Scripts דרמשק, דמשק(Hebrew) ܕܪܡܣܘܩ(Syriac)
Other Forms FormsDimašqa, Dammaśq, דרמשק
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Meaning & History
The name of Damascus first appeared in the geographical list of Thutmose III as T-m-ś-q in the 15th century BC. The etymology of the ancient name "T-m-ś-q" is uncertain, but it is suspected to be pre-Semitic. It is attested as Dimašqa in Akkadian, T-ms-ḳw in Egyptian, Dammaśq (דמשק) in Old Aramaic and Dammeśeq (דמשק) in Biblical Hebrew. The Akkadian spelling is found in the Amarna letters, from the 14th century BC. Later Aramaic spellings of the name often include an intrusive resh (letter r), perhaps influenced by the root dr, meaning "dwelling". Thus, the Qumranic Darmeśeq (דרמשק), and Darmsûq (ܕܪܡܣܘܩ) in Syriac. The English and Latin name of the city is "Damascus" which was imported from Greek: Δαμασκός, which originated in Aramaic: דרמשק; "a well-watered place". In Arabic, the city is called Dimashqu sh-Shām (دمشق الشام), although this is often shortened to either Dimashq or ash-Shām by the citizens of Damascus, of Syria and other Arab neighbors and Turkey (as Şam). Ash-Shām is an Arabic term for "Levant" and for "Syria"; the latter, and particularly the historical region of Syria, is called Bilādu sh-Shām (بلاد الشام / "land of the Levant").