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Lecture

Diglossia and ‘Trigraphia’ How Egyptian priests of the Roman period transliterated (and taught) Hieratic and Demotic with Old Coptic scripts

  • Edward Love
Date
Tuesday 10 May 2016
Time
Location
Matthias de Vrieshof
Matthias de Vrieshof 4
2311 BZ Leiden
Room
8A

The focus of this talk will be on how Old Coptic scripts ran parallel to, and yet ultimately succeeded, the phenomenon of glossing Hieratic ritual texts with Demotic in order to elucidate both the phonetic and semantic values of Hieratic and Demotic signs and words. In this function, Old Coptic scripts, as “Alphabetic Demotic”, served Egyptian priests of the Roman period with a system of transliteration for the Egyptian language, not unlike our own based on the Latin alphabet, but one which was utilised sparingly and, as such, is little attested. This paper will shed new light on how Egyptian priests understood their own writing systems during the ’twilight' of Egyptian civilisation.

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