Ancient Egyptian scripts. Origins of Egyptian Hieroglyphs.

Ancient Egyptian scripts. Origins of Egyptian Hieroglyphs.

The ancient Egyptians thought that writing was invented by the god Thoth and called their script that is hieroglyphic”mdju” (“words of the gods”). The word hieroglyph comes from the Greek hieros (sacred) plus glypho (inscriptions) and was initially used by Clement of Alexandria.

The earliest known examples of writing in Egypt have been dated to 3,400 BC. The latest dated inscription in hieroglyphs was made regarding the gate post of a temple at Philae in 396 AD.

The script that is hieroglyphic used mainly for formal inscriptions from the walls of temples and tombs. In certain inscriptions the glyphs are extremely detailed plus in full colour, in others these are typically simple outlines. For everyday writing the hieratic script was used.

Following the Emperor Theodsius I ordered the closure of all pagan temples through the Roman empire within the late century that is 4th, understanding of the hieroglyphic script was lost. decipher the script.

Lots of people have attempted to decipher the Egyptian scripts since the century that is 5th, when Horapollo provided explanations of nearly two hundred glyphs, some of that have been correct. Other decipherment attempts were produced in the 9th and 10th by Arab historians Dhul-Nun al-Misri and Ibn Wahshiyya, as well as in the 17th century by Athanasius Kircher. These attempts were all on the basis of the mistaken assumption that the hieroglyphs represented ideas and never sounds of a particular language.

The discovery, in 1799, associated with Rosetta Stone, a bilingual text in Greek and the Egyptian Hieroglyphic and Demotic scripts enabled scholars such as Silvestre de Sacy, Johan David Еkerblad and Thomas Young to create real progress using their decipherment efforts, and also by the 1820s Jean-Franзois Champollion had made the complete decipherment associated with script that is hieroglyphic. He reaslised that the Coptic language, a descendent of Ancient Egyptian used as a liturgical language in the Coptic Church in Egypt, could possibly be used to aid understand the language associated with the hieroglyphic inscriptions.

Notable features

  • Possibly pre-dates Sumerian Cuneiform writing – should this be true, the Ancient Egyptian script may be the oldest known writing system. Another possibility is the fact that two scripts developed at pretty much the same time.
  • The direction of writing within the script that is hieroglyphic – it may be printed in horizontal lines running either from left to right or from right to left, or perhaps in vertical columns running all the way through. It is possible to tell the direction of any written piece by taking a look at the real way the animals and people are facing – they look towards the beginning of the line.
  • The arrangement of glyphs was based partly on artistic considerations.
  • A core that is fairly consistent of glyphs was used to create Classical or Middle Egyptian (ca. 2000-1650 BC), though during the Greco-Roman eras (332 BC – ca. 400 AD) over 5,000 glyphs were being used.
  • The glyphs have both semantic and phonetic values. For instance, the glyph for crocodile is an image of a crocodile and also represents the sound “msh”. When writing the expressed word for crocodile, the Ancient Egyptians combined a photo of a crocodile because of the glyphs which spell out “msh”. Similarly the hieroglyphs for cat, miw, combine the glyphs for m, i and w with a photo of a cat.

Used to write:

Egyptian, an Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Egypt until concerning the century AD that is 10th. Then it continued to be used as a the liturgical language of Egyptian Christians, the Copts, in the shape of Coptic.

These glyphs alone might be used to create Ancient Egyptian and represent the alphabet that is first divised. In practice, these were rarely used in the fashion.

Determinatives are non-phonetic glyphs which give extra information about the meanings of words, distinguish homophones and act as word dividers.

Any number could be constructed by combining the following glyphs. The higher value signs were always written in front for the lower value ones.

Transliteration: iw wnm msh nsw, this implies “The crocodile eats the king”.


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