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SF Old South Arabian FONT Download

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SF Old South Arabian downloadDesigner: Sultan M. Saeed
Publisher: Sultan Fonts
Historical Background Old South Arabian Script (OSA) was used before the Islamic era not only in the southwest corner of the Arabian Peninsula, but actually in the entire Peninsula. In addition, samples of OSA have been found as far as Uruk in Mesopotamia, Delos in Greece, and Giza in Egypt. Archaeological finds show that as far back as the 8th century BCE, OSA was used in trade, religious writing, and in civil records. Following the spread of Islam in Yemen, the decline of OSA began in the 7th century CE as it was gradually supplanted by Arabic script. OSA was typically known by the name of the then-dominant peoples in the Southern Peninsula. At various times, it was known as Sabaean, Qatabani, or Hadramite, among others. Although it was used for a variety of languages, OSA is most strongly associated with Sabaean. Many Peninsular languages borrowed OSA before introducing further changes of their own. Prime examples are the Thamudic, Safaitic, and Lihyanite scripts which eventually developed into independent scripts. The westward migration of the Sabaean people into the Horn of Africa introduced the South Arabian consonantal alphabet into the region. The transplanted script formed the roots of the Geez script of Ethiopia, which, in time and under presumably external influences, developed into a rich syllabary unlike any other Semitic script in history. Even a cursory examination of the letter forms of Modern Ethiopic writing reveal a striking similarity to South Arabian Script. OSA inscriptions typically reveal a dominant right-to-left directionality, although there are also many cases of alternating directions, known as boustrophedon writing. Figure 1 is a fine example of this style of writing. OSA inscriptions were discovered early in the 19th century. Soon thereafter, two orientalists, Gesenius and Rödiger, made great strides towards deciphering the script.

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