Todorovic
Milan Todorovic
5 years ago

‘Happy Arabia’ or ‘Fortunate Arabia’ or ‘Flourishing Arabia’ are translations of the Latin name – Arabia Felix. What Encyclopedia Britannica says about Sabaean:

“…The Sabaeans were a Semitic people who, at an unknown date, entered southern Arabia from the north, imposing their Semitic culture on an aboriginal population….”

They can update their ingressum – they were Serbian speaking tribes (mentioned in the Old Testament) and they came from the Asia Minor’s Lydia.


Very interesting podcast.

It would be good to ask Dr Al Jallad on Proto-Semitic diffusion in West Asia. Is Proto-Semitic (or the larger Afro-Asiatic group) ultimately a diffusion from Asia or N Africa?

Also interesting to hear his views on old substrates / interactions of Proto-Semitic – from/with Egyptian, Sumerian, Elamite or other IE sources.

And his views of the pre-Islamic interactions between the Arabian peninsula and the Indian Subcontinent? After all, Greece is further away from Arabian peninsula than Gujarat.

Xerxes the Magian
5 years ago

i think we’ll need to get him on again..

Sneaker's Corner
5 years ago

Utterly fascinating. It confirms similar conclusions made by Dr Robert Kerr. Is there a way to download the audio as I want to listen to it multiple times?

5 years ago

“Is there a way to download the audio as I want to listen to it multiple times?”

Sneaker’s Corner, yes you can do so quite easily. You need to install a podcast player on your smartphone and open the podcast through that player, it should have an option to download the podcast into your local storage.

Or if you happen to be on PC, open the podcast on Libsyn, and there on the media player is an icon of an arrow entering a box from above, click on it to download the episode.

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