Square Hebrew

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Square Hebrew


an offshoot of Western Semitic writing that can be traced to Aramaic (third century B.C.), which had taken its basic shape by the second and first centuries B.C.

Square Hebrew is found in Aramaic and ancient Hebrew inscriptions and in literature in ancient and modern Hebrew, Yiddish, and Ladino (a Spanish-Hebrew language of the Mediterranean). Cursive varieties include the Ashkenazic (Eastern Europe), the Sephardic (Mediterranean), and the Rashic (a rabbinic script used in Italy for religious texts). The alphabet was at first purely consonantal. Several vowel-mark systems, using diacritics, were created between the sixth and eighth centuries a.d.; the principal system in use today is the Tiberian Masoretic.


Diringer, D. Alfavit. Moscow, 1963. Pages 311-19. (Translated from English.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
For it was here that King Yehoikan built the first synagogue; here that Jews adopted the distinctive Ashuri (Assyrian) square Hebrew characters; and here, between 200 and 500 AD, that at the yarchei kallah--assembly of sages--compiled the Babylonian Talmud.