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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an ethnic group and religious sect.

The Samaritans live in Nablus, Jordan, and Holon, Israel. They number about 400. They are descendants of immigrants from Assyria who intermixed with the population of the Kingdom of Israel, which was conquered by Assyria in 722–721 B.C. Of the books of the Bible, the Samaritans recognize only the Pentateuch in a special redaction. Mount Gerizim (near Nablus), where the Samaritans perform sacrifices, is regarded by them as sacred. From the late sixth century B.C., the religio-political conflicts between the Samaritans and the Jews intensified. In 129 B.C. the Hasmonean ruler Hyrcanus I destroyed the temple on Mount Gerizim. In A.D. 36, under Pontius Pilate, the Romans inflicted a bloody massacre on the Samaritans.

The Samaritans have also lived in Egypt, Syria, Rome, Greece, and Iran. The Samaritan writing system is similar to Paleo-Hebraic, and the language itself is similar to West Aramaic. The fourth and 14th centuries were periods in which Samaritan literature flourished.


Vil’sker, L. Samaritianskii iazyk. Moscow, 1974. Montgomery, J. A. The Samaritans [2nd ed.]. New York, 1968.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
I always remember this experience when I read the Parable of the Good Samaritan. It is to me a reminder that the priest, the Levite, the Good Samaritan, all three, are in me.
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The partnership between the Chester branch of emotional support charity Samaritans and the multi-award winning Storyhouse will involve 21 young people from Chester creating a film and theatre piece to be shown in secondary schools across the borough tackling emotional health in young people.
The ninth congress of the Society for the Study of Samaritans met July-August 2016 in Prague, and the proceedings contains 16 papers on the Hebrew Bible and Samaritan Pentateuch, Roman-Byzantine and Rabbinic studies, Arabic studies, Samaritans in modern and contemporary time, and linguistic studies.
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Ever since, she has volunteered for listening charity the Samaritans, offering an ear to anyone battling with thoughts of suicide.